Shakespeare’s Personal life

His life was a good one for the times, no money struggles or divorced parents. His father didn’t expect him to fallow in his footprints like most parents, but, he would have liked it. Instead his father wanted what was best for him. In turn he fallowed his dreams of acting, writing and producing plays. His childhood was hard working; he went to the king’s new grammar school. He also studied Latin and Greek which he incorporates in his plays. When he was 18, he was married to Anna Hathaway, aged 26. Their kids names were Susanna, Hamnet and Judith. Burbage’s influence on Shakespeare

Both Shakespeare and Burbage were 20, interested in theater, both part of the lord’s chamberlain’s men and both seeking success. Burbage invented the actual name “theater” and paying at the doorway of the theater instead of in it. The Theater had to be taken down so they took it apart and set it back up on the bank side of London and named it the “Globe”. For the observers eye of Shakespeare’s plays in the Globe The performances would start at approximately 2 o clock in the after noon unless the flag was up, which meant that the weather was too bad to host the play.

Part of the Globes roof was open and the rest was thatch making it easy for the weather to cancel performances. Its octagon, kind of circular shape and being 3 stories tall helped to create its name, the Globe. Up too 3000 people could fit in the Globe and payments went 1 penny for a ground view and 2 pennies for a gallery seat. The stage was a thrust stage with secret entrances and great performances until it burned down from a shot of clothe in a cannon that landed on the roof. The Globe was no longer a Theater.

The Hamartias of Othello

In William Shakespeares tragedy Othello, the hero, Othello, is plagued by his many hamartias. Termed by Aristotle around 330 B. C. , hamartia is a tragic heros error or transgression or his flaw or weakness of character. (p. 1296) Othellos hamartias include jealousy, a blind, unrealistic love for Desdemona, trusting others too easily, and his unrealized ability to deceive himself. These flaws, along with the help of Iago, cause Othello to loose everything he has including his life. At first look at Othello, he shows no signs of jealousy and even entrusts his wife to Iago saying, To his conveyance I assign my wife. (1. 3. 6)

Othello also the great self control that is expected from someone who has been a warrior since he was seven years old as mentioned by, for since these arms of mind has seven years pith they have used their dearest action in the tented field. (1. 3. 83-85) Iago begins to break down this self-control by talking of jealousy: IAGO. O, beware, my lord, of jealousy. It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on. (3. 3. 178-179) Although the play shows no indication of physical aggression by Othello, one can assume from the following speech there is some physical confrontation between Othello, and Iago:

Othello. Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore! Be sure of it. Give me the ocular proof, Or, by the worth of mine external soul, Thou hadst been better have been born a dog Than answer my waked wrath! (3. 3. 375-379) Others also notice Othellos jealous loss of self-control. In Act III Scene V Othello goes do Desdemona to demand she show him a handkerchief he gave to her. When she cannot produce the handkerchief Othello gets furious and storms out of the room. After his exit, Emilia says, Is not this man jealous? Othello, being a military man, sees himself as a man who judges by the fact.

He believes only what he sees, or what his most trusted ensign, Iago, reports to him. Having Iago report the goings on between Desdemona and Cassio makes it even easier for Iago to poison Othellos mind with thoughts of jealousy. Even though Iago hinted to Othello about Desdemonas infidelity, Othello still thought himself a man who was not to be self-deceived: Othello. Ill see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove; And on the proof, there is no more but this Away at once with love or jealousy. (3. 3. 204-206) This is, of course, ironic because as Othello later finds out, it is not easy to make a choice between love and jealousy.

Othello being the kind of leader who judges by facts tells Iago to Give me the ocular proof, (3. 3. 376) of his wifes infidelity. Othello has another Hamartia in that he has a blind, unrealistic love for his wife, Desdemona. He is a man who loved excessively but loved not wisely (5. 2. 554). Throughout the play Othello professes his love to Desdemona. One such event is when Othello says, O my souls joy! / If after every tempest come such calms. (2. 1. 177-178) This passage shows that Othello is pleased and calmed by his wife and his love for his wife.

Just a few lines later Othello exults, If it were now to die, / Twere now to be most happy (2. 1. 182-183) showing that if he were to die now his soul would be happy. Then again in Act III Scene III, obviously the most important scene in the play, Othello lets Desdemona know that I will deny thee nothing. (3. 3. 91) By this Othello is letting Desdemona know that there is nothing he wouldnt do for her. Being such a becalmed man due to his marriage to Desdemona, Othello, in the garden of the citadel, yells to Desdemona from a distance: Othello. Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul

But I do love thee! And when I love thee not, Chaos is come again. (3. 3. 98-100) This passage gives some foreshadowing because chaos does come again into Othellos life. At the end of the play when Othello does kill Desdemona, and he learns the truth about her, he says, I kissed thee ere I killed the. No way but this, / Killing myself, to die upon a kiss. (5. 2. 369-370) He shows everyone that he truly did love his wife even in death. The last, but not the least important, hamartia that Othello has is trusting others too easily, and not being able to trust the right person.

Othello has a terrible time trying to choose whether to believe Iago and his wife, Desdemona. Othello needs to trust his wife even to the point that he cries out, If she be false, O, the heaven mocks itself! / Ill not believe t(3. 3. 278-279) Othello has a hard time trusting anyone other than military men because he knows little of this great worldmore than pertains to feats of broils and battle. (1. 3. 88-89)

The one thing that seems certain to him is Iagos friendship: O brave Iago, honest and just. (5. 1. ) In the end, Othello trusts Iago, his ensign, who has been with him in war which is a bad decision because later he finds out that everything he thought true was just a lot of lies put together by Iago. Hamartias, flaws of the tragic hero, are an essential part of tragedies. Othello, plagued by hamartias, is doomed from the beginning of the play. His flaws of self-deception, blind love, jealousy, and trusting others too easily are what eventually kill him and his wife. Even though these flaws were brought to life with the aide of Iago, it truly is Othello who is at fault for loosing everything he had even his life.

Shakespeares novel Othello

In all of Shakespeares great novels there are many experiences, tragic or otherwise that one can learn from. Shakespeares novel Othello is not an exception this rule. Throughout Othello there are many examples of mistakes made by the characters that a reader can learn from. Learning from the flaws of others is one way that one can learn form Shakespeares Othello. In the novel Othello there are many of these flaws throughout the story. There are many ways one can learn from the novel Othello. The major theme throughout Othello is that a man named Othello has made the mistake of letting his emotions get in the way of his reasoning.

In the novel the main character Othello is a intelligent, well educated, worldly man that should not have let his emotions get the best of him. This is one example of a learning experience that is brought up in Othello that illustrates how one should not let emotions overpower reasoning. The theme throughout Othello seems to be that the wise Othello has let his emotions get the best of him. A character named Iago has stirred up Othellos emotions. Iago was shown throughout the novel telling Othello lies about his wife and friends.

Othello started to see this as the truth. Othello was seemingly brain washed by Iago, into believing that his wife was unfaithful and his friends had betrayed him. This is another example of a learning experience that was brought forth in the novel Othello. The tragic flaw that Othello possessed was the combination of these two flaws. This is what Shakespeare seems to express as the most important moral experience that occurred in Othello. The combination of emotions such as jealousy and distrust made Othello make harsh decisions based purely on emotion.

These emotions were brought on by the character Iago forcing his lies on to Othello. Shakespeare shows through these experience not just Othellos flaws but one of mans own tragic flaws. Another less major flaw that was Shakespeare brought forward in his novel Othello was the issue of rushing into things. Othello and Desdemona rushing into marriage illustrate this. This again is an example of emotion. The act of eloping seems to be done when the two are in the heat of passion. Again Othello has let his emotions get the best of him.

In Shakespeares Othello, there are many examples of mistakes made because of raw emotions. Othello has many faults that are shown throughout the course of the novel. Although Othello seems to have many of these faults his major fault is that he lets his emotions get the best of him. Shakespeare explores the way that emotions get the best of people in his play. The major learning experienced throughout the play is that one must control ones emotions. Shakespeare shows that even a seemingly great man such as Othello can let emotions dictate what he is going to do. This is what one can learn from Othello.

The tragedy MacBeth

Everyone who is mortal has at least one flaw. Some are more serious than others. For example, some people have addictions to gambling, while other people can’t remember to put the milk away after they use it. After a while  though, a person’s flaws come back to haunt them. The tragedy MacBeth is no exception to this. In it, many of the character’s die. And the reason is that they have a flaw, that would eventually lead to their downfall. Not every character is deserving of his fate though. Some characters have a minor flaw, which shouldn’t lead to their death.

But other’s have a major flaw, which is would eventually lead them to their death anyway. The first Thane of Cawdor, is killed by MacBeth for trying to lead a revolution against England. His fatal flaw was that he was according to Ross, “a disloyal traitor”. The thane of Cawdor was greedy, and wanted the throne of England for himself, and as a result was murdered. But his murder wasn’t really disheartening, because the Thane of Cawdor, deserved his fate. He was leading a battle, in which many lost their lives, for the sake of greed, and deserved to die because of his flaw.

Duncan was the King of England, and was murdered by MacBeth. He was murdered, because in order for MacBeth to fulfill his plan and become king, Duncan would have to die. Duncan’s fatal flaw was that he was too trusting. For example, he thought that none of his friends could really be enemies. If Duncan was more careful about his safety at MacBeth’s castle, he may have had a chance to survive. But Duncan’s flaw, wasn’t something so horrible that he should die. Most people need to trust each other more, and just because one person did, he shouldn’t have to die.

MacBeth’s former best friend, Banquo was also killed by MacBeth. Banquo was killed, because he knew too much about the murder of Duncan. But that was not his fatal flaw. Banquo’s fatal flaw was that although he knew that MacBeth killed Duncan, he really didn’t do anything about it. There were many opportunities where Banquo could tell someone such as MacDuff what he thought about the murders. But Banquo didn’t deserve death, just because he didn’t act quickly in telling someone that MacBeth killed Duncan.

Banquo knew that if he said anything, no one would believe him, and he would be executed. Lady MacBeth is MacBeth’s wife. She is his coconspirator in killing Duncan. Although she helps MacBeth get the courage to commit the murder, she isn’t willing to do it herself. She uses the excuse that Duncan looked too much like her father. Unlike MacBeth though, it is harder for Lady MacBeth to live with the fact that she helped cause the murder of the king. And in the end, it makes her so crazy that she commits suicide. Whether or not Lady MacBeth deserved her fate is a tricky question.

Although she did encourage MacBeth to murder Duncan, she feels regret for her action. Also, she realized what she did was wrong. But in my opinion, she realized it a little too late, and Duncan was still dead so she did deserve her fate. MacBeth was the focus of the entire play, and that’s why it was named after him. All of the problems start when he murder’s Duncan. He commits the murder because of his fatal flaw, he is too ambitious. If he wasn’t so ambitious and determined to be king, then he would never have killed Duncan.

And if MacBeth didn’t kill Duncan none of the other characters would die. MacBeth deserved his fate more than any other characters in the play. He did many things wrong. First he killed Duncan, then he killed Banquo. After that, MacBeth killed MacDuff’s family. And worst of all, MacBeth disturbed the balance of nature. Also, MacBeth didn’t feel any remorse until he was faced with death. If MacBeth just waited for his time, he would have been king, and have had a chance to enjoy it. Every character that died in MacBeth had one fatal flaw.

The first Thane of Cawdor was a traitor. Duncan was too trusting. Banquo didn’t do anything about the knowledge he had. Lady MacBeth helped plot the murder of Duncan. And MacBeth, destroyed the natural order and harmony of nature. But not all of the characters who died deserved to die because of their flaws. Duncan shouldn’t have been punished for trusting someone, and Banquo would have said something, but was waiting for the right time or some physical evidence. But if MacBeth hadn’t been so ambitious, none of the problems that occurred would have.

The play Hamlet

In the first three acts of the play Hamlet, King Claudius go through a subtle, but defined change in character. Claudius role in the play begins as the newly corrinated king of Denmark. The former king, King Hamlet, was poisoned by his brother, Claudius, while he was asleep. Claudius, however, made it known to everyone that the king died of a snakebite in the garden, and thus no one knew of the murder that had just taken place making his murder the perfect crime. The only problem that Claudius must deal with now is his conscience.

After Claudius commits the deed of killing King Hamlet, he almost immediately arries Hamlet’s wife, Queen Gertrude. Claudius also gains a new son, his former nephew Hamlet, the son of King Hamlet. Young Hamlet is very displeased with his mother’s hasty marriage of Claudius and is angered by this incest. Hamlet has a deep attraction for his mother which goes beyond the traditional, mother-son relationship. At this point in the play, Hamlet does not know that Claudius has murdered his father, but he dislikes him anyway.

Claudius is not a bad king, which is demonstrated by his handling of the situation between Young Fortinbras and Denmark, but he is not extremely popular ith the people and has brought back the obnoxious custom of firing the cannons whenever the king takes a drink. Claudius’ conscience, here is non-existent. After the ghost of the dead King Hamlet tells Hamlet to avenge his murder, Hamlet has a reason to truly hate Claudius. From this point on in the play, there is definitely friction between the two.

When Claudius offers Hamlet the throne after he dies, Hamlet acts apathetic as if the rule of Denmark was, but a mere trifle. Hamlet enters a deep depression which the king and others, see as madness. First they think that Hamlet is ovesick over Polonius’ daughter, Ophelia, but after the king spies on Hamlet and Ophelia in conversation, he comes to the conclusion that Hamlet is mad, a threat to his rule, and must be sent to England to be executed. This is a sign of the king’s uneasiness over the mettle of Hamlet’s anger which is directed towards him.

The last thing that Claudius wants is for Hamlet to be unhappy with him, in fear that Hamlet will overthrow him, discover the murder, or possibly kill him. The king becomes increasingly nervous as time passes, making him a bit paranoid over Hamlet. By the beginning of Act III, Hamlet is almost ready to kill Claudius, but he still needs more proof that Claudius killed his father, and he also wants to put off the murder because he is a bit of a coward. Claudius is beginning to lose his composure.

Hamlet decides to set a trap for him in the form of a play. The subject of the play is the murder of a king by his brother who, in turn, marries the king’s wife. The plot of the play is strikingly similar to the circumstances of King Hamlet’s murder, which strikes a disharmonious chord in the conscience of Claudius. In the middle of the play during the urder scene, Claudius gets up and begs for the play to stop so that he can get some air. Hamlet is very angered by this because it confirms that Claudius did kill his father.

