How the entrapment theme comes out in A streetcar Named Desire and Duchess of Mali

Both Webster in ‘The Duchess of Malfi,’ a Jacobean revenge tragedy, and Williams in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ a 20th century modern-domestic tragedy, use entrapment as a pivotal focus for chief dramatic moments. The playwrights especially focus on the physical and psychological entrapment of females as a result of the respective society’s patriarchal attitudes. However, … Read more

The flaws of Blanche and why she ultimately failed

In Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, despite Blanche Dubois’ desire to start fresh in New Orleans, her condescending nature, inability to act appropriately on her desires, and denial of reality all lead to her downfall. Blanche believes that her upper class roots put her above the “commoners” she spends the summer with, which gives … Read more

King Lear’s Perspective on the Imperfect Relationship Between Wealth and Justice in To Kill a Mockingbird and Lindsay Lohan

Justice systems exist to implement suitable punishments and to combat inequities. However, society’s perspective of justice overwhelmingly favors the affluent, as evidenced in one of King Lear’s memorable speeches. “Small vices” and petty crimes have plagued the impoverished population, while the wealthy have obtained the luxury of evading consequences for their immoral deeds by “plating … Read more

humour as the backbone of The Country Wife

As a Restoration Comedy humour is central to Wycherley’s play. Like many other Restoration Comedies The Country Wife is characterised by farcical humour that runs throughout the whole play, generated through wit, sexual innuendo and a great deal of dramatic irony. However, Wycherley’s use of humour serves more than simply the creation of entertainment for … Read more

The Natural Order of Things in Macbeth

In 1603, James I became both king and patron of the King’s Men, William Shakespeare’s company formerly known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. James I was obsessed primarily with two things: witchcraft and murder. He feared that people, usually witches, were conspiring against him to steal his crown. Macbeth, which premiered around 1606, is rumored … Read more

A Grim Perspective of Humanity in Macbeth

As a story of appalling crime and retribution, Shakespeare’s Macbeth is unique in ascribing greater attention to unscrupulous criminals than to their victims. As such, the overall mood of the play must be taken with respect to the context; the focus is deliberately placed on the darker side of humanity, and the play continually alludes … Read more

Romantic Relationships in Twelfth Night and Othello: the Inside and Outside Influences

In Shakespeare’s Othello, the primary obstacle in Othello and Desdemona’s relationship is Othello’s race, and hence, his status as an outsider. This difference becomes a barrier when Brabantio objects to their marriage, however, it plays much more of a role in facilitating Iago’s manipulation and amplifying Othello’s paranoia. Othello’s paranoia changes his perception of his … Read more

An analsysis of the theme of love and deceit in Twelfth Night

According to Patrick Swinden in An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Comedies, a comedy does not demand the ‘the degree of concentration and belief’ required by tragedy. As a result, an audience of a play ‘is amusedly aware that it’s all a play, a game that they are sharing with the actors’. FN1 In Twelfth Night, it … Read more

A Comparison of the Similarities Between Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, Oedipus: A New Version by Ellen McLaughlin, and Oedipus Rex by Gay H. Hammon

Opening scenes of plays or any piece of performance work allows the audience to enter into the world seamlessly; the world of the play can be built through the dynamic between the actors and the audience and the exposition itself. In the original script of Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, there is no opening exposition of … Read more

Hamlet, the Machiavellian Prince: An Exploration of Shakespeare’s Use of Machiavellian Politics

Shakespeare’s Hamlet is not simply a morality play surrounding a grief-mad prince; it is a complex study of political maneuvers as described by Machiavelli. “The rules of this politics, Machiavelli’s political science, then, are the choreographed moves, countermoves, and tricks that bring to life the actions of the successful new prince and others.”(Tarlton, 8) Many … Read more

The Meaning Behind Portia’s Trick

It is often observed that William Shakespeare’s comedies feature some uncomfortable scenes that leave audiences unsure as to whether characters are participating in harmless, theatrical farce or a meaner brand of mockery that borders on the cruel. Such scenes involve trickery that seems funny enough on the surface but, upon closer inspection of the jokester’s … Read more

Fences And Death Of A Salesman Essay

Are readers being too idealistic when they favor perfect heroes in stories over flawed ones? Authors August Wilson and Arthur Miller force readers to ponder the likeability of an imperfect protagonist through their characters. In Fences by August Wilson, the main character Troy is a struggling father and husband dealing with racial injustice in his … Read more

