Transcend boundary of time and space

This essay will examine the scene in which Maire and Yolland finally kiss from Brian Friel’s play “Translations” and the poem “Meeting Point” by Louis MacNeice to discuss how both authors present love as something which transcends universal boundaries: in Friel it transcends the boundaries of language and words; and in MacNeice, it transcends the … Read more

Romeo & Juliet and Antigone analysis

William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Sophocles’ Antigone both develop a complex plot structure and show many similarities and differences. They share some common tragic illumination along with some uncommon tragic illumination, as well. Each of the plays ended in some sorts of fatalities, but with different cases of dispute. Tragic illumination is a piece … Read more

Antony and Cleopatra: Tension

In his play Antony and Cleopatra, William Shakespeare develops a constant theme of clashing duty and desire that can be seen throughout the entirety of the work; this theme is most potently exemplified through the actions of the main characters, and the overall characterization of said characters. Shakespeare wastes no time establishing this theme, as … Read more

When Two Worlds Collide

A major theme in the play Romeo and Juliet is the contrast between the two worlds: real and unreal. In order for true love between the star-crossed lovers to survive, it must exist in both. Romeo lives in the unreal world for the majority of the story, while Juliet alternates between the two. When they … Read more

The Construction of Desdemona’s Character as Feminine Woman

Marilyn French asserts that Shakespeare only constructs two types of women, the “virtuous subhuman or deceiving subhuman.”[1] In conjugation with the Elizabethan expectation of an “acceptable version of the feminine” woman, a woman who is passive, obedient and chaste, Shakespeare has constructed Desdemona as a “virtuous subhuman.” This supports the feminist criticism that “literary representations … Read more

The Controversial Case of Cordelia’s Death

In Shakespeare’s King Lear, the titular ruler undergoes multiple trials in his wish to pass the kingdom on to his three daughters and their betrotheds. After the disownment and banishment of his youngest daughter Cordelia, Lear’s elder daughters Goneril and Regan soon begin attempting to overthrow their father and usurp his power. In the midst … Read more

Exploration of the Nature of Love

“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet are of an imagination all compact” (Act 5, Scene 1, Lines 7-8). This quote by Theseus encompasses the notion of love as being an illusion, a product of the imagination. Love is equated with lunacy and poetry, both intangible qualities, which makes it necessary to question its existence. … Read more

Shakespeare and Stoppard: Metatheatrical Line Between Being a Character and Being an Actor

Metatheatre, a form of self-reflexivity in drama, plays a pivotal role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Tom Stoppard’s parodic version, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Self-reflexivity is conveyed through metatheatrical scenes, or scenes that are staged as plays, “dumb shows”, and the extensive commentary made on the mechanics and structural qualities of theatre, in both plays. … Read more

Controversy and Parallelism of Antony and Cleopatra

To its original audience, experiencing political change as the new rule of James led to the expansion of the British Empire, Antony and Cleopatra resonates with the “infinite variety” they were experiencing and the vast changeability of the modern world. While the water imagery that courses through the play illustrates the concept of paradox, Shakespeare … Read more

Leontes’ Jealousy in The Winter’s Tale

The opening act of The Winter’s Tale is atypical among Shakespeare’s late romances. Cymbeline, The Tempest, Pericles, King Lear, and Othello all open by unfolding the plays’ major, and most dramatic, crises. The Winter’s Tale, however, offers the audience a casual discussion between two courtiers, suggesting total harmony between the kingdoms of Sicilia and Bohemia … Read more

Questioning God: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

Rajiv Joseph’s characters in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo wander through the war-torn Iraqi landscape looking for answers and finding none. The characters span a wide range of humanity: from young, ignorant American soldiers to a former gardener now employed as an interpreter for the occupying army to the ghost of Saddam Hussein’s son, … Read more

The Perfect Loyalty of Kent

King Lear, as both head of state and paterfamilias, has multiple claims to power, and to obedience. His spectacle of dividing the kingdom between his daughters confuses their obligations to him as subjects with their filial obligations, duties which are not necessarily equivalent. Cordelia cannot play both roles at once; she favors her role as … Read more

Polanski’s Interpretation of Macbeth

The Macbeth (1971) film production by Roman Polanski blends this classic Shakespearean tragedy to the film noir cinema genre creating a rich, dynamic combination. Classic film noir encapsulates “pessimism, bleakness, despair and paranoia which are readily evident […] shot in gloomy grays, blacks and white, it thematically showed the dark and inhumane side of human … Read more

Significance of the Title of Riders to the Sea

In the tragic spectacle of Riders to the Sea, John Millington Synge explores an essentially Pagan situation. There is a degree of deliberation in the choice of the title and its application is both literal and metaphorical since it is an extended metaphor meaning “we are all moving toward mortal death”. The title mainly embodies … Read more