Later that night, Claudius prays to god to forgive him for his sins, but he is not ready to give up his new crown and his new wife. Guilt has begun to cloud over Claudius’ thoughts, and it will indeed drive him to the brink of insanity and beyond. Hamlet spies Claudius, praying with his back turned and on his knees, but he passes up the opportunity to kill the monarch with the excuse of not wanting to accidentally send Claudius to Heaven. The development of Claudius’ guilt is a gradual transformation.

This metamorphosis will come to a head later in the play. The guilt though, has already begun to affect the actions of Claudius in his everyday life, by transforming a normal night out to the theater into a devastating insight into his own life. Hamlet, although he does not know it, is a key instrument in bringing about Claudius’ guilt, and Gertrude is still a bit nervous about her marriage with Claudius. Claudius life, because of the murder, will never be the same because he cannot bear to live with his conscience. This flaw will be his downfall.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Contrast In Human Mentality

The Play: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, by William Shakespeare offers a wonderful contrast in human mentality. Shakespeare provides insight into man’s conflict with the rational versus the emotional characteristics of our behavior through his settings. The rational, logical side is represented by Athens, with its flourishing government and society. The wilder emotional side is represented by the fairy woods. Here things do not make sense, and mystical magic takes the place of human logic. Every impulse may be acted upon without and forethought to there outcome. The city of Athens represents the epitome of civilized man.

Ruled by the laws of man and kept in check by society’s own norms. The human struggle to suppress its unrestrained and irrational tendencies, still being undertaken today, discourages the civilized’ man from making rash and foolish actions. Thus every action should have a sound and logical purpose, based on the social norms. In the play, Egeus, the father of Hermia, has thoughtfully chosen what he considers an acceptable mate to wed his daughter. Egeus most likely based his decision on economic, political, and social factors in his choosing of Demetrius. He is making a reasonable decision based on Hermia’s future in their ociety.

Unfortunately Hermia is smitten by Lysander and vice versa. Although her father may have made his decision with every good intension, keeping with the traditional customs of his day, and even perhaps taking into consideration such things as attractiveness, he failed to foresee the desires of his daughter. The young Lysander, who like most young men, cares little for the rules of society, is willing to break tradition and flee Athens to obtain Hermia. Therefore they must leave the rational Athens to enjoy their irrational love. Theseus, the king of Athens, is the highest symbol of law and order in his kingdom.

After winning a war with another kingdom, he chooses to marry their queen, Hippolyta. His decision may very well have been inspired by love, but the political ramifications of their marriage is a more plausible rationale. In fact Theseus’ apparent love for Hippolyta seems almost as an added reward to an already beneficial partnership. Whether any attraction was there or not probably would not have made a difference. As king, Theseus must place the kingdom before his own feelings. It simply comes with the position. In short Athens represents the desire to suppress feelings and impulses and to make decisions based on logic.

Thus it does not give the power of raw emotion the true respect it requires, for man is both emotional and rational. Love never has, and never will, be predictable. The fairy world represents man’s undisciplined emotional quality. Here the laws of man do not apply and things simply need not make sense. Attributes like adventure, romance, fear, foolishness, and mockery are all things suppressed by Athens and welcomed by the fairy woods. The fairies respect the untamed heart and they understand the power love holds. These creatures embrace the unruly craziness that passion brings, they live for the moment and are pure t heart.

Along with love and passion the fairy world is also susceptible to other emotions running wild. Jealousy, anger, and humor at the expense of others are all abound here. Oberon, king of the fairies, is the quintessential symbol of human impulsiveness. He obviously loves his queen, Titania, very much and is instantly jealous of her love for a indian child. He rashly devises a plan to snatch up the child for himself and at the same time have a little amusement at Titania expense. His plan is to cast a magic spell over her with a love flower’ causing her to fall in love with the first person, or creature, she sees.

There is no rational reason for Oberon’s actions, for jealousy is irrationality at it’s most basic level. Robin Goodfellow, or puck, is Oberon’s fairy servant, and perhaps the most irrational person in the play. He is the essence of wild and untamed foolishness. He pleases himself by performing his fairy magic on unsuspecting travelers, and simply devotes his time to mischief. He is the one that Oberon entrusts with his plan to inflict Titania with the love spell, and also gives him an extra chore as a bonus. This ends up to be a disastrous, yet entertaining event.

Shakespeare successfully contrasts the duality of man’s nature by using wo settings with opposite characteristics. Whether this was the entire purpose of the play is doubtful, but is remains an interesting and well paralleled feature. The people of Athens, struggling to understand the illogical fairy world, and at the same time exhibiting the same behavior. Perhaps Shakespeare seeing the era of logic and reason obtaining new highs, wished to remind us all of our other side. The emotional quality of mankind may get him into trouble, but it is also what makes life so thrilling and bearable. Like the ying-yang, one cannot live without the other.

The trial scene in the Merchant of Venice

The trial scene in the Merchant of Venice is the climax of the play as Shylock has taken Antonio to court, as he has not paid back the money he borrowed. Shylock wants the pound of flesh that is the forfeit of the bond concerning the money Antonio borrowed from him. Shylock’s main motivation for wanting this forfeit is as his daughter has stolen his money and run away, he is taking out his spite on Antonio and this blinds him as he does not watch what he is getting into during this scene

From the point where Shylock enters the courtroom everyone opposing him is appealing for mercy for Antonio and this is what the scene demonstrates, a need for mercy. Portia says shortly after she has entered the scene ‘Then the Jew must be merciful’ she is not saying that this is what the law says he must be, but that he should do this because it is the only thing he can do morally. The mercy theme runs all the way through the scene and many opportunities were offered by the Duke, Bassanio and Portia for Shylock to take the moral course of action, but he constantly refuses saying he should get what he deserves not by moral justice but by the law.

Shylock does have the right to the forfeit of his bond and it is Antonio’s fault that he is in this situation because he signed the bond of his own free will. He knew the consequences if he couldn’t pay it back as Shylock made it clear from the start. This is shown by when at the start of the court scene when he says ‘Make no more offers use no farther means, but with all brief and plain conveniency let me have judgement, and the Jew his will’. When he didn’t pay Shylock the money he owed him, Shylock had a right to Antonio’s forfeit by law. The problem was he didn’t choose the moral path where he probably could have gotten a lot of money and become a very rich man, but chose the forfeit out of spite over his daughter.

This theme is also repeated through the scene that Shylock deserves his justice by the letter of the law and the forfeit of his bond. This is shown when he says phrases like ‘My deeds upon my head I crave the law, the penalty and forfeit of my bond’. Portia lets Shylock have the chance to take the moral path or the letter of his bond and Shylock chooses to have his pound of flesh. Shylock does not realise he is being played into a trap as he is blinded by spite, so by choosing the forfeit of the bond he is also choosing execution or to have all of his estate forfeit by the letter of the law he so craved. This means Shylock has been tricked into choosing a certain course of action and he did not know of the consequences until after his decision.

Portia plays on this drawing him further and further towards the inevitable knowing he is stumbling blinded by spite towards a consequence that he is not expecting. This is the point when the balance of power in the trial changes. Portia has an obvious knowledge of the law as she is using it to trap him, Shylock has no representation and obviously has little knowledge of the law as he puts up little argument.

This results in an ironical justice. Portia after Shylock has chosen his course of action informs him of the consequences, she says ‘If thou dost shed one drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods are by the laws of Venice confiscate unto the state of Venice’. Antonio receives his moral justice and Shylock is shown little mercy by the letter of the law that he demanded for himself. As Shylock refused to show mercy to Antonio when he had power over him, he is shown the same treatment and apparantly gets what he deserved as he is shown no mercy.

Shylock tries to go back and get the money he earlier refused to take but Portia stops him by saying ‘The Jew shall have all justice, he shall have nothing but the penalty.’ It is shown to the reader that Shylock gets what is due as the play is written in favour of Christianity, and so all sympathy is lost for Shylock. This is because of the way he is taking his anger out on Antonio, because of his daughter stealing his money and running away. Also he doesn’t care that his daughter has run away only that she has stolen his money.

This demonstrates a prejudice towards him as a Jew and so none of his characters like him because of his religion and one of the consequences of the course of action he has chosen is that he is forced to become Christian.

In the end the reader is shown that justice is carried out as Antonio and Bassanio are good Christian people and so good has triumphed over the immoral Jew, Shylock.

Shakespeares Antony and Cleopatra

Nature, described as mysterious and secretive, is a recurrent theme throughout Shakespeares Antony and Cleopatra. Cleopatra, the ill-fated queen of Egypt, is both mysterious and secretive, and her emotional power is above and beyond natures great strength. Whether described in a positive or in a negative manner, both nature and Cleopatra are described as being great natural forces. Throughout the first act, the two are compared and contrasted by various characters in the play.

The first act, set in Alexandria, Egypt, sets the stage for the play and presents the majority of the actors. Scene two introduces one of the major themes of the play, Nature. This raunchy, innuendo- filled scene has two of Cleopatras close friends and one of Antonys discussing her and Antonys life. Charmian, one of Cleopatras best friends, Alexas, one of Cleopatras servants (as well as the link between her and Antony), Enobarbus, one of Antonys trusted Lieutenants, as well as a Soothsayers are all present and discussing their fortunes.

During this discussion, the Soothsayer states, In Natures infinite book of secrecy/ A little I can read (I. ii. 10-11). The Soothsayer explains to the others that there is little she can do outside of not only her powers, but also what nature allows her to. One of the first references to nature and the mystery that revolves around it, this quote simply demonstrates how little power the people have over something as great as nature. Nature and the elements surrounding it are simply a mystery to the people of Rome.

In his discussion with his commanding Lieutenant, Enobarbus refers to Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt and Antonys soon-to- be lover, as a great natural force that is above natures powers. In the second scene of the first act, Antony states, She is cunning past mans thought (I. ii. 145). This statement is then followed by Enobarbus statement about Cleopatra: her passions are made of noth/ing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot call her /winds and waters sighs and tears; they are greater /storms and tempests than almanacs can re- port.

This/ cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a showr of /rain as well as Jove (I. ii. 146-151). In this quote, Enobarbus shows great respect and admiration towards Cleopatra. Not only does he defend her from Antonys statement, but lso he regards her with such high esteem that he compares her to Jove, the ruler of the gods in charge of rain, thunder, and lightning. In the latter part of the play, Cleopatra affirms the claim made by Enobarbus stating that her powers are greater that natures.

In scene 13 of the third act, she states, Ah, dear, if I be so, / From my cold heart let heaven engender hail, / And poison it in the source, and the first stone/ Drop in my neck; (III. xiii. 158-161). In her discussion with Antony, Cleopatra is openly asserting her supernatural powers that she believes she has. Not only does she elieve she has supernatural powers, but she also believes that she is Egypt. Throughout the first act, various characters claim and make references to Cleopatra as being Egypt itself.

These claims are later affirmed several times towards the end of the play. In his discussion with Lepidus and Pompey, Antony states, The higher Nilus swells. / The more it promises, (pg. 56). In referring to Egypt and its conditions, Antony has made the comparison between Cleopatra and Egypt. In this quote, Antony states two things: That Egypt rises and falls along with Cleopatra, and Cleopatra is omparable to the nature of Egypt.

This statement not only makes the comparison between Cleopatra and Egypt, but by Antony obliviously stating that Cleopatra is Egypt, he reaffirms Cleopatras great natural strength. In Shakespeares Antony and Cleopatra, nature, the elements surrounding it and its mystery are continuously compared to Cleopatra. In several instances in the book, we see Cleopatras strength over Gods natural powers. Throughout the first act as well as in the latter acts of the novel, references are made to both nature and to Cleopatras powers over it.

Iagos Web of Deceit

Perhaps the most interesting and exotic character in the tragic play “Othello,” is “Honest” Iago. Through some carefully thought-out words and actions, Iago is able to manipulate others to do things in a way that benefits him and moves him closer toward his goals. He is the main driving force in this play, pushing Othello and everyone else towards their tragic end. Iago is not your ordinary villain. The role he plays is rather unique and complex, far from what one might expect. Iago is smart.

He is an expert judge of people and their characters and uses this to his advantage. For example, he knows Roderigo is in love with Desdemona and figures that he would do anything to have her as his own. Iago says about Roderigo, “Thus do I ever make my fool my purse. ” [Act I, Scene III, Line 426] By playing on his hopes, Iago is able to swindle money and jewels from Roderigo, making himself a substantial profit, while using Roderigo to forward his other goals. He also thinks quickly on his feet and is able to improvise whenever something unexpected occurs.

When Cassio takes hold of Desdemona’s hand before the arrival of the Moor Othello, Iago says, “With as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. ” [Act II, Scene I, Line 183] His cunning and craftiness make him a truly dastardly villain indeed. Being as smart as he is, Iago is quick to recognize the advantages of trust and uses it as a tool to forward his purposes. Throughout the story he is commonly known as, and commonly called, “Honest Iago. ”

He even says of himself, “As I am an honest man…. Act II, Scene III, Line 285] Iago is a master of abuse in this case turning people’s trust in him into tools to forward his own goals. He slowly poisons people’s thoughts, creating ideas in their heads without implicating himself. “And what’s he then that says I play the villain, when this advice is free I give, and honest,” [Act II, Scene III, Line 356] says Iago, the master of deception. And thus, people rarely stop to consider the possibility that old Iago could be deceiving them or manipulating them, after all, he is “Honest Iago. ” Iago makes a fool out of Roderigo.

In fact, the play starts out with Iago having already taken advantage of him. Roderigo remarks, “That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse as if the strings were thine. ” [Act I, Scene I, Line 2] Throughout the play, Iago leads Roderigo by the collar professing that he “hate(s) the Moor” [Act I, Scene III, Line 408] and telling Roderigo to “make money” [Act I, Scene III, Line 407] so that he can give gifts to Desdemona to win her over. During the whole play however, Iago is just taking those gifts that Roderigo intends for Desdemona and keeps them for himself.

Roderigo eventually starts to question Iago’s honesty, saying ” tis very scurvy, and begin to find myself fopped in it. ” [Act IV, Scene II, Line 225] When faced with this accusation, Iago simply offers that killing Cassio will aid his cause and Roderigo blindly falls for it, hook, line, and sinker. “I have no great devotion to the deed, and yet he has given me satisfying reason,” [Act V, Scene I, Line 9] says the fool Roderigo. And with this deed, Roderigo is lead to his death by the hands of none other than, “Honest Iago. ” Cassio, like Roderigo, follows Iago blindly, thinking the whole time that Iago is trying to help him.

