The Homosocial Discourse in Shakespeare’s Works

Although considered light and delightful entertainment, Shakespeare’s plays of comedy often address serious issues confronting Elizabethan values of propriety and social decorum. Anti-Semitism, death and homosexuality are frequent themes woven in his plays and the latter is addressed in Much Ado About Nothing and The Merchant of Venice. In exhibiting the inherent bonds that transpire … Read more

Love Is Love… Or Is It?

In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare illustrates love in various forms and suggests that, like beauty, the true meaning of love exists in the eye of the beholder. Love is seen as bordering on insanity, a frivolous game of ever-changing affections, and the cause of bizarre behavior. Through the characters of Twelfth Night, Shakespeare explores love as … Read more

Character, Sexual Identity and the Anti-Play: How Caryl Churchill Achieves Coherence Through Fragmentation and Inversion of Gender Roles in Cloud Nine

In Cloud Nine, playwright Caryl Churchill examines questions of gender identity, sexuality and individual freedom as they exist within two traditional, oppressive ideological paradigms: colonial imperialism and masculine hegemony. By juxtaposing these worlds of political and sexual dominance, Churchill draws a parallel between the paralysis exacted by both frameworks upon the development and expression of … Read more

Infidelity in marriages from Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn and Shakespeare’s Othello

Infidelity is a leading cause to marital breakdowns. To be successful in a marriage, it requires two people to make it work. There are factors of things that can make a marriage fall apart but infidelity in marriages is the most major one, as it can impact the individuals themselves. Infidelity in marriages from Gone … Read more

The Question of Racism and Its Representation on Othello

Choose one non-dramatic text offered on the module, (an extract from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Literary Remains,) and show how it might help us understand Othello. The extract presents a sustained attack by Coleridge on Shakespeare for his lack of realism in the ‘monstrous’ depiction of a marriage between a ‘beautiful Venetian girl,’ and a ‘veritable … Read more

How Does Hamlet Disrupt Himself?

Alone in his childhood home, his father buried and his mother married to another man, Hamlet laments, “O that this too too sullied flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into dew” (1.2.129-30). Hamlet brings up suicide early in Act I and ponders it throughout the play. He not only considers the idea, but intentionally … Read more

life Wrangles and marital struggles

John Osborne’s technique in Look Back in Anger reveals his indebtedness to Henrik Ibsen and his contemporary Samuel Beckett in naturalistic plays. He uses images and symbols, both verbal and non verbal for the sake of objectification. These symbols not only include the structure of the play and the location of action, but also stage … Read more

Comparing Control and Power in Shaffer’s ;Equus; and Niccol’s "Gattaca"

Equus and Gattaca correspond in their development of similar ideas surrounding the societal and behavioral connections between power and control, although Shaffer and Niccol differ in their approach to these concepts through filmic and theatrical techniques. Both Gattaca and Equus explore the influence and control of divine higher powers through the utilization of sound motifs. … Read more

Othello and O the Movie: a Comparative Analysis of Two Works

Literature can be viewed as a manifestation of the context it is composed in, whilst retaining universal elements such as the human experience. Whilst human emotions such as jealousy remain universal despite context, attitudes and values must be continually challenged and questioned in order for society to progress and evolve. This is reflected in Shakespeare’s … Read more

Three Ways to Love in Shakespeare’s Tragedy

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet explains love through the use of three different kinds of love: unrequited love between Romeo and Rosaline, true love between Romeo and Juliet, and cynical love from Mercutio and the Nurse. The use of common, era specific ideas on love helps to convey the message that it can take on many … Read more

King, Destiny and Circumstances

Why, in spite of everything do we like Lear and are on his side? Ultimately any pathos that lies with Lear is due to the fact that he, like all Shakespeare’s tragic heroes, does not deserve the severity of the punishment he receives. He is, through his lack of wisdom, the victim of circumstance. Lear’s … Read more

The Shifting of Gender Roles in Macbeth

Come you spirit, That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here. –Lady Macbeth More so than any other Shakespearean play, Macbeth functions the most vividly as a psychoanalysis of the state of humanity’s development of a sense of sexual self. Now, in a time where terms such a transgendered, pansexual, or heteroflexible are integrated into … Read more

How Credible is the Evidence: The Problem with Naivety

Shakespeare’s Othello is a tragedy unlike others of it’s time. Othello is a play concerned with domestic fidelity more than royal usurpations. It is a play in which ocular proof comes from a mystical strawberry handkerchief rather than a ghost of a murdered king. Indeed, Othello presents a matrimonial tragedy rather than a national one. … Read more

The Relationship between Setting and Theme in Blood Wedding

Many modern playwrights seek to connect contemporary issues with ancient themes by updating the stories of mythic stories into a completely modern milieu. With Blood Wedding, Federico Garcia Lorca seeks to explore this idea of connectivity through an alternative avenue in which the lush Andalusian wine country he knew so well is engineered into a … Read more

The Absent Father in The Glass Menagerie

In the play ‘The Glass Menagerie’ the audience is presented with three obvious main characters. Each of these characters, Tom, Laura and Amanda, has strong claims to the title of protagonist, but what hangs over the play is the spectre of the Wingfields’ absent father. It could be argued that his departure was the catalyst … Read more