Problematic and Themes Raised in Much Ado About Nothing

At first glance, the reader is not likely to notice the immediate clue which presents itself in the title of William Shakespeare’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. If one, however, would follow the example of a Shakespearean player in Elizabethan times and pronounce the word “nothing” as “noting,” he would be introduced to a pun … Read more

Gender and Sexual Fluidity in Twelfth Night

Because disguise and mistaken identity is such a central theme in many of Shakespeare’s comedies, so too then is gender ambiguity, with many female characters disguising themselves as men. The fact that young male actors played these characters, making them a boy dressed as a woman dressed as a boy, further augments this ambiguity. This … Read more

Symbolic Representation of Women in Trifles

Susan Glaspell’s play, Trifles, reflects her fixation with culture-bound notions of gender roles and the complexities of inequality prevalent in the home as well as the public sphere during 1916. The competing roles and perspectives of men and women work to create a social division by confining women to the home where the contributions go … Read more

Constructing and Portraying the Apothecary’s Character

From the bawdy Mercutio to the gentle Juliet, the characters in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet are colorful, but purposeful. Even the most obscure characters reflect Shakespeare’s calculations in the development of key themes throughout the play. The Apothecary particularly exemplifies a character who seems superfluous outside of his role in the plot. However, his conversation … Read more

Devil May Cry or The Tragedy of Mephistophilis

Sometimes, the Devil—or, at least, one of his most trusted minions—really is in the details. In Christopher Marlowe’s play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, the most compelling hero is not the eponymous main character. Doctor Faustus, with his puerile egotism and self-absorbed whining, is as guilty of overreach as any character Marlowe ever wrote. … Read more

Gang Violence in Romeo and Juliet, a Play by William Shakespeare

Gangs are socially destructive and detrimental to society for several reasons. Very often they will seek to control their group and the surrounding community through fear and violent crime. Rivalries and territory wars with other gangs bring violence to neighborhoods and endanger the lives of law-abiding citizens. As the situations escalate, violence increases from one-on-one … Read more

The Collapse of Relationships in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ted Hughes’ Birthday Letters, and Ian McEwan’s Atonement

Expectation My Great-Aunt Melon gave me a lime green shirt with a bedazzled pickle splashed across the chest for my fifteenth birthday. It also rained. I wasn’t shocked or sad at all. It had rained on my birthday every year for the past fourteen. Mom even said there was a thunderstorm the day I was … Read more

Review of Young Macduff’s Role as Illustrated by William Shakespeare in His Play Macbeth

Character Sketch: Young Macduff a.k.a “son” In William Shakespeares “Macbeth”, an epic play about blood, glory and pride, Young Mcduff’s tragic yet heroic lifestory is revealed. His father of course is Macduff, one of Scotland’s most prestigous nobleman, and his mother is Lady Macduff. Macduff was very close to King Duncan and after his untimely … Read more

The relationship between science and love in Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia”

Tom Stoppard is famous for the wit and intellectual appeal of his creations, and Arcadia perfectly fulfills these characteristics. Stoppard has the capacity to exquisitely present the most simple, yet important things in life. The play is uniquely structured, utilizing complex mathematical theorems and numerous historical references that reveal myriad themes, while juxtaposing the past … Read more

Antigone and A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Comparison of Juxtaposing Antagonists

The success of the narrative arc of both Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone and Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream heavily rely on character interactions with the natural world. In each play respectively, the protagonists must purpose and negotiate elements of nature to achieve their particular objective. The plot of Antigone revolves around returning the body of … Read more

Wit and Wisdom

In literature (novels, folk tales, plays, movies, etc.) one finds presented two forms of so called “coming-of-age” stories. The traditional method is preparation for adulthood. A youth (generally between 10 years old and 20) passes, by some calamity or other intense situation, from the world of innocence to the world of experience to join the … Read more

King Lear: Construction an Deconstruction of Humanity

William Shakespeare’s tragedy, King Lear, is not merely a story of the ill effects of aging, but an illustration of a man plagued by pride and arrogance. Initially, Lear deems himself a man worthy of worship by his family and friends, an ill for which he suffers profoundly. ‘The world remains what it was, a … Read more

Sexual Politics and Gender Discourse

In “Women and Men in Othello: ‘what should such a fool/Do with so good a woman?’,” critic Carol Thomas Neely asserts that nearly all rational thought in Othello comes from women. In Neely’s view, the men of Othello are too consumed by pride, jealousy, and socio-political pressure to think clearly and, as a result, resort … Read more

Mary’s Tale of the Fog and the Foghorn

1. Introduction Fog appears in many of Eugene O’Neill’s works. In Long Day’s Journey into Night, O’Neill uses not only fog but the foghorn as symbol. This paper will analyze the function of the fog and the foghorn in the play, with particular attention to Mary Tyrone. By the help of secondary literature I will … Read more