And during this whole time, Iago is planning the demise of Cassio, his supposed friend. On the night of Cassio’s watch, Iago convinces him to take another drink, knowing very well that it will make him very drunk. Cassio just follows along, though he says, “I’ll do’t, but it dislikes me. ” [Act II, Scene III, Line 48] Iago is able to make him defy his own reasoning to take another drink! Crafty, is this Iago. When Roderigo follows through with the plan Iago has set on him, Cassio is made to look like an irresponsible fool, resulting in his termination as lieutenant.

After this incident, Iago sets another of his plans in motion by telling Cassio to beg Desdemona to help his cause, saying, “she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested. ” [Act II, Scene III, Line 340] And thus, Cassio is set on a dark path, which leads to trouble and mischief. Yet, Cassio follows it blindly telling Iago, “You advise me well. ” [Act II, Scene III, Line 346] With this, Cassio is eventually led into a trap where Roderigo maims him, and all that time, Iago – his friend – is behind it all.

Lowly Iago, is capable of anything – not even Othello is safe from this villain. Othello holds Iago to be his close friend and advisor. He believes Iago to be a person, “of exceeding honesty, [who] knows all qualities, with learned spirit of human dealings. ” [Act III, Scene III, Line 299] Yes, he does know all about human dealings, but no he is not honest. He uses the trust Othello puts in him to turn Othello eventually into a jealous man, who will go to great extremes to look for answers. Iago is an ingenious manipulator and villain who controls everyone around him.

The way he manipulates Cassio, Desdemona, Othello, and Roderigo is proof of this. His ability to intertwine his plots, play the characters off each other, and take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself shows his skill as a manipulator. Finally, Iagos attention to detail ensures his total control over his victims and solidifies him as a true villain. Only a truly great villain, who uses his brain, thinks through every possibility, and jumps upon every opportunity could have done what Iago did in Othello.

Othello – Male Characters

The four main characters in the play Othello represent four different character traits of manhood: Roderigo, the failure; Othello, the hero, yet the insane lover; Cassio, the noblemen; and Iago, the villain, yet the strongest character of the play.

Of these four characters Roderigo reveals the weakest character traits. Iago effortlessly profits from Roderigo’s deficiency in a intelligence, in fact Iago himself said he would not waste time and effort on “such a snipe”(I iii 387) except for “sport and profit.” Towards the end of the play Roderigo reveals some traits that might classify him as a man with a spine. He finally stands up to Iago and threatens to expose the conspiracy against Othello and Cassio, but ultimately his flaws overpower his virtuous traits and he is persuaded by Iago to kill Cassio instead.

Likewise, Othello is the tragic hero of the play but his character is also weak. Jealousy is Othello’s major downfall. He reveals his insecurities in the scene where he strikes Desdemona and calls her a “devil”. Similarly, in the brothel scene, Othello’s insecurities arise when he cruelly questions Desdemona. He condemns her as a “simple bawd” and a “whore”, which he has no real proof of. Iago also easily manipulates Othello, like Roderigo, throughout the play. Othello is naive. He demonstrates that a few well-placed suggestions can alter his train of thought, such as when Iago was talking to Cassio and made Othello believe that the lieutenant was speaking of Desdemona instead of Bianca. On the whole, Othello was a weak character and a naive man.

In contrast, Cassio’s character is strong. He spoke about Othello with dignity and grace, which no other character in the play does. Also, Cassio showed extreme loyalty to the Moor. Cassio’s only flaw is that he temporarily lost his power of reasoning when he was drunk and let himself be manipulated by Iago. All in all, Cassio is a good example of how a man should act; with dignity and honor.

Likewise, Iago’s character is also strong. He is an intelligent man as can seen in the soliloquy where he is hatching a plan to frame Cassio “to get his place “(I iii). In the soliloquy Iago’s intelligence is revealed in the statement “How, How? – To abuse Othello’s ear / That [Cassio] is too familiar with his wife.”(I iii 396-39). Iago used his intelligence to think of a plan to frame Cassio and bring down Othello at the same time. Iago is also a confident man. Throughout the soliloquy Iago is confident “That the moor …Will be tenderly led by the nose./ As asses are ” (I iii 401- 404) and will be easily manipulated. However, if Iago had used his good character traits for good he would have been the hero of the play instead of Othello.

On the whole, Shakespeare did an excellent job on setting the character traits for the male characters in the play: Roderigo was the “snipe”; Cassio, the noble gentleman; Othello, the fallen “noble Moor”; and Iago, the intelligent, confident and arrogant self-made villain. All the Characters in the play had some good traits but each of them had an appalling attribute that led to their downfall.

Macbeth As A Tragic Hero

Shakespeare uses many forms of imagery in his plays. Imagery, the art of making images, the products of imagination. In the play Macbeth Shakespeare applies the imagery of clothing, darkness and blood. Each detail in his imagery contains an important symbol of the play. These symbols need to be understood in order to interpret the entire play.

Within the play ‘Macbeth’ the imagery of clothing portrays that Macbeth is seeking to hide his ‘disgraceful self’; from his eyes and others. . Shakespeare wants to keep alive the contrast between the pitiful creature that Macbeth really is and the disguises he assumes to conceal the fact. Macbeth is constantly represented symbolically as the wearer of robes not belonging to him.

He is wearing an undeserved dignity, which is a point well made by the uses of clothing imagery. The description of the purpose of clothing in Macbeth is the fact that these garments are not his. Therefore, Macbeth is uncomfortable in them because he is continually conscious of the fact that they do not belong to him. In the following passage, the idea constantly reappears, Macbeth’s new honors sit ill upon him, like loose and badly fitting garments, belonging to someone else:

New honors come upon him
Like strange garments,
Cleave not to their mould
But with the aid of use (I, iii, 144-145)

This passage is clearly demonstrating that Macbeth cannot fit in these garments. They are not meant to and the clothing imagery is therefor effective.

The second form of imagery used to add to the atmosphere is the imagery of darkness. Macbeth, a Shakespearean tragedy contains and demonstrates the darkness in a tragedy. In the play, the design of the witches, the guilt in Macbeth’s soul and the darkness of the night establish the atmosphere. All of the remarkable scenes take place at night or in some dark spot, for instance; the vision of the dagger, the murder of Duncan, the murder of Banquo and Lady Macbeth’s sleep walking. Darkness symbolizes many things such as evil and death in the play. Thus is evident when Macbeth calls on night to come so that he can proceed with Duncan’s murder. Macbeth says:

Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not thee wound makes Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark (I, v, 51-53)

Macbeth calls on thick night to come cloaked in the blackest smoke so that it may not reveal or witness his evil deed and black desires.

Shakespeare uses blood imagery extensively in Macbeth. Blood can represent life, death and often injury. Shakespeare uses blood to represent treason, guilt, murder and death. Lady Macbeth shows the most vivid example of guilt with the use of the imagery of blood, in the scene that she walks in her sleep. She says:

Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One; two; why then ’tis time to do’t. Hell is murky! Fie, my Lord—fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who Knows it, when none can all out power to account? Yet who have thought the old man to have Had so much blood in him. (V, I, 34-39)

It is ironic that this is said, when right after the murder, when Macbeth was feeling guilty. She says: ‘A little water clears us of the deed.’; (II, ii, 67) It becomes very evident that she is having troubles with her guilt. Also through the blood Macbeth convinces himself to commit the crimes and continue to murder and deceit. This is demonstrated when the return of Banquo as a ghost feels that there is no choice of retracting from evil and so Macbeth says: ‘I am in blood stepp’d in so far, that, should I wade no more/ Returning were as tedious go o’er.’; (III, iv, 136-138) The blood sheds have have influenced Macbeth into thinking that there is no turning back and he must continue to murder and deceit.

Imagery plays a crucial role in developing of the plot. This is seen through the images of clothing, darkness and blood. Clothing in Macbeth is often compared to positions or ranks. Macbeth’s ambition caused him to strive to improve his social standing. Darkness establishes the evil parts of the play. Blood the most dominant image in the play brings a sense of guilt and violence to the tragedy. It leads Macbeth to continue his deceitful life. Shakespeare makes his use of imagery well known. Without imagery Macbeth may have lacked because imagery gives an effect on the play as a whole.

Macbeth’s five major acts

Macbeth consists of five major acts, each with a variation of scenes. The story tells of one man’s quest for dominance in the Scottish monarchy structure, and how his future becomes a twisted paradox that brings him nothing but trouble. In the first act, Macbeth is visited by two witches that tell him prophecies of the future. The tales tell of Macbeth becoming king, and Banquo founding a line of kings. Macbeth then becomes obsessed with finding a way of killing King Duncan. Later in the act, Macbeth is summoned by Duncan in congratulations of his battle victory.

The second act is one of, if not, the important acts in the play. Macbeth kills the king in his sleep as Lady Macbeth awaits him back in their quarters. When he comes back, he has blood on his hands. She urges him to wash them, as she puts the daggers near the grooms. When Macduff enters, everyone is alerted of the king’s death. The chase is afoot to find the killer. As the third act unfolds, Macbeth is now the proclaimed king. At a ceremonial banquet in his honor, Macbeth is tormented by his visions of Banquo. He plans to have Banquo and his son Fleance murdered.

The attempt is somewhat successful, as Banquo is killed but Fleance manages to escape. In the last few scenes of this act, Macbeth is plagued by the ghost of Banquo. People start to suspect something suspicious of Macbeth. The fourth act starts off, once again, with Macbeth visiting the witches. They tell him that he will not be harmed by a woman, and that he will not be vanquished until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Hill. Macbeth has Lady Macduff and her son killed. When Macduff learns about this news, he vows to kill Macbeth when he meets him on the field of battle.

He and Malcolm start to conjure up plans to invade Macbeth’s castle. The fifth act of Macbeth is the final chapter in this play. Lady Macbeth has been suffering from mental instability and sleepwalks around the castle. As Macbeth gets ready for battle, he learns that his wife has commited suicide (what a way to go). Life is now meaningless to him. It seems he wants to become a martyr. The battle begins, and Macbeth’s forces are severly weakened. Macbeth fights to the death and is finally killed by Macduff.

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Macbeth by William Shakespeare has three characters that appear to be the best developed. The first is Macbeth, the main character of the story. The second most developed character is Lady Macbeth, Macbeth’s wife. The third most well developed is Banquo, Macbeth’s friend. Banquo and Lady Macbeth play very important roles in Macbeth’s life. Macbeth is plagued with paranoia and a thirst for power. Macbeth fears that Banquo has discovered his unclean hands and he will turn him in. “Our fears in Banquo stick deep, and in his royalty of nature reigns that which would be feared.

Tis he much dares” (III, 3, 53-56) Macbeth knows that he could wipe out Banquo on his own, however he knows there would be obvious consequences for him. “And though I could with barefaced power sweep him from my sit and bid my will avouch it, yet I must not, for certain friends that are both his and mine” (III, 1, 134-137) In order for Macbeth to wipe out Banquo without suspicion, he schemes to have other men take care of the matter by convincing them that Banquo is at the heart of their problems.

“Know that it was he, in times past, which held you so under fortune, which you thought had been our innocent self. III, 1, 84-86) Macbeth’s desire for power is his downfall. The development of all three characters stems from the prophecies of the Weird Sisters about Macbeth and Banquo. Macbeth feels the need to murder Banquo because of his knowledge of the witches and their prophecies. “Were such things here that we do speak about? Or have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner” (I, 3, 86-88) As a result of the prophecies Banquo suspects Macbeth of murdering the king in order to take his place.

Thou hast it now King, Cawdor, Glamis, all as the weird women promised, and fear thou play’st most foully for’t” (III, 1, 1-3) Banquo believes that his children and not Macbeth’s will be successors to the throne; the thought of this moves Macbeth to murder. “But that I myself should be the root an father of many kingsMay they not be my oracles as well” (III, 1, 5-9) Banquo’s death is a result of his knowledge. Lady Macbeth is the rock for Macbeth. During Macbeth’s times of trouble she is the one to console him.

How now, my lord, why do you keep alone, of sorriest fancies your companions making, using those thoughts which should indeed have died with them they think on? Things without remedy should be without regard. What’s done is done. ” (III, 2, 10-15) Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are holding a dinner the night of Banquo’s murder, and Lady Macbeth tries to help Macbeth pull himself together for his guests after he has seen the ghost of Banquo and goes into a fit. “O, these flaws and starts, imposters to true fear, would well become a woman’s story at a winter’s fire, authorized by her grandam.

Shame itself! Why do you make such faces? When all is done you look on a stool. ” (III, 4, 76-81) When Lady Macbeth realizes that Macbeth cannot be calmed from his fit, she tries to cover him and hurries guests out. “I pray you, speak not. He grows worse and worse. Questions enrage him. At once, good night. Stand not upon the order of you going, but go at once” (III, 4, 144-147) Lady Macbeth complements Macbeth with her sanity in his state of insanity. William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is based on three characters that spin a story web around themselves.

These characters are Macbeth, the main character; Banquo, the friend turned enemy in the eyes of Macbeth; and Lady Macbeth, his wife and support. These characters are all developed in the fact that they all have some influence over the actions of Macbeth. Macbeth’s own insecurities drive him slowly toward insanity; Banquo drives Macbeth to murder him because of his knowing about the prophecies made by the weird sisters; Lady Macbeth tries to be the rock for her husband while dealing with her own unhappiness of being queen. As the characters develop, the plot thickens and the story advances.

Macbeth: Death and the Supernatural

Throughout William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, many characters evolve and many disappear into the background. The main character, Macbeth, travels through utter chaos when he proclaims himself monarch. When he first meets the witches of the supernatural, they tell him of the future. One of the themes amplified throughout the play is the circle of life, from the beginning to the end. The visions provided by the three witches begin Macbeth’s quest for dominance. The three main effects of this theme are: the death of Macbeth’s friends and family. Second, the deaths of his mortal enemies.

The last point is the death of himself. The supernatural amplifies the theme of death. From the first brief encounter of the witches, to the last nightmarish visions that Macbeth has, many close friends and relatives have died because of his visions with the supernatural. The death of his wife in Act V, Scene IV is the death that sends him over the abyss and into mental instability. Lady Macbeth is like a joined appendage to Macbeth. They work as one, communicate as one, and when that appendage is lost, so is MACBETH’s grip with reality. Lady Macbeth was the only person he could truly confide in.

The supernatural also had another key factor to her death. In the first act of the play, she calls on the powers of the supernatural to make her strong. The following quote, “Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty! make thick my blood, stop up the access and passage to remorse Come to my woman’s breasts, and take my milk for gall”, is possibly the most important passage that leads to Lady Macbeth’s death. She calls on the evil spirits to “unsex” her, and to replace her “milk” with “gall”.