King Lear’s Fool and Don Quixote’s Squire: Comparative Study

The first time the Fool enters in Shakespeare’s King Lear he immediately offers Kent his coxcomb, or jester’s hat. Lear asks the Fool “My pretty knave, how dost thou?” (1.4.98) This initial action and inquiry of the Fool is representative of the relationship between the Fool and the other characters throughout the entire play. In … Read more

Class and Morality in Pygmalion

The honest and compelling transformation of a simple flower girl from a disempowered ‘draggle-tailed guttersnipe’ to a ‘fierce’ woman who demands what she ‘want[s]’ and feistily laments the loss of her ‘independence’ is emblematic of the laudable qualities that Shaw wishes to highlight in the human person, existing regardless of social status. The result of … Read more

Why Claudio is Such an Unsympathetic Character

Shakespeare’s light-hearted ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ explores both the triumph and tragedy which presents itself in the love of Hero and Claudio, using the latter as an easily deceived character whose errors almost culminate in a tragic ending to the play. Claudio’s character is presented initially in a virtuous light, though his many flaws and … Read more

Deception, Delusion and the Danger of Half-Perceived Truths

It has often been said that “the clothes make the man.” It could never seem truer than in Twelfth Night where disguises and mistaken identities run the gamut of use. The identity of people, things and ideas are swept away under the facade of something more convenient for the given time or occasion. Viola’s disguise, … Read more

Performance, Play within a Play and Metatheatrical Commentary

The theatrical device of performing a play within another play has been employed for centuries, most notably in European theatre and literature (Fisher and Greiden xi). The play within a play “describes a strategy for constructing play texts that contain, within the perimeter of their own fictional reality, a second or internal theatrical performance” (Fisher … Read more

Deceptive Appearances in British Literature

The Theme of Deceiving Appearances throughout British Literature In literature, there are several themes that can be observed once and again, throughout the ages and in several different works. These themes endure the test of time, and apply to most people equally, regardless of where and when they live. Among them, there is the theme … Read more

Literary Analysis of the Consequences of Macbeth’s Decision on His Psychological Well-Being Depicted by William Shakespeare in the Dramatization of Macbeth

What you Sow you Will Reap In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, there is one character who changes drastically throughout the play. That character is Macbeth. In the beginning, Macbeth is an honest and loyal thane to King Duncan. However, he lets greed and evil desires drive him to an act of regicide. His guilt and fear … Read more

Shakespeare’s King Lear and Shirwadkar’s Natsamrat: A Comparative Study

Introduction William Shakespeare is one of the greatest names in the world of English literature and same is the case with Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar who is one of the renowned writers in the domain of Marathi literature. Both writers have their own genius and greatness and there could be no comparison between their writing. Both … Read more

The Significance of Emilia’s Character

In Shakespeare’s play, Othello, the character Emilia is essential in exploring the theme of gender and the expectations placed on women. The anonymous writer of, “From Counsel to the Husband: To the Wife Instruction” believes the answer to maintaining a happy marriage is for both men and women to know and respect the role God … Read more

How Tennessee Williams is influenced by the work of Chekhov

The shape of American drama has been molded throughout the years by the advances of numerous craftsmen. Many contemporary playwrights herald the work of Anton Chekhov as some of the most influential to modern drama. Tennessee Williams has often been compared to Anton Chekhov. When asked about the influences in his life and work Tennessee … Read more

The Construction of Portia’s Character

In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare crafts a dynamic female character uncommon to his collection of plays. Portia, the lovely and wealthy heiress, exemplifies stereotypical feminine qualities but also exhibits independent and intelligent thought. Most of Shakespeare’s female roles function as static characters designed to further the plot action; they are elements of the backdrop … Read more

Cat on a Four Post Bed

Space is an important element in drama and is embodied by the stage itself as a representation of a space where action is presented. Plays differ significantly with regard to how they present space and how much information about space they offer the audience. The analysis of place and setting in plays can help the … Read more

The Relationship between Father and Daughter and Their Portrayal in The Merchant of Venice