The Concept of Insanity in Macbeth and Hamlet

Hamlet and Macbeth are two of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays. Each share not only fame, however, but format: Both feature main characters with tragic flaws that become their demise. In the cases of Hamlet and Macbeth, this flaw is madness. Whether their insanity is feigned or unfeigned, it plays a key role in their … Read more

The Summary of Pygmalion

Summary of Pygmalion On a summer season night in London’s Covent backyard, a gaggle of assorted persons are gathered collectively under the portico of St. Paul’s Church for security from the rain. Among the workforce are Mrs. Eynsford-Hill and her daughter, Clara, who are ready for the son, Freddy, to come back with a cab. … Read more

Sanity of Madness

As in his Hamlet, Shakespeare uses “reason in madness” throughout King Lear by using unexpected characters to help with his overall theme of recognition and realization. However, reason in madness can also refer to Shakespeare himself, because in all the chaos and tragedy throughout King Lear, he preaches to us a very real and intended … Read more

Conflict and Main Idea of "Suddenly Last Summer"

In “Suddenly Last Summer”, Tennessee Williams portrays the external and internal conflict through the emotional complex character, Catharine Holly. She must decide between telling the truth and lying, and between closure and family reputation/inheritance. It is hard to imagine that such a young girl is faced with such a mentally straining situation. The juxtaposition between … Read more

Debate Between Tybalt and Capulet: a Foreshadowing Conversation

In Romeo and Juliet, many ironic situations foreshadowing their doomed result. In the passage where Tybalt and Capulet debate at the masquerade feast, there are many lines that directly foreshadow two important components of the play: Romeo’s murder of Tybalt, and Romeo and Juliet’s efforts to hide their romance from their families. Their confrontation also … Read more

A marxist criticism of A streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams’s play, A Streetcar Named Desire, illustrates the struggle of power between economic classes and the changes taking place in America at that time, regarding social status. The constant tension between Blanche and Stanley represents the conflict between social classes, and the clash of old and new America. By viewing the play through a … Read more

Comparing Social and Ethnic Tensions in A Streetcar Named Desire and Blues for Mister Charlie

A Streetcar Named Desire and Blues for Mister Charlie are both concerned to a large extent with tensions between different ethnic groups and, since in both plays the ethnicity of each group defines its social position, different social groups as well. The two plays are stylistically similar, employing expressionist techniques while maintaining naturalistic dialogue and … Read more

The Symbolism of Ballroom Dancing

In the play “Master Harold… And the Boys,” ballroom dancing extends far beyond jazz music, swishing skirts and sashaying couples. It takes on a universality of meaning as a symbol of a “world without collisions,” an inherent desire, a dream, an inspiration, which – even if it is not fully understood – must surely be … Read more

Portrayal of Women in Trifles

In 1916, Susan Glaspell chose to publish a controversial play entitled Trifles. The play investigates the murder of a man with the main suspect being his wife. This piece of literature, like others at the time, was ridiculed for its feminism. What makes the play bold is that it shows how women are overlooked by … Read more

The Death of Dave Singleman: A Survey of Difference

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman actually makes reference to the deaths of two salesmen: protagonist Willy Loman and an admired yet never-seen character named Dave Singleman. It can be argued that the most obvious difference in the deaths of Dave Singleman and Willy Loman can be found in the numbers of people that attended … Read more

Devil, Religion, and Sin in Dr. Faustus

The traditional Christian message Christopher Marlowe was working with during the time he wrote Doctor Faustus stated that one should avoid leading a life of temptation and sin, the origins of which were rooted in an enterprising proprietor of evil generally referred to as the Devil. But if one does succumb to these debasements, atonement … Read more

The Significance of the Chorus in Oedipus Rex

In “Oedipus Rex,” the chorus represents the voice of the average citizens and contributes insight that cannot be communicated by the other characters in the play. The chorus moves along the story by announcing the arrival of characters and answering questions that help the plot progress. Sophocles also utilizes a chorus because it helps the … Read more

Hamlet: Analysis of Shakespeare's Main Character

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1600-01), regarded by many scholars and critics as his finest play, is based on the story of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, which first appeared in the Historia Danica, a Latin text by the twelfth-century historian Saxo Grammaticus. The main protagonist, being Hamlet, the so-called “Dark Prince” of Shakespearean tragedy, is an extremely … Read more

Reasonable Waiting or Unjustified Delaying?

The central conflict in Shakespeare’s Hamlet is between the title character’s high moral standards and his quest for the truth. Arising from this conflict is what many would agree is the quintessential problem of the play: Why does Hamlet delay in avenging his father’s death? There is no doubt that he does in fact delay, … Read more

Opportunity to lead in world of no conflict

 In “Master Harold”… and the Boys, black Africans are treated as though they are not as important as the white Africans. Fugard represents black Africans as people who have been disenfranchised, segregated, and less privileged in an attempt to show the struggles involved with apartheid. Fugard does this through the symbolism of the bench and … Read more

"A Doll’s House" by Henrik Ibsen

In A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, Henrik consider traditional aspect of men and women back on the early age. In the play “A Doll’s House,” Nora represent the conventional feminine basic of the age. She seems defenseless and purview herself through patriarchal assumption, which proclaim a woman’s social character at this time period, a … Read more