It seems that she wants to be the most cruelest being in the world. The theme of the life cycle is amplified in this situation because of her request to the spirits. This event is the beginning of the end for Lady Macbeth’s life. She is the one who insists Macbeth should kill the king and reign as the king of Scotland. It is her ideas and plans that lead herself and Macbeth into the pits of hell. She is not solely to blame for this catastrophe though. It is Macbeth that decides to go forward with the plans. Throughout all the chaos in the remaining scenes of the play, she is eventually killed by one of Malcolm’s associates.

Therefore, it is her own foul play with the supernatural that leads to her death. This play shows how one man can turn himself into a barbarian just by one simple vision. Throughout this play, many of Macbeth’s enemies, and traitors (Banquo) are killed by Macbeth or his hired assassins. In the first vision provided by the witches, Macbeth seems himself as king of Scotland, and Banquo’s children future heirs to the throne. When Macbeth finally kills King Duncan, the turning point has vanished. There is no going back to the past and changing what has happened.

This event signals the gates of hell to unlatch the door that holds the chaos that will torment Macbeth to his own death. This regicide happens all because to path to what Macbeth thinks of freedom is open. After the Thane of Cawdor is executed, MACBETH believes that he can then crush his remaining enemies with one swift stroke. This is not so, as Macbeth finds. After he commits regicide, he realizes that he must kill all the enemies that oppose him, mainly Malcolm, the king’s heir to the throne. When Banquo sees through MACBETH’s falsehood, he then turns traitor.

When Macbeth realizes that one of his closest friends has become his mortal enemy, he sees to it that Banquo is murdered. Once again, these significant deaths on the timeline all happen because of the supernatural. The visions from the three witches, and the summonings of evil from Lady Macbeth are the two events that mainly lead to this path of destruction. The first paradox from the witches serves to confuse the reader into thinking what will happen to Banquo. Macbeth knows that he must become king of Scotland before Banquo or he will not fulfill his prophecy. All these events lead up to end, the murder of Macbeth himself.

From the very beginning of the play, Macbeth sees himself as a visionary, who can see into near future. Only after his wife is killed does he suddenly loose grip with reality. With this event, Macbeth can now be compared to as Adolf Hitler. Both loose their sanity after they loose something very dear to them. For Macbeth, it is his wife. For Hitler, it is world domination. After both of these figures loose these “possessions”, they suddenly go haywire. Although Hitler did not reign on the powers of the supernatural, he did go completely off the edge after the Allied forces started to invade Germany.

Both these figures made one horrible mistake. Macbeth listened to the prophecies and vowed to kill the king. When he committed regicide, that was his horrible mistake. That was when everything turned against him, and when he could never turn back. When Hitler invaded the U. S. S. R. in 1944-5, the Allies had a chance to conquer Germany. That single tactical error was what made him go over the edge. After both of these leaders go mad, they are killed in battle or commit suicide. Macbeth has a chance to flee at the end, but chooses not to and is slain in battle.

Hitler also has a chance to “run away” but he and his wife commit suicide by having his officers douse him with gasoline and set both of them on fire. Macbeth’s mistake, originally started by that one supernatural encounter with the three witches eventually leads to his demise. In conclusion, the use of the supernatural amplifies the cycle of life or the beginning of the end. Throughout each encounter that Macbeth has with a supernatural prophecy, he proceeds one more step towards insanity, and eventually his own death.

The death of his closest companion, Lady Macbeth, also brings him one more step towards his own death. In Macbeth, a pattern resides, where one death after another caused by the supernatural brings him closer to insanity and to his own death. In some spots, it looks like Macbeth needs to be told to put one foot in front of another. This tragic tale of one man’s cycle of life lead by the supernatural, also paints a vision of the beginning of his plunge into insanity. Macbeth’s first encounter with the three witches is truly the beginning of the end.

Psychoanalyzing Hamlet Essay

The mystery of Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a phantom of literary debate that has haunted readers throughout the centuries. Hamlet is a complete enigma; a puzzle scholars have tried to piece together since his introduction to the literary world. Throughout the course of Hamlet the reader is constantly striving to rationalize Hamlet’s odd behavior, mostly through the play’s written text. In doing so, many readers mistakenly draw their conclusions based on the surface content of Hamlet’s statements and actions.

When drawing into question Hamlet’s actions as well as his reasons for acting, many assume that Hamlet himself is fully aware of his own motives. This assumption in itself produces the very matter in question. Take for example Hamlet’s hesitation to kill the king. Hamlet believes that his desire to kill King Claudius is driven by his fathers’ demand for revenge. If this were true, Hamlet would kill Claudius the moment he has the chance, if not the moment he knows for sure that Claudius is guilty of murdering his father. Why does Hamlet hesitate? One must call into question what Hamlet holds to be true.

If Hamlet’s given motivation for killing the king is legitimate, then Claudius should die at about Act 3. Because Hamlet’s actions do not correspond with his given reasoning, one is forced to look for an alternate explanation for Hamlet’s behavior. In doing so, one will come to the conclusion that Hamlet is driven by forces other than what is obvious to the reader, as well as Hamlet himself. Given this example, one must denounce the assumption that Hamlet is aware of the forces that motivate him, and understand that Hamlet’s true motivation is unconscious This unconscious force is the true reason behind Hamlet’s mysterious behavior.

In naming this force, one must look beneath the surface of Hamlet’s own level of consciousness, and into what Hamlet himself is consciously unaware. The key to understanding Hamlet lies in the realization of the unconscious energy that provokes him to action and inaction. By channeling into Hamlet’s unconscious, providing both Freudian and Jungian psychoanalytical perspectives, Hamlet’s true unconscious motivation will be uncovered, and the mystery of Hamlet will be silenced. The term consciousness refers to “one’s awareness of internal and external stimuli.

The unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behavior. “(Weiten) Jung and Freud agree upon the existence of the unconscious, but their perspectives are vastly different. The core of the Freudian perspective is centered around Hamlet’s relationship with his mother, and the aforementioned example concerning Hamlet and King Claudius. According to the Freudian view, Hamlet is driven by unconscious sexual desire and aggravation.

This sexual aggression is directed towards his mother and Claudius. The overall analysis of Hamlet’s behavior is represented in Jones’ statement, “So far as I can see, there is no escape from the conclusion that the cause of Hamlet’s hesitancy lies in some unconscious source of repugnance to his task” When Hamlet first hears the ghost’s call for revenge, he answers: Haste me to know’t, that I with wings as swift As mediation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge. (Act I, Sc. 5) Hamlet says this in Act I, yet Claudius is not killed until Act 5.

Surely Hamlet is not “sweeping” to revenge. Hamlet’s inability to act upon the ghost’s request cannot be linked to any uncertainty of the ghost’s claims, for in Act 3 Sc. 2 Hamlet states “I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound”. A probable conclusion lies in the possibly that Hamlet does not want to kill the king. Take into consideration the relationship between Hamlet and his mother. According to Freud, all boys develop a sense of sexuality at the early age of three. Due to the mother’s proximity to the child, the boys sexuality is directed toward the mother.

The child then develops a hatred for the main opposition for his mother’s affection-his father. The stage of development where a boy falls in love with his mother and wants to kill his father is called the Oedipus Complex. Hamlet exhibits signs of a lingering Oedipus Complex. Oedipus complex disappears when the young boy realizes “the impossibility of fulfilling the sexual wish for the mother”(Hall) The main factor in making the young boys wish impossible is the father. When Hamlet’s father dies, his main opposition disappears. This poses an opportunity for Hamlet to achieve his boyhood dream-to “have” his mother.

As Jones states, “The association of the idea of sexuality with his mother, buried since infancy, can no longer be concealed from his consciousness. ” These feelings are what drive Hamlet to self-repulsion, and ultimately to the question “To be or not to be-that is the question”,(Act3 Sc. 2)where Hamlet questions the worth of his own life. Hamlet’s unconscious desire for his mother is, as Jones says “Stimulated to unconscious activity by someone usurping this place exactly as he had once longed to do” In seeing Claudius take his father’s place by Gertrude’s side, Hamlet unconsciously realizes his own childhood desire to do the same.

In Hamlet’s statement “O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets” (Act1 Sc. 2) , Hamlet reveals this realization. In his use of the word “incestuous” Hamlet projects his own feelings onto his mother and Claudius. Weiten defines Projection as : “Attributing one’s own thoughts, feelings, and motives to another” By calling the union between Claudius and his mother Gertrude “incestuous”, Hamlet informs the reader of his own imagined union with Gertrude; a union that would be “incestuous”. When Hamlet learns that Claudius killed his father, he cries “O my prophetic soul!

My uncle? “. Jones states “The two recent events, the father’s death and the mother’s second marriage, seemed to the world to have no inner casual relation to each other, but they represented ideas which in Hamlet’s unconscious fantasy had always been closely associated. ” These ideas found immediate expression in Hamlet’s cry. The murder of his father and the marriage of his mother are two concepts Hamlet has connected since boyhood, his “prophetic soul” anticipated Claudius being his father’s killer since Claudius had already married Gertrude.

Hamlet, having unconsciously recognized his sexual desire for his mother by seeing Claudius take the throne, realizes the other half of his lingering Oedipal complex in learning that Claudius killed his father. Claudius, by marrying Gertrude and killing Hamlet’s father, has done exactly what Hamlet has unconsciously longed to do since boyhood. As a result, Hamlet cannot kill Claudius, for Claudius in fact personifies Hamlet. This is the answer to the original question.

Hamlet hesitates to kill the king because “In reality his uncle incorporates the deepest and most buried part of his own personality, so that he cannot kill him without also killing himself”(Jones) Claudius represents Hamlet’s deepest and most secretive desires, and in killing Claudius, Hamlet would be forced to consciously recognize these desires. For this reason, Hamlet hesitates to grant the ghost’s call for revenge. Instead, Hamlet takes advantage of his dual with Laertes to produce the final solution-his own death, as well as the death of Claudius, his other self.

In the opposing view of the Jungian analyst, one would argue that there is much more to Hamlet than unconscious sexual aggression. Sex as a basis for all human behavior is simply too limited a concept; Jung claims that “there has to be more to it”. There are two forces that drive Hamlet. One is his anima, which is the “personification of the feminine nature of a man’s unconscious”(Platania). The second is Hamlet’s desire to reach individuation, which will be discussed later. In reference to the anima, Platania states that “we experience the opposite sex as the lost part of our own selves.

There is in each man a feminine side hidden beneath his masculinity. Ultimately, the anima seeks to gain balance by equaling out a man’s masculine and feminine tendencies. If there is good communication between the individual and the anima, balance can be achieved. But in Hamlet, as in most men, there is an inclination to ignore the voice of the anima. Hamlet is a victim to the age old belief that men cannot be in the least bit feminine. Because of this belief, Hamlet does not allow his feminine side to find conscious expression.

Within Hamlet, there is an unconscious battle between his anima, seeking an outlet for expression, and his conscious desire to be “masculine”. This battle is consciously expressed in the contrast between two of Hamlet’s sayings. In Act I Sc. 2 Hamlet says “frailty, thy name is woman! “, and in Act 2 Sc. 2 he says “what a piece of work is a man”. In contrast, these two statements show Hamlet degrading women-kind while uplifting man-kind. Hamlet is stating externally what is going on internally within his unconscious, namely his battle to repress femininity and promote masculinity.

One must assume that this battle between Hamlet’s anima and his masculinity is of great proportions, for in the process Hamlet develops a hatred for all femininity, namely women. This unconscious hatred is consciously expressed through Hamlet’s treatment of Ophelia. Hamlet at one point loves Ophelia, “I loved you once”(Act3 Sc. 1), but then suddenly loses this love, “You should not have believed me, I loved you not. ” Hamlet’s change of heart is a result of his unconscious inner battle.

While he naturally wants to fall in love with Ophelia, Hamlet’s urge to repress all femininity within himself is so great that he comes to hate the femininity in Ophelia as well. The struggle within Hamlet is proven to be unconscious by Hamlet’s constant change of heart, as signified when Hamlet says “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum”(Act 5 sc. 1) Hamlet wants to love Ophelia, but is torn between his love and his unconscious desire to hate all femininity. Besides his animus, Hamlet is motivated by his desire to achieve individuation.

Jung says of individuation, “I use the term ‘individuation’ to denote the process by which a person becomes an individual”. Hamlet’s entire life is a journey to becoming an individual. To become an individual, one must become consciously aware of one’s own strengths and limitations. The actual journey to becoming individualized is unconscious, for the individual in not aware that he is on a journey. It is only after the individual has reached individuation that he becomes conscious of all aspects of his character. Before Hamlet can reach individuation, he must first recognize the part of himself that he keeps from consciousness.

The side of Hamlet that Hamlet himself restrains from acknowledging is known as the Shadow self. Platania defines the shadow as “an unconscious part of the personality characterized by traits and attitudes which the conscious tends to reject or ignore. ” The emergence of Hamlet’s shadow self is manifested in his “madness”. While in his state of “madness”, Hamlet says some very honest things about himself such as “I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offenses at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in”(Act3 Sc. With this statement, Hamlet is acknowledging his shadow self; the parts of his character of which he is most ashamed.

Hamlet’s “madness” is the simple conscious recognition of the worst parts of his personality. In becoming consciously aware of his flaws, Hamlet is making the biggest step towards individuation. But remember, Hamlet at this point is still consciously unaware of his journey towards individuation. At this stage, Hamlet is not aware that he is on a journey, and is only semi-consciously aware of the worst parts of his character, and will not become fully aware until his journey is over.

Sadly, Hamlet does not make it to the end of his journey. Along the path to individuation Platania states that ” we split, we resist, we fly from the inevitable terror of our own personal death”. Perhaps this is the reason why Hamlet does not complete his journey. The realization of ones shadow self can be overwhelming, for with the acceptance of the shadow comes the “death” of one’s character. Hamlet does not reach individuation because he dies in his “madness”, having let his evil half tempt him into killing Polonius, Laertes, and Claudius.

Hamlet is not yet strong enough to recognize his shadow self, his “evil side”, and thus lets his darker half send him into death with blood on his hands. Provided both these Freudian and Jungian perspectives, two separate conclusions can be drawn concerning Hamlet’s unconscious motivation. The Freudian view would suggest that Hamlet is unconsciously inspired by repressed sexual desire and aggression. Hamlet, in witnessing King Claudius’ marriage of Gertrude, is reminded of his own boyhood fantasy to marry Gertrude. Likewise, Hamlet, in learning that Claudius killed his father, is reminded of own childhood fantasy to do the same.