Despite the lack of a strong paternal figure in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, two separate father-daughter relationships play an integral role in the central plot of the play. The strained relationship of Venetian moneylender Shylock and his daughter Jessica, as well as the nonexistent association between Portia and her deceased father, lead the two … Read more

Manufacturing Illusions: Irony in The Glass Menagerie

Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie is a play founded on illusion. Williams uses the devices of illusion and metaphor to illustrate truth, which he sometimes reveals through the use of irony. In the production notes that preface the play, Williams writes that “expressionism and all other unconventional techniques” in a play “should be attempting to … Read more

Hamlet and Its Duplicity of Morality

The author Izaak Walton noted, “The person that loses their conscience has nothing left worth keeping.” The characters in Hamlet constantly struggle with the power of their consciences, as they are tempted to satiate their innermost desires. Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, is the epitome of the power of conscience in the play. Although at … Read more

Existentialism as a Part of Hamlet

“This above all, to thine own self be true” (1.3.88). As Polonius offers this advice to his departing son Laertes, he also states one of the defining principles of the philosophical branch known collectively as existentialism. A paradigm firmly rooted in the individual experience, existentialism champions responsibility and states that man is nothing but the … Read more

Humanistic Side of Hamlet

Hamlet: A Picture of Renaissance Humanism The renaissance was an era of great change in philosophical thought and morality. Before the 15th century, monastic scholasticism had dominated European thinking. Monasticism’s emphasis on a black and white system of morality, which relied on a dogmatic and narrow interpretation of Christian theology, created a system that valued … Read more

The Ironic Tragicomedy

Plays are often written to make a statement about the world, or to provoke deeper thought from the audience. While many playwrights share the same overall goal, each playwright adopts his or her own style of writing. After adopting a certain style, playwrights are then given the option to customize their genre to meet their … Read more

Review of William Shakespeare’s Play, King Lear

Introduction King Lear was authored by Shakespeare around 1605. It is usually ranked as one of the greatest plays of Shakespeare. The setting of the play, King Lear, is like the setting of any of his other plays, dramatizing events from the eighteenth century. The play demonstrates how vulnerable noblemen and parents are to the … Read more

‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and ‘The Birthday Party’: How Antagonism Affected the Plot

Both Harold Pinter and Tennessee Williams depict vivid and intimidating oppositions in their characters Stanley Kowalski and Goldberg and McCann. The oppositions in both A Streetcar Named Desire and The Birthday Party strive to assert their power over their victims, Blanche DuBois and Stanley Webber, through the emergence of their pasts to the present, portrayed … Read more

Ibsen’s Perspective on Freedom and Social Morals

Henrik Ibsen’s play ‘A Doll’s House’ has caused controversy since it’s first production in 1879 as it portrays 19th century society as an oppressive influence on the individual and their personal freedom. Victorian society emphasized Bourgeois respectability and moral code, which when defied caused the individual to be stigmatized and ostracized. The characters in Ibsen’s … Read more

The Independence of Helena’s Character

In William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hermia seems to be the strong woman, while Helena is seen as weak and easily dominated. In Gohlke’s article, for example, she describes the “exaggerated submission of Helena to Demetrius” (151), thereby voicing an opinion that is common throughout literary criticism. My concern, however, is with the opposite side … Read more

Desire Under the Elms: The Desire for a Birthright

Eugene O’Neill’s classic American tragedy Desire Under the Elms tells the story of characters that are driven by a number of common, and therefore competing, desires. Many believe that O’Neill intended the Desire Under the Elms to refer to the desire between Eben and Abbie, and therefore place strong emphasis on the Oedipal themes that … Read more

Failures to separate desires from reality

As its title suggests, “M. Butterfly” is essentially a play about metamorphosis. It is, firstly, the metamorphosis of Giacomo Puccini’s famous opera “Madame Butterfly” into a modern-day geopolitical argument for cultural understanding. Author David Henry Hwang shows, through a highly implausible love affair between a French diplomat and the male Chinese opera singer he believes … Read more

The Course of Law: The Legal System in The Merchant of Venice and The Comedy of Erros

William Shakespeare includes a Duke to represent the utmost authority figure in many of his plays. In The Comedy of Errors and The Merchant of Venice, both Dukes hold complete control—or, at least, what they perceive to be complete control—over their respective regions. Shakespeare uses these two characters to show how “authority” is oftentimes an … Read more