The unconscious desires of Hamlet to kill his father and marry his mother is classified as the Oedipus Complex. Hamlet’s Oedipal complex is the reason for his self-reproach and loathing, finding expression due to the stimulation of his repressed desires. Hamlet comes to realize the duality between Claudius and himself, and therefore cannot bring himself to kill Claudius. In recognizing the similarities between himself and Claudius, Hamlet distinguishes the fact that Claudius is a part of his own personality, and that he cannot kill Claudius without killing himself.

As a result Hamlet’s only solution is to die along with Claudius. The Jungian view suggests that there is more to Hamlet than sexual desire. Hamlet is constantly trying to suppress his animus, the feminine side of his personality. In the struggle to do so, he develops an unconscious hatred for all femininity, as expressed in his relationship with Ophelia. The Jungian view also suggests that as a human being, Hamlet is on an unconscious spiritual quest towards individuation- the becoming of an individual. In order to become an individual, Hamlet must accept the darkest parts of his own personality, his Shadow self.

Hamlet’s supposed madness is a manifestation of the shadow self, in which Hamlet begins to accept his darker side. Yet Hamlet proves to be unready for the acceptance of his shadow self, and his dark half drives him to murder three characters, his step-father being one. Thus, by digging into Hamlet’s unconscious, his true unconscious motives have been unveiled. In overlooking the obvious, the true force behind Hamlet’s actions and inaction has been revealed, resulting in a final product that is an extensive comprehension of Hamlet’s character, and is, as Gertrude would say “more matter than art”.

Shakespeare Term Paper

William Shakespeare was an Englishman who wrote poems and plays. According to many he was labeled as one of the greatest dramatists the world has ever known and the finest poets who wrote in the English language. No other writers plays have been produced so many times or read so widely in so many countries (Wadsworth 342). On April 26, 1564, John Shakespeare and Mary Ardens son, William, was baptized at the Stratford Parish Church. No one knows for certain when his birthday was. However, since most baptisms take place three days after birth, Shakespeares alleged birthday is April 23.

He was the third of eight children (Biography. com). It was thought that young Shakespeare began attending a local grammar school at the age 7, in Stratford. He attended the school with other boys of his social class. Students spent nine hours a day in school and attended classes year round, except for brief holiday periods. In spite of his long hours spent in school, Shakespeares childhood was not likely boring. Stratford was a lively town, and for you William is could have been an exciting place to live (www. gale. com/freresrc/poets_cn/shakebio. htm). William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway at the age of 18.

Anne was at least 8 years her husbands senior. The marriage record dates November 27, 1582 in an Episcopal register found in Worchester (Brown 45). The custom in Stratford after the eldest son married, was for the new couple to live in the house of the grooms father. In all likelihood, Shakespeare obeyed the customary procedure (Wright 24). Arden gave birth only 6 months after they were legally wed to Shakespeares first child, Susanna. Early in 1585, Anne gave birth to twins- a boy, Hamnet and a girl, Judith. Hamnet was only 11 years old when he died (Wadsworth 345).

Shakespeare lived in the Elizabethan Period in England, the time of Elizabeth Is reign. This time saw England emerge as the leading naval and commercial power of the Western World. England consolidated its position with the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and established the Church of England (www. gale. com/freresrc/poets_cn/shakebio. htm). England was characterized as a hierarchy and everyone lived under a strong feudal system (Singman 10). The quote by Thomas Nashe, 1593, sums up the system of rank: Unfortunate is the man who does not have someone to look down upon. (Davis 20). Queen Elizabeth was a fan of literature and theatre.

Her interest in the arts was great and possibly influenced Shakespeare, among others, in their choice of the arts as a career. She made certain that writers and actors were paid generous amounts for their efforts (Singman 39). In the Elizabethan Period, leisure was equally as important as work was. Elizabethan boys were schooled in Latin grammar, as well as mathematic and geographic studies. As schooling was, it was important that all people in society attended the theatre on a regular basis. Sports- such as fencing, hunting, and fishing, were popular. Another thing in the Elizabethan time was public festivals.

These displayed events such as jousting and live musical performance that included loud, obtrusive instruments to which spectators danced (Singman 150). The cultural environment was an extraordinary one for a great dramatist, such as Shakespeare, to be living in. Between 1585 and 1592, there was no account of a man named William Shakespeare. Typically referred to as the lost years. There were no records of his life. Some scholars believe he was living in London serving as an apprentice. Others believe he retreated and wrote under a fake name (Wadsworth 345). It is recognized that Shakespeare appeared in London in 1951.

After Shakespeare went to London, he joined an acting group. He had no experience. He was merely a performer (Wright 43). Shakespeare was an important part of a troupe called the Lord Chamberlains Men. He eventually became an honored senior member. (11) Writing plays soon became a demanding business. Companies were always looking for new material. With few new plays, companies began paying for the plays. Once a play was sold it became the property of the company. (44-45) Shakespeare wrote 37 plays. The plays were separated into three basic categories: comedy, tragedy, and history. (Wadsworth 342).

Shakespeares first extant play was The Comedy of Errors, in 1590. His first tragedy was Titus Androneus, written in 1593. When theatres closed during a plague from 1593-94, Shakespeare turned to poetry. His debut poem was Venus and Adonis, which he chased the following year with The Rape of Lucrece. From 1954 to 1608, Shakespeare was engulfed in the world of London theatre. He wrote an average of almost two plays per year for his company. Already, Shakespeare was ranked as Londons most popular playwright. By the late 1590s, he had not only become an established writer, but he had also gained prosperity.

In 1957, he bought New Palace, one of the two largest houses in Stratford (Wadsworth 351). His famous productions for Lord Chamberlains Men include The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Nights Dream. The Temptest is regarded as Shakespeares final production and farewell the arts. Following it, he retired to his hometown of Stratford c. 1610. It is here that he died, on the same date as his supposed birth, April 23,1616. He was buried in the chancel of Trinity Church in Stratford (Wadsworth 356). All together, he wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and 2 epic narrative poems.

The popularity today of Shakespeare is perhaps owed to two of his fellow actors. The two men gathered his plays and published them in a collected called The Folio Edition. Being as Shakespeare was uninterested in publication, without the efforts of these men, the plays would not have survived (Rabkin 18) Shakespeares entire life was committed to public theatre. With the quality of his plays, it is hard to believe that one could acquire such mastery with schooling no higher than grade school. (Rabkin 13) The legacy of the great dramatist, William Shakespeare still lives on.

Elizabethan Revenge in Hamlet

Hamlet is a play written by William Shakespeare that very closely follows the dramatic conventions of revenge in Elizabethan theater. All revenge tragedies originally stemmed from the Greeks, who wrote and performed the first plays. After the Greeks came Seneca who was very influential to all Elizabethan tragedy writers. Seneca who was Roman, basically set all of the ideas and the norms for all revenge play writers in the Renaissance era including William Shakespeare. The two most famous English revenge tragedies written in the Elizabethan era were Hamlet, written by Shakespeare and The Spanish Tragedy, written by Thomas Kyd.

These two plays used mostly all of the Elizabethan conventions for revenge tragedies in their plays. Hamlet especially incorporated all revenge conventions in one way or another, which truly made Hamlet a typical revenge play. Shakespeares Hamlet is one of many heroes of the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage who finds himself grievously wronged by a powerful figure, with no recourse to the law, and with a crime against his family to avenge. Seneca was among the greatest authors of classical tragedies and there was not one educated Elizabethan who was unaware of him or his plays.

There were certain stylistic and different strategically hought out devices that Elizabethan playwrights including Shakespeare learned and used from Senecas great tragedies. The five act structure, the appearance of some kind of ghost, the one line exchanges known as stichomythia, and Senecas use of long rhetorical speeches were all later used in tragedies by Elizabethan playwrights. Some of Senecas ideas were originally taken from the Greeks when the Romans conquered Greece, and with it they took home many Greek theatrical ideas.

Some of Senecas stories that originated from the Greeks like Agamemnon and Thyestes which dealt with bloody family histories and revenge captivated the Elizabethans. Senecas stories werent really written for performance purposes, so if English playwrights liked his ideas, they had to figure out a way to make the story theatrically workable, relevant and exciting to the Elizabethan audience who were very demanding. Senecas influence formed part of a developing tradition of tragedies whose plots hinge on political power, forbidden sexuality, family honor and private revenge.

There was no author who exercised a wider or deeper influence upon the Elizabethan mind or upon the Elizabethan form of tragedy than did Seneca. For the dramatists of Renaissance Italy, France and England, lassical tragedy meant only the ten Latin plays of Seneca and not Euripides, Aeschylus and Sophocles. Hamlet is certainly not much like any play of Senecas one can name, but Seneca is undoubtedly one of the effective ingredients in the emotional charge of Hamlet. Hamlet without Seneca is inconceivable.

During the time of Elizabethan theater, plays about tragedy and revenge were very common and a regular convention seemed to be formed on what aspects should be put into a typical revenge tragedy. In all revenge tragedies first and foremost, a crime is committed and for various reasons laws and justice cannot punish the crime so the ndividual who is the main character, goes through with the revenge in spite of everything. The main character then usually had a period of doubt , where he tries to decide whether or not to go through with the revenge, which usually involves tough and complex planning.

Other features that were typical were the appearance of a ghost, to get the revenger to go through with the deed. The revenger also usually had a very close relationship with the audience through soliloquies and asides. The original crime that will eventually be avenged is nearly always sexual or violent or both. The crime has been committed against family member of the revenger. The revenger places himself outside the normal moral order of things, and often becomes more isolated as the play progresses-an isolation which at its most extreme becomes madness.

The revenge must be the cause of a catastrophe and the beginning of the revenge must start immediately after the crisis. After the ghost persuades the revenger to commit his deed, a hesitation first occurs and then a delay by the avenger before killing the murderer, and his actual or acted out madness. The revenge must be taken out by the revenger or his trusted accomplices. The revenger and is accomplices may also die at the moment of success or even during the course of revenge. It should not be assumed that revenge plays parallel the moral expectations of the Elizabethan audience.

Church, State and the regular morals of people in that age did not accept revenge, instead they thought that revenge would simply not under any circumezces be tolerated no matter what the original deed was. It is repugnant on theological grounds, since Christian orthodoxy posits a world ordered by Divine Providence, in which revenge is a sin and a blasphemy, endangering the soul of the revenger. The revenger by taking law into is own hands was in turn completely going against the total political authority of the state.

People should therefore never think that revenge was expected by Elizabethan society. Although they loved to see it in plays, it was considered sinful and it was utterly condemned. The Spanish Tragedy written by Thomas Kyd was an excellent example of a revenge tragedy. With this play, Elizabethan theater received its first great revenge tragedy, and because of the success of this play, the dramatic form had to be imitated. The play was performed from 1587 to 1589 and it gave people an everlasting emembrance of the story of a father who avenges the murder of his son.

In this story, a man named Andrea is killed by Balthazar in the heat of battle. The death was considered by Elizabethan people as a fair one, therefore a problem occurred when Andreas ghost appeared to seek vengeance on its killer. Kyd seemed to have used this to parallel a ghost named Achilles in Senecas play Troades. Andreas ghost comes and tells his father, Hieronimo that he must seek revenge. Hieronimo does not know who killed his son but he goes to find out. During his investigation, he receives a letter saying that Lorenzo killed his on, but he doubts this so he runs to the king for justice.

Hieronimo importantly secures his legal rights before taking justice into his own hands. The madness scene comes into effect when Hieronimos wife, Usable goes mad, and Hieronimo is so stunned that his mind becomes once again unsettled. Finally Hieronimo decides to go through with the revenge, so he seeks out to murder Balthazar and Lorenzo, which he successfully does. Hieronimo becomes a blood thirsty maniac and when the king calls for his arrest, he commits suicide. As well as the fact that Elizabethan theater had its rules bout how a revenge tragedy had to be, so did Thomas Kyd.

He came up with the Kydian Formula to distinguish revenge tragedies from other plays. His first point was that the fundamental motive was revenge, and the revenge is aided by an accomplice who both commit suicide after the revenge is achieved. The ghost of the slain watches the revenge on the person who killed him. The revenger goes through justifiable hesitation before committing to revenge as a solution. Madness occurs due to the grieve of a loss. Intrigue is used against and by the revenger. There is bloody action and many deaths that occur throughout the entire play.

The accomplices on both sides are killed. The villain is full of villainous devices. The revenge is accomplished terribly and fittingly. The final point that Thomas Kyd made about his play was that minor characters are left to deal with the situation at the end of the play. The Spanish Tragedy follows these rules made by Kyd very closely, simply because Kyd developed these rules from the play. The fundamental motive was revenge because that was the central theme of the play. The ghost of Andrea sees his father kill the men who murdered Andrea originally.

Hieronimo hesitates first because he goes o the king and then he is faced with Isabellas madness which is caused by Andreas death. The play is filled with all kinds of bloody action and many people die throughout the course of the play. The accomplices in the play also all end up dead. Lorenzo who is the true villain, is full of all kinds of evil villainous devices. The revenge works out perfectly, in that both Lorenzo and Balthazar get murdered in the end by Hieronimo. The minor characters were left to clean up the mess of all of the deaths that occurred during the play.

The Spanish Tragedy also follows the conventions of Elizabethan theater very closely. The murder was committed and Hieronimo had to take justice into his own hands, because true justice just simply wasnt available. Hieronimo then delays his revenge for many different reasons that occur in the play. The ghost of Andrea appeared and guided Hieronimo to the direction of his killer. Also at the end of the play, both Hieronimo and his accomplices die after they were successful in committing the revenge. In Hamlet, Shakespeare follows regular convention for a large part of the play.

In the beginning, Shakespeare sets up the scene, having a ghost on a dark night. Everyone is working and something trange is happening in Denmark. It is as if Shakespeare is saying that some kind of foul play has been committed. This sets up for the major theme in the play which is of course revenge. The ghost appears to talk to Hamlet. It is quite obvious that the play had a gruesome, violent death and the sexual aspect of the play was clearly introduced when Claudius married Hamlets mother Gertrude.

The ghost tells Hamlet that he has been given the role of the person who will take revenge upon Claudius. Hamlet must now think of how to take revenge on Claudius, although he doesnt know what to do about it. He ponders his houghts for a long period of time, expecting to do the deed immediately, but instead he drags it on until the end of the play. Although what was important to note was that all tragic heroes of plays at that time delayed their actual revenge until the end of the play.

In most revenge plays, the revenger was often anonymous and well disguised, stalking the enemy about to be killed, but Hamlet started a battle of wits with Claudius by acting mad and calling it his antic disposition, although the whole thing was a ploy to get closer to Claudius to be able to avenge his fathers death more easily. The actic was a disadvantage in that it drew all attention upon himself. More importantly though it was an advantage that his antic disposition, isolated him from the rest of the court because of the people not paying attention to what he thought or did because of his craziness.

One important part of all revenge plays is that after the revenge is finally decided upon, the tragic hero delays the actual revenge until the end of the play. Hamlets delay of killing Claudius takes on three distinct stages. Firstly he had to prove that the ghost was actually telling the truth, and he did this by staging the play The Mousetrap at court. When Claudius stormed out in rage, Hamlet knew that he was guilty. The second stage was when Hamlet could have killed Claudius while he was confessing to god.

If Hamlet had done it here then Claudius would have gone to heaven because he confessed while Hamlets father was in purgatory because he did not get the opportunity to confess. So Hamlet therefore decided not to murder Claudius at this point in the play. The third delay was the fact that he got side tracked. He accidentally killed Polonius which created a whole new problem with the fact that Laertes now wanted Hamlet dead. After he commit this murder he was also sent off and unable to see the king for another few weeks until he could finally do the job.

What makes Hamlet ezd out from many other revenge plays of the period is not that it rejects the conventions of its genre but that it both enacts and analyses them. It can be easily understood that Hamlet very closely follows the regular conventions for all Elizabethan tragedies. First Hamlet is faced with the fact that he has to avenge the murder of his father and since there is no fair justice available, he must take the law into his own hands. The ghost of his father appears to guide Hamlet to Claudius and inform Hamlet of the evil that Claudius has committed.

Then Hamlet coneztly delays his revenge and always finds a way to put it off until he finally does it in Act V, Scene 2. Hamlet at the same time continues to keep a close relationship with the audience with his seven main soliloquies including the famous, To be, or not to be… (Act 3 Scene 1). The play also consists of a mad scene where Ophelia has gone mad because her father Polonius had been killed and because Hamlet was sent off to England. The sexual aspect of the play was brought in when Claudius married Gertrude after he had dreadfully illed Old Hamlet and taken his throne.

Hamlet also follows almost every aspect of Thomas Kyds formula for a revenge tragedy. The only point that can be argued is that the accomplices on both sides were not killed because at the end of the play, Horatio was the only one to survive, although if it wasnt for Hamlet, Horatio would have commit suicide when he said, I am more an antique Roman than a Dane. Heres some liquor left. (Act V Scene 2, 346-347). If Horatio had killed himself, then Hamlet would have followed the Kydian formula as well as the regular conventions for Elizabethan revenge tragedy.

Hamlet is definitely a great example of a typical revenge tragedy of the Elizabethan theater era. It followed every convention required to classify it as a revenge play quite perfectly. Hamlet is definitely one of the greatest revenge stories ever written and it was all influenced first by Sophocles, Euripides and other Greeks, and then more importantly by Seneca. Hamlet as well as The Spanish Tragedy tackled and conquered all areas that were required for the consummation of a great revenge tragedy. Revenge although thought to be unlawful and against the Church was absolutely adored by all Elizabethan people.

The Elizabethan audience always insisted on seeing eventual justice, and one who stained his hands with blood had to pay the penalty. That no revenger, no matter how just, ever wholly escapes the penalty for shedding blood, even in error. This was also a very important point that was also dealt with brilliantly by Shakespeare in finding a way to kill Hamlet justly even though he was required to kill Claudius. Hamlet was written with the mighty pen of Shakespeare who once again shows people that he can conjure up any play and make it one of the greatest of all time. Hamlet was one of the greatest of all time.

Life of William Shakespeare

Around 1568, a group of actors visited Stratford and put on a play before the entire town, with permission from John Shakespeare, the mayor of the town. The people loved the play, especially the small children. All of them looked up to the actors, as they returned each year to perform different plays. They had dreams of one day becoming actors, but only one of these children fulfilled this dream. This child was the mayor’s son, William Shakespeare. At this time, actors in England usually spent their careers traveling to new towns, performing plays at city buildings or local inns.

However, with the help of James Burbage, this all changed. James Burbage designed and built the first theatre in England. The actors could then settle down in one place and perform in a place built for plays. The theatre was a huge success, and many more began popping up over England, but this theatre built by James Burbage was forever known as The Theatre. The layout of the stage consisted of five levels. The lowest level was for trap doors built into the stage. The next level was the main stage, where the actors did most of their performing.

Above this was the balcony level, which could be sed to represent anything from a city wall to a mountain. The next level contained pulleys which could raise or lower anything from above. The top level was used for creating sounds of rain or thunder, or dropping important objects from the sky. William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway at age 18. In two years, they had three children, a daughter named Susanna, and twins, Hamnet and Judith. He didn’t stay in Stratford long after this though. He left his family to pursue a career as an actor in London. Shakespeare wrote his first play in 1592.

It was a historical play called Henry VI, which was one of the biggest successes of the year. Some scholars criticized him because he did not have a university education like most playwrites, but probably the only reason he was criticized for this was because his play was so popular. After the success of his historical play, he wrote a tragedy called Titus Andronicus, and then The Comedy of Errors, a humorous comedy. Not many playwrites wrote so many different types of plays in so short a time, but Shakespeare was certainly not like any other English playwrite.

Very early in Shakespeare’s career, however, many theatres closed due to the lague in England, and playwrites were not in high demand. Shakespeare then turned to another type of writing and wrote a narrative poem entitled Venus and Adonis. This was a huge success and he received praise for it by the scholars who gave him no respect as a playwrite. His next poem was called Lucrece, which was just as successful as his first. In spite of his success as a poet, he gave up poetry after Lucrece was published. He joined Lord Chamberlain’s Acting Company in 1594, and for the rest of his career, he only wrote plays for this company.

Other actors in Shakespeare’s company included Will Kempe, the most popular comic of his time, and Richard Burbage, son of James Burbage, the designer of The Theatre. Other important members of the company were John Heminges, who was their permanent business manager, and Henry Condell, another actor in the company. These two men later published the first complete edition of Shakespeare’s play, after Shakespeare’s death. Shakespeare wrote many plays which were adaptations of earlier plots. Some of these include King John, The Taming of The Shrew, and Romeo and Juliet.

Some said he could turn a flat, one-sided plot into a masterpiece. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare mixes the humor of Mercutio and Juliet’s nurse into a serious tragedy. Not many playwrites of this time mixed comedy with tragedy, but he did this because the two elements combine in real life and he felt they were free to combine in his plays. None of the critics who had praised his poems ever mentioned his plays. However, he was singled out by Francis Meres, a London writer. Meres stated, “Shakespeare among the English is the most excellent in both kinds of the stage.

Meres was not a distinguished literary critic, but he reassured the middle class readers who were already fans of Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s acting company was doing what no other acting company had ever done. Usually acting companies bought plays from writers, and the writer had no further input in the production of the play. However, Shakespeare wrote, produced, and sometimes even acted in his own plays. He helped design costumes and props for the play, so it was presented exactly as he intended. Although times were bad in England, and the company struggled with money, Queen

Elizabeth supported the actors, and they were always able to make money. However, a few years after the company was formed, The Theatre Richard Burbage had inherited from his father was in financial trouble. The lease on his land had expired, and the owner would not renew it. The company had to find a new place to perform their plays. Instead of finding another theatre, they decided to dismantle The Theatre and move it to a different location. Each member paid a part of the expenses, and each member received partial ownership of their new theatre, called The Globe.

They made The Globe the finest and by far the most emorable theatre in England. In the early days of The Globe, Shakespeare wrote three of his best romantic comedies: Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and Much Ado About Nothing. All are known for their highly improbable plots. Shakespeare, however, could make the characters in his plays so believable and human, that the plots seemed perfectly reasonable. After many comedies, Shakespeare wrote the Roman tragedy Julius Caesar. Although many stories had been done about Caesar, and the story was a legend in England, Shakespeare’s version surprised many people by it’s originality.

The lay centers around Marcus Brutus, Caesar’s friend, who eventually kills Caesar. It explores what drives a group of well-respected men to commit murder, and the events that take place afterwards. One of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, and one of the most praised plays of the English language is Hamlet. This melodrama centers around the main character, Hamlet, who had the great ability to express in words emotions that many people only slightly felt. This character won the crowd over quickly and it was an instant success. It received praise by many critics who weren’t fond f Shakespeare before this time.

Hamlet was published in 1603, the same year Queen Elizabeth died, ending the Elizabethan era. The new ruler was King James, who was as much of a fan of acting as Queen Elizabeth. In fact, one of the first things he did as the new ruler of England was make a list of the best actors in England and form an acting company. The new group was actually just Lord Chamberlain’s company with the edition of Lawrence Fletcher, King James’ favorite actor. This group of actors now were called the King’s Men. Shakespeare’s next great tragedy was Othello, which was a tragedy of jealousy.

It is about a man who believes that his wife is unfaithful to him. This jealousy finally turns into rage and he kills her. After Othello, Shakespeare wrote Macbeth, a tragedy of ambition. This is about Macbeth and his wife, who believe that they can kill the King of Scotland and quietly take the throne. They find, however, that this murder leads to other murders and they are consumed with guilt. Macbeth would have been very controversial if it had been any other playwrite, but Shakespeare at this time could write whatever he wanted. He was thought of as the “Lord of Language”.

This, as well as his friendship ith King James, allowed him to conquer any topic without fear of being censored. In 1608, the King’s Men purchased a theatre at Blackfriars. They now had access to two theatres, and the people who couldn’t travel far enough to get to one, could visit the other. The Tempest, probably the last play written by Shakespeare before his retirement, was a fairy tail. It contained many enchantments and spirits, and a monster. By the time it opened in December of 1611 however, Shakespeare had retired from the King’s Men. After his retirement, he wrote only one play, Henry VIII.

The premiere of this lay was a huge event in England, and many people crowded into The Globe to watch it. During the play however, a cannon which was used for effects misfired and caused a fire inside the theatre. No one was hurt, but The Globe was ruined. It had burned to the ground before anyone could stop it. Considering the success of the company, they were quick to rebuild The Globe. Shakespeare helped pay for the repairs, but he never gave the company another play. He died on April 23, 1616, in Stratford and was buried at a local church.

After Shakespeare’s death, Henry Condell and John Heminges published the first omplete edition of Shakespeare’s plays. This was the first time many of the plays were available to be read. Some plays were published before he died. They were done on cheap pamphlets and some didn’t even contain his name. Heminges and Condell, in fear of the plays being lost, decided to publish the plays instead of selling them to other acting companies. They probably lost a lot of money doing this, but they believed that their “friend and fellow” deserved the best. Ben Jonson summarized it best by stating, “He was not of an age, but for all time. “

Othello Conflict Essay

“I am not what I am. ” What is Iago? — as distinct from what he pretends to be — and what are his motives? In Shakespeare’s, Othello, the reader is presented the classic battle between the deceitful forces of evil and the innocence of good. It are these forces of evil that ultimately lead to the breakdown of Othello, a noble venetian moor, well-known by the people of Venice as a honourable soldier and a worthy leader. Othello’s breakdown results in the muder of his wife Desdemona. Desdemona is representative of the good in nature. Good can be defined as forgiving, honest, innocent and unsuspecting.

The evil ontained within Othello is by no means magical or mythical yet is represented by the character Iago. Iago is cunning, untrustworthy, selfish, and plotting. He uses these traits to his advantage by slowly planning his own triumph while watching the demise of others. It is this that is Iago’s motivation. The ultimate defeat of good by the wrath of evil. Not only is it in his own nature of evil that he suceeds but also in the weaknesses of the other characters. Iago uses the weaknesses of Othello, specifically jealousy and his devotion to things as they seem, to conquer his opposite in Desdemona.

From the start of the play, Iago’s scheming ability is shown when he convinces Roderigo to tell about Othello and Desdemonda’s elopement to Desdemona’s father, Brabantio. Confidentally Iago continues his plot successfully, making fools of others, and himself being rewarded. Except Roderigo, no one is aware of Iago’s plans. This is because Iago pretends to be an honest man loyal to his superiors. The fact that Othello himself views Iago as trustworthy and honest gives the evil within Iago a perfect unsuspecting victim for his schemes. The opportunity to get to Desdemona through Othello is one temptation that Iago cannot refuse.

He creates the impression that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio in order to stir the jealousy within Othello. It is this jealousy and the ignorance of Othello that lead to the downfall of Desdemona; the one truely good natured character in the play. As the play opens we are immediately introduced to the hostility of Iago against Othello. Iago has been appointed the position of servant to Othello instead of the more prestigous position of lieutenant. Michael Cassio has been appointed this position. Iago feels betrayed because he considers him self more qualified than Cassio to serve as lieutenant.

Iago then foreshadows his plans for Othello to Roderigo, “O, sir, content you. / I follow him to serve my turn upon him (Act I, Scene I)”. Iago already realizes that Othello thinks about him as an honest man. Roderigo is used by Iago as an apprentence and someone to do his “dirty” work. Roderigo is naively unsuspecting. As the play shifts from Venice to Cyprus there is an interesting contrast. Venice, a respectful and honourable town is overshadowed by the war torn villages of Cyprus. It could be said that Venice represents good or specfically Desdemona and that Cyprus represents evil in Iago.

Desdemona has been taken from her peacefullness and brought onto the grounds of evil. Iago commits his largest acts of deceit in Cyprus, fittingly considering the atmosphere. Ironically, the venetians feel the Turks are their only enemy while in fact Iago is in hindsight the one man who destroys their stable state. Act II Scene III shows Iago’s willing ability to manipulate characters in the play. Iago convinces Montano to inform Othello of Cassio’s weakness for alchohol hoping this would rouse disatisfaction by Othello. Iago when forced to tell the truth against another haracter does so very suspiciously.

He pretends not to offend Cassio when telling Othello of the fight Cassio was involved in, but Iago secretly wants the worst to become of Cassio’s situation without seeming responsible. Cassio is relieved of his duty as lieutenant. With Cassio no longer in the position of lieutenant, this gives Iago the opportunity to more effectively interact with and manipulate Othello. By controlling Othello, Iago would essentially control Desdemona. To reach Desdemona directly is unforseeable for Iago considering that Othello is superior to him. It is for this reason that Iago decides to exploit Othello.

If Iago can turn Othello against his own wife he will have defeated his opposition. Act III Scene III, is very important because it is the point in the play where Iago begins to establish his manipulation of Othello. Cassio feels that it is necessary to seek the help of Desdemona in order to regain his position of lieutenant and therefore meets with her to discuss this possibility. Iago and Othello enter the scene just after Cassio leaves, and Iago witfully trys to make it look like Cassio left because he does not want to be seen in the ourtship of Desdemona.

Iago sarcastically remarks : Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it That he would steal away so guilty-like, Seeing your coming. (Act III, Scene III) When Desdemona leaves, Iago takes the opportunity to strengthen Othello’s views of honesty and trust towards him by saying ironically, “Men should be what they seem; / Or those that be not, would they might seem none! ” (Act III, Scene III). This cleverness by Iago works upon one of the tragic flaws of Othello. Othello has a tendency to take eveything he sees and everything he is told at face value without questioning he circumstances.

Iago wonders why someone would pretend to be something they are not, while in fact that is the exact thing he represents. Finally, after hearing the exploits of Iago and witnessing the events surrounding Cassio, Othello for the first time is in conflict about what is the truth. This is the first stage of Iago’s scheme to control Othello. As Emilia becomes suspicious about Othello’s development of jealousy, Desdemona defends her husband by blaming herself for any harm done. This once again shows Desdemona’s compassion and willingness to sacrifice herself for her husband.

Othello begins to show his difficulty in maintaining his composure : Well, my good lady. O, hardness to dissemble — How do you, Desdemona? (Act III, Scene IV) Act IV, Scene I is a continuation of the anxiety and indifference Othello is under going. Iago takes advantage of this by being blunt with Othello about his wife Desdemona. Iago suggests that she is having sexual relations with other men, possibly Cassio, and continues on as if nothing has happened. This suggestions put Othello into a state of such emotional turmoil that he is lost in a trance. Iago’s control over

Othello is so strong now that he convinces him to consider getting rid of Desdemona and even suggests methods of killing her. Iago, so proud of his accomplishments of underhandedness : Work on. My med’cine works! Thus credulous fools are caught, And many worthy and chaste dames even thus, All guiltless, meet reproach. (Act IV, Scene I) Othello in this state commits his first act of violence against Desdemona by hitting her. This as a result of Desdemona’s mention of Cassio. This shows now Othello’s other tragic flaw. He made himself susceptable to Iago and the jealousy within him begins to lead to the demise of thers.

By his actions Othello has isolated himself from everyone except Iago. This gives Iago the perfect opportunity to complete his course of action. Iago does not tolerate any interference in his plans, and he first murders Roderigo before he can dispell the evil that Iago represents. Finally, Othello, so full of the lies told to him by Iago murders his wife. Desdemona, representative of goodness and heaven as a whole blames her death on herself and not Othello. Iago’s wife, Emilia, becomes the ultimate undoing of Iago. After revealing Iago’s plot to Othello, Iago kills her.

This is yet another vicious act to show the true evil Iago represents. Othello finally realizes after being fooled into murder : I look down towards his feet — but that’s a fable If that thou be’st a devil, I cannot kill thee. (Act V, Scene II) Iago says “I bleed, sir, but not killed”, this is the final statement by Iago himself that truely shows his belief in evil and that he truely thinks he is the devil. That is the destruction of all that is good. Hell over heaven and black over white. Iago, as a representation of evil, has one major motivational factor that leads him to ie, cheat, and commit crimes on other characters.

This motivation is the destruction of all that is good and the rise of evil. This contrast is represented between Iago and Desdemona. Desdemona is described frequently by other characters as “she is divine, the grace of heaven” (Act II, Scene I), while Iago in contrast is described as hellish after his plot is uncovered. Iago uses the other characters in the play to work specifically towards his goal. In this way, he can maintain his supposed unknowingness about the events going on and still work his scheming ways.

Iago’s schemes however at times seem to work unrealistically well which may or may not be a case of witchcraft or magic. Iago’s major mistake, ironically, is that he trusted his wife Emilia and found that she was not as trustworthy as he thought. Although not completely victorious at the conclusion of the play, Iago does successfully eliminate the one character representative of heaven, innocence, and honesty. Yet “remains the censure of this hellish villian” (Act V, Scene II). Finally, everything Iago pretended to be led to his demise : Honesty, Innocence, and Love.

Gulielmus filius Johannis Shakespeare

Ask anyone who Shakespeare was, and he or she will immediately rattle off at least three different plays that were required readings in English, not to mention a few blockbuster movies bearing his name. Many revere the works of Shakespeare as paramount in the world of literature, dedicating entire books, classes and festivals to the study and celebration of his work. Although the ancient language is a common stumbling block for even the most seasoned readers, his varied tales of love, hate, fear, betrayal, laughter, defeat and victory are just as fitting today as they were four hundred years ago. He is amazingly timeless.

Yet, while we might know what Shakespeare is, will we ever really know who Shakespeare was? Ah, theres the rub! Much about the Bard is a mystery to even the most scholarly enthusiasts. The hard facts that are actually known about him could fill one neatly handwritten page, but what is speculated and complete legend could fill volumes of books. So, what is fact and what is fiction? According to the little documentation that chronicles his life, Shakespeare was not even a true Shakespeare at all; he was born in April 1596 and entered in the baptismal record as Gulielmus filius Johannis Shakespeare.

Even his actual date of birth is somewhat of a mystery. While we do know that he was baptized on April 26th, 1564, there is no existing record of his birth date. We can assume that he was born on April 23rd judging by the customary three-day period that most families waited before baptizing their children, but this is only speculation. Since the records of the Stratford grammar school have not survived, we cannot prove that Shakespeare attended school. In all actuality, we have no evidence that he was even literate. His father had no educational training, so it is quite possible that he also lacked in schooling, but thats only guesswork.

The next piece of hard information that we come across in our search is a register entry showing a Wm. Shakspere being granted a license to marry Anne Whateley on November 27, 1582. The very next day this same register records a marriage bond issued to William Shakespeare and Anne Hathwey. Six months later Anne gave birth to their first child, daughter Susanna Shakespeare, and then in February 1585 she gave birth to twins, Hamnet and Judith. It is presumed that Shakespeare made it to London around 1595 to begin his career in the theatre, but the exact date is not known for sure.

Just as mysterious is his reason why he left his wife and children alone in Stratford. Sadly, Hamnet died in August of 1596, and from that point forward we have no more information regarding his family until 1616, the year of his death. There are enough legal documents and theatre records, though, to know that Shakespeare goes on to possess a generous amount of real estate, hold shares in an acting company that built the Globe Theatre, and become a principal player in the acting group The Kings Men (A Midsummer Nights Dream xxx-xxxi).

There are many theories and stories floating around that seem to fill in the gaping holes in his timeline, but since this information doesnt appear in a register or on a playbill, we dont know what is fact or fiction. On January 25th, 1616, Shakespeare signs his will in three places leaving the majority of his estate to his eldest daughter, Susanna, and his second-best bed to his wife (All Shakespeare). He died three months later on April 23rd, and was buried in Stratford, yet his name does not appear on the stone over his grave.

According the web site All Shakespeare, his supposed tombstone reads: Good friend for Iesus Sake forbeare To dig the dust encloased heare: Blest be ye man yt spares thes stones And curst be he yet moves my bones. It doesnt sound very Shakespearian, does it? Seven years after his death his collected plays were published as Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (the work now known as the First Folio) (Midsummer Nights Dream xxxii). Everything beyond this is myth and legend, which most certainly adds to the attraction of his works.

His brilliant writing can only be enhanced by the mystery surrounding his life. The question is, was it really his brilliant writing? Many theories exist regarding who the author really is, with over eighty Elizabethans put forward since the middle of the eighteenth century as the true Shakespeare, including Queen Elizabeth herself. Only four have merited serious consideration, though: Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, William Stanley (Sixth Earl of Derby), and Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford (Shakespeare-Oxford).

For the sake of space, (and personal preference), this paper will focus on the possibility of de Veres authorship, as well as the limitations on Shakespeares true authorship of the works. Contrasting the life of William Shakespeare, much is known about the life of Edward de Vere. He was born on April 12th, 1550 in Essex at Castle Hedingham as the 17th Earl of Oxford. As in Hamlet, his mother remarried in haste upon his fathers untimely death, making him ward of the court, and subsequently placed into the care of William Cecil (Lord Burghley), Lord Treasurer of England.

As a teenager a Latin scholar (whose English translation of Ovids Metamorphoses is the second most influential work for Shakespeare, next to the bible), tutored him. By the age of twenty, de Vere had received two masters degrees from Queens College in Cambridge, and studied law for three years at Grays Inn. Once Cecil could wield power over the young Earl of Oxford, he broke off a previous marriage contract and instead betrothed him to his daughter Anne for the political advancement of the Cecil clan. Although the marriage produced three surviving daughters, it was not a happy one; Anne died in 1588 (Shakespeare-Oxford).

De Vere is listed as the first among the poets of the Elizabethan period, and was also an active dramatist at the time. He maintained a band of tumblers as well as two theatre companies, Oxfords Boys and Oxfords Men, throughout the 1580s. He held an ardent interest in learning, and had 33 works of literature dedicated to him. He had a passion for travel, was a patron to the arts, and generally was a favorite in the court. In short, he was well educated and traveled, and had a strong knowledge of the inner workings of the court.

So far, he seems to be at least qualified to have written the works of Shakespeare. In the early 1590s de Vere met and married Elizabeth Trentham, one of the Queens maids of honor. In 1592 she bore their only child, Henry, who was heir to the earldom, but by this time he was deeply in debt and had lost all of his inherited estates. He died in June of 1604, and is presumably buried in buried in St. Augustines church, although there is also testimony that he lies buried in Westminster. So you ask, Why not the Shakespeare of Stratford? Why not just accept his authorship?

Its not so much what he we know about him that is troublesome, but its what we dont know about him that makes it difficult to believe he could be the author of some of the greatest works in the history of mankind. In the time when the plays and writings of Shakespeare were tremendously popular, not a single person in the Elizabethan age directly addresses the identity of Shakespeare. In an age of letters and letter writing, nobody we know of ever corresponded with Shakespeare, and in an age of books, no record, not even Shakespeares will, ever points to his owning or using a single book (Van Duyn).

His will, noted for its detailed disposition of his worldly possessions, there is no mention of manuscripts or anything of literary interest. Historys greatest manhunt has only netted six examples of the mans handwriting: all of the signatures on legal documents writing by other people, and all spelled in different ways. Incidentally, the first syllable in all of these signatures is spelled Shak, whereas the published plays and poems consistently spell the name Shake (Shakespeare-Oxford).

In 1920 Thomas Looney published a book titled Shakespeare Identified in Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, which was the first to identify the Earl of Oxford as the author of the works by William Shakespeare. From this book sparked a wildfire of debate surrounding the issue of authorship, creating passionate supporters on either side of the issue. The Oxfordians, as de Veres many supporters are known, have long ago established their own society and remain dedicate to the cause of proving his authorship.

In 1975, the Encyclopedia Britannica (15th edition) commented that, Edward de Vere became in the 20th century the strongest candidate proposed for the authorship of Shakespeares plays (Shakespeare-Oxford). This guy seems to be a contender. The evidence supporting the Earl of Oxford is arguably strong. Whomever wrote the varied works of Shakespeare had to be familiar with a enormous body of knowledge for his time, including such subjects as law, music, foreign languages, the classics, sports and aristocratic manners.

There is no documentation of Shakespeare of Stratford having access to such information (Shakespeare-Oxford). Also, when de Vere was a young man, he spent much time traveling, particularly in Italy, which could explain the great detail used in the Shakespearean plays of Venice, as well as other European locations outside of England. There are no records of the Queen ever granting passage to Shakespeare, or Shakespeare, for travels abroad. Extremely strong evidence in favor of the Oxfordian theory is the acutely accurate knowledge of the inner court circles, as well as the political dealings within the monarchy.

Throughout plays depicting royal families, such as King Richard and Hamlet, many inside conspiracies, jokes, and hidden knowledge of family disputes are riddled throughout the dialogues. These things were not common knowledge at the time, and only someone inside of the court could have been able to include it in the plays in such subtle ways. The true author must also have had intimate knowledge of some rare great works of literature. Works such as Venus and Adonis indicate not only knowledge of Goldings translation of Ovids Metamorphoses, but of the original as well, since Venus and Adonis translates many of Ovids lines omitted by Golding.

Heres the tie-in to de Vere: Arthur Golding was the Earl of Oxfords uncle and lived in the Cecil household during the time that de Vere was a ward of Cecils. Golding also dedicated two of his other translations to the 17th Earl of Oxford (Shakespeare-Oxford). During the period that one of Edward de Veres daughters was betrothed to marry the Earl of Southampton, Shakespeares epic poems, Venus and Adonis and Lucrece, first appeared bearing a dedication to the Earl of Southampton.

According to many scholars, Midsummer Nights Dream first graced the stage at another of de Veres daughters weddings (Van Duyn). In a 1589 book of poetry and poets, there is a mysterious reference to men of the court who have suffered it to be published without their own names to it and goes on to mention Edward de Vere as the best of these courtier poets if only his doings would be found out and made public with the rest. When Oxford passed away in 1604, King James had eight Shakespeare plays produced at court as a final tribute.

When his widow died nine years later, fourteen Shakespeare plays were produced in tribute. Then in 1623, when two brothers put Shakespeares First Folio together, one of the men happened to be de Veres son-in-law. There are also many similarities between the works of Shakespeare and the life of de Vere. For example, in 1573 de Vere and several of his friends would play pranks and tricks on travelers along the same road between Rochester and Gravesend where prince Hals companions from the Boars Head Tavern did likewise in Henry IV, Part 1.

As a side note, its interesting that the Vere family crest featured a boars head on it. ) Another more obvious example is the striking similarities between Hamlet and the actual life of the Earl of Oxford. Its practically an autobiography. Scholars have agreed that William Cecil inspired the character of Polonius, and the death of the King quickly followed by the Queens marriage reflects de Veres own parental circumstances. The similarities also exist in the Shakespearean Sonnets as well. In Sonnet 37 and 66 he speaks of a frustrating lameness, not once, but several times.

William Shakespeare may have been many things, but nowhere has it been documented that he was injured in a way that would have rendered him lame. On the other hand, de Vere was involved in a knife fight with a man named Knyvet who was seeking revenge on an illegitimately borne child by his cousin Ann Vavasour. The fight did produce a gaping wound on de Veres leg, and the illegitimate child created a temporary fall from the Queens grace and time served in the Tower of London. The most recent and compelling evidence that has been found supporting the Earl of Oxford lies in the studies of a graduate student Roger Stritmatter.

He has spent the last five years researching the Shakespeare authorship question, and in the process discovered de Veres hand-annotated copy of the bible. It contains more than a hundred verses marked by de Vere that are also recognized by scholars today as primary biblical references in Shakespeares work. For instance, In Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 3,hamlet states that He took my father grossly, full of bread. The words full of bread have long been recognized by scholars as a reference to Ezekiel chapter 16, verse 49. Over a span of over 300 verses in the book of Ezekiel, he marks only one: Ezekiel 16:49.

Another example is in King Henry IV, Part Two; the character Falstaff delivers the insult whoreson Achitophel! This is a direct reference to II Samuel 16:23, which de Vere underlined. In The Merry Wives of Windsor Falstaff brags, I fear not Goliath with a weavers beam. Not only is has de Vere marked the scriptural source; he also underlined the words weavers beam within the biblical verse (Van Duyn). Granted, quoting Jesus from the scriptures is not exactly remarkable, but these are not common scriptures- they are ones that are arcane.

Its beyond coincidence. Ironically, his bible was found in the great Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, and has been there since 1925. While it might be easy for many to accept Edward de Veres authorship of the Shakespearean works, the more difficult question to answer is why he wouldnt sign his own name to the works. Many theories exist regarding this, one of which is that the subject matter in his works (killing a king and queen, for example) made it necessary to distance the writer from the work.

Another is that it was unacceptable for courtiers to produce written works, so he paid Shakespeare to allow him to use his name on de Veres manuscripts. Sadly, this is a small but important fact that we will probably never know. But there again lies the beauty of the Shakespeare mystery. Although the subject of the true authorship of Shakespeares literature will probably never be laid to rest, it will always contribute to the enjoyment of studying his work.

Students of the subject are compelled to read and re-read the plays and sonnets in an attempt to gain a better understanding of who was holding the pen. Debates involving fact and fiction keep the name Shakespeare in constant movement, reminding us that we have not outgrown him, not even after four hundred years. The writing of Shakespeare, whomever Shakespeare is, is a gift for us to continue unwrapping, and pass down to our children to appreciate as well. One must hope that the mystery will never be solved, so that it may never lose its magic.

Macbeth and Metaphysics

The Three witches in the tragedy Macbeth are introduced right at the beginning of the play. They tell Macbeth three prophesies, he will be Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glams and King. These prophesies introduce him to ideas of greatness. Macbeth will eventually follow through on killing king Duncan. This brings into the play, idea of fate and the role with which it has in the play. The witches could foretell the future, they can add temptation, and influence Macbeth, but they can not control his destiny. Macbeth creates his own anguish when he is riven by his own sense of guilt.

This causes him to become insecure as to the reasons for his actions which in turn causes him to commit more murders. The witches offer great temptation, but it is in the end, each individuals decision to fall for the appeal, or to be strong enough to resist their captivation. The witches are only responsible for the introduction of these ideas and for further forming ideas in Macbeth head, but they are not responsible for his actions throughout the play. Lady Macbeth is shown early in the play as an ambitious woman with a single purpose.

She can manipulate Macbeth easily. This is shown in the line “That I may pour my spirits in thine ear”. (I,V, 26) Before the speech that Lady Macbeth gives in act one scene five, Macbeth is resolved not to go through with the killing of the king. However, Lady Macbeth says that it would be on his manliness and his bravery if he didnt. This then convinces Macbeth to commit regicide. Although Macbeth has the final say in whether or not to go through with the initial killing, he loves his wife and wants to make her happy.

She is the dominating individual in he relationship which is shown in her soliloquy, “This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou mightst not lose dues by rejoicing by being ignorant of what greatness is promised the. Lay it to thy heart, and Farewell. “(I, V, 7-10) Once Macbeth kills for the first time, he has no choice but to continue to cover up his wrong doings, or risk loosing everything he has worked so hard for. In the end, it all comes to Macbeth himself. Everyone is responsible for his own destiny. This is an essential theme in this tragedy.

Macbeth, chooses to gamble with his soul and when he does this, it is only him who chooses to lose it. He is responsible for anything he does and must take total accountability for his actions. Macbeth is the one who made the final decision to carry out his actions. He made these final decisions and continued with the killings to cover that of King Duncan. The killing of Duncan starts an unstoppable chain of events in the play that ends with the murder of Macbeth and the suicide of Lady Macbeth. In the beginning, Macbeth had all of the qualities of an honorable gentleman who could become anything.

This is all shattered when his spirit overrides his sense of honorability. Although Macbeth is warned as to the validity of the witches prophesies, he is tempted and refuses to listen to reason from Banquo. When the second set of prophesies Macbeth receives begin to show their faults Macbeth blames the witches for deceiving him with half truths. While the witches are not totally responsible for the actions of Macbeth, they are responsible for introducing the ideas to Macbeth which in turn fired up Macbeth’s ambition and led to a disastrous and unnecessary chain of events.

Othello: Importance Of Act I

William Shakespeare’s Othello is a tragic play consisting of five acts. Although each act is not of equal importance, each serves a distinct role that affects the quality of the play in its entirety. Removing any act would therefore greatly diminish the final product of this play; consequently, reducing the play’s appeal to the audience. Since Act I satisfies several essential purposes, removing it would be a mistake. Ultimately, we would no longer be seeing Othello the way Shakespeare had intended us to. First of all, Act I serves as an introduction.

As a result of Act I, we get a feel for the setting, the characters, and prior events that are required to thoroughly appreciate this play. Without receiving this vast amount of information, unfortunately the rest of the play does not have the same impact. For example, it is in Act I that we learn of Othello’s ethnic as well as military background. Although the Moor finds himself the target of racial comments, the impression we get of him, throughout Act I, is one of simplicity combined with dignity and honesty. In Scene I, we are also informed of Othello and Desdemona’s recent marriage.

The situation regarding Othello’s choice of lieutenant is another important event described in the first scene of Act I. Iago had attempted to bribe his way into this position, but Othello chose Cassio, a Florentine, whose knowledge of war was great despite his lack of experience. All of these events occurred prior to the start of the play, but are involved in the development of the play; therefore, they are recalled for our purposes in Act I. Removing the first act of Othello would consequently prevent us from realizing that these events had indeed taken place, making it quite difficult to understand the meaning of the play.

In addition, the removal of Act I from Othello would weaken the audience’s feelings of anguish for the characters. The deaths of Othello and Desdemona would be considered less tragic because the downfall of these characters would be to a lesser extent. In Act I, both Othello and Desdemona are portrayed at their greatest moment. Othello is depicted as a general of utmost ability. News of an imminent attack on the island of Cypress sends Venice into a state of emergency, so Othello is sent for. Othello’s good reputation with the Duke and Senators convince us of his capabilities.

Othello’s high status is also demonstrated when he and Brabantia approach the Duke in scene III. Although Brabantia outranks Othello, the Duke initially acknowledges Othello by saying, “Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you / against the general enemy Ottoman. ”( ). Similarly, Desdemona’s finest qualities are also revealed in Act I. The senator’s daughter is depicted as a beautiful, elegant, young lady. Her pureness and innocence provide a refreshing outlook toward life after witnessing Iago’s intentions. Act I also shows Brabantio’s high influential power in Venice.

Desdemona’s courage to marry a man whom her father does not approve of represents the strength of Desdemona’s love for Othello. These impressions are required to classify Othello as a tragic play. Without seeing these characters at such a height, in the beginning, their deaths may not be considered tragic in the end. Ultimately, without Act I the downfall of both Othello and Desdemona would not be as noticeable. Othello would not be a play of such caliber without Act I. The first act of the play is designed to set the play into action. In order to remain in control of Roderigo’s money, Iago must justify his actions.

He decides to plot against both Othello and Cassio, introducing the motive for the play: Cassio’s a proper man; let me see now, To get his place and to plume up my will In double knaverry – How, how? – Let’s see: – After some time, to abuse Othello’s ear That he is too familiar with his wife. This soliloquy reveals Iago’s evil character to the audience and predicts what is to come. Despite Iago’s reasoning to Roderigo that revenge is the motive behind his actions, we soon realize that Iago has a motiveless maliciousness; doing evil for his own enjoyment. In addition, the prominent theme of deception is introduced in the opening act.

Iago’s precise description of himself, “I am not what I am” turns out to be major factor in the play. Iago’s ability to deceive everyone results in his near success of causing Othello’s downfall. The conversation in Scene III between Othello and Brabantio, regarding Desdemona, is similarly important. Brabantio words, “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see; She has deceived her father and may thee” ,carry no truth but are used by Iago as ammunition to deceive Othello. Act I initiates Othello in a way that the play can progress smoothly to it’s tragic ending.

In conclusion, the removal of Act I, of Othello would significantly alter the audience’s response to the play. The play would not be as effective if the audience was not aware of the information presented in Act I. In order to classify Othello as a tragedy act I must be included, or the downfall of the main characters may not be as noticeable. In addition, the minor events of Act I are crucial to initiate the play, and set it into action. Essentially, removing Act I from this tragic play would diminish the play’s appeal; which would be a tragedy in it’s self.

Shakespeare Life Essay

England’s greatest poet and playwright was born at Stratford-upon-Avon, the son of a tradesman and Alderman of Stratford, John Shakespeare in 1564. William, the eldest son, and third child (of eight) was baptised on 26th April 1564 and probably educated at Stratford Grammar School, but little is known of his life up to his eighteenth year. He did not go to University and his younger contemporary and fellow-dramatist, Ben Johnson, would later speak disparagingly of his “small Latin, and less Greek” in the eulogy prefaced to the Firs Folio.

However the Grammar School curriculum would have provided a formidable linguistic, and to some extent literary, education. Although, in 1575 when he was eleven, there was a great plague in the country and Queen Elizabeth journeyed out of London to avoid its consequences and stayed for several days at Kenilworth Castle near Stratford enjoying “festivities” arranged by her host Lord Leicester. It is probable these events may have made a strong impact on the mind of young William. At the age of Eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior.

Five years later he left for London. William worked at the Globe Theatre and appeared in many small parts. He first appeared in public as a poet in 1593 with his Venus and Adonis and the following year with The Rape of Lucrece. He became joint proprietor of The Globe and also had an interest in the Blackfriars Theatre. The play writing commenced in 1595 and of the 38 plays that comprise the Shakespeare Cannon, 36 were published in the 1st Folio of 1623, of which 18 had been published in his lifetime in what are ermed the Quarto publications.

Love’s Labour’s Lost and The Comedy of Errors appear to be among the earliest, being followed by The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Romeo and Juliet. Then followed Henry VI, Richard III, Richard II, Titus Andronicus, The Taming of the Shrew, King John, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well that Ends Well, Henry IV, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry V, Much Ado about Nothing, As you like it, Twelth Night, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida, Othello, Measure for Measure, Macbeth,

King Lear, Timon of Athens, Pericles, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Cymbeline, A Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen. When he retired from writing in 1611, he returned to Stratford to live in a house which he had built for his family. His only son, Hamnet died when still a child. He also lost a daughter Judith (twin to Hamnet), but his third child Susanna married a Stratford Doctor, John Hall and their home “Hall’s Croft” is today preserved as one of the Shakespeare Properties and administered by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

In 1616 Shakespeare was buried in the Church of the Holy Trinity the same Church where he was baptised in 1564. Tradition has it that he died after an evening’s drinking with some of his theatre friends. His gravestone bears the words:- Good frend for Jesus sake forebeare, to digg the dust encloased heare, Bleste be ye man yt spares thes stones, And curst be he yt moves my bones. In his will Shakespeare left his wife, the former Anne Hathaway, his second best bed. We cannot be sure of the reason for this. It may have been the marital bed the best bed being reserved or guests.

It may suggest that they had a not altogether happy marriage which nevertheless produced three children, Susanna, born on May 26th 1583 and twins , Hamnet and Judith, born on February 2nd 1585. These entries appear in the Holy Trinity Register. There is no direct evidence of the marriage of William Shakespeare to Anne Hathaway although most historians accept that an entry in the Bishop’s Register at Worcester in November 1582 regarding the issue of a marriage licence to William Shaxpere and Anne Whateley of Temple Grafton does ot refer to the famous bard.

However the following day a guarantee of 40 was undertaken in Stratford by two yeomen of the town against the prevention of the legal marriage of William Shagspere and Anne Hathway on only one reading of the banns. In 1582 , 40 was a considerable sum of money and one cannot believe that the simple fact of Anne’s being three months pregnant would warrant it. No marriage of an Anne Whatelely has ever been traced, neither has the marriage of Anne Hathway, but lack of record does not mean that it did not happen.

Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth

In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, the characters and the roles they play are critical to its plot and theme, and therefore many of Shakespeare’s characters are well developed and complex. Two of these characters are the protagonist, Macbeth, and his wife, Lady Macbeth. They play interesting roles in the tragedy, and over the course of the play, their relationship changes and their roles are essentially switched. At the beginning of the play, they treat each other as equals.

They have great concern for each other, as illustrated when Macbeth aces to tell Lady Macbeth the news about the witches and she immediately begins plotting how to gain for her husband his desire to be king. At this point, Lady Macbeth is the resolute, strong woman, while Macbeth is portrayed as her indecisive, cowardly husband. He does have ambition, but at this point, his conscience is stronger than that ambition. Lady Macbeth explains this characteristic of her husband in Act I, Scene v, when she says, “Yet do I fear thy nature; it is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way. The next stage of change developing in the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is in Act II.

This is the act in which Macbeth kills King Duncan. Macbeth’s character change is apparent because it is obvious that he has given in to his ambition and has murdered the king. He is not entirely changed, though, because he is almost delirious after he has committed the crime. He exclaims, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red. ” He believes that instead of the ocean cleaning his hands, his hands would turn the ocean red.

Macbeth’s role has changed omewhat but not entirely, since he has committed the crime but his conscience is still apparent after the murder. Lady Macbeth’s role similarly changes somewhat in Act II. The reader sees a crack in her strong character when she tells Macbeth in Scene ii of Act II that she would have murdered Duncan herself if he had not resembled her father as he slept. Her boldness is still evident, though, when she calms Macbeth after the murder and believes “a little water clears us of this deed. ” Unlike the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, their relationship remains unchanged from Act I to II.

Their relationship is still very close as seen through Duncan’s murder – a product of teamwork. At the end of Act III, both the roles and the relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have reached the final stage of their change. Now that Duncan is dead and Macbeth is hopelessly headed toward a life of immorality, Lady Macbeth fades into the background. Macbeth takes it upon himself in Act III to plot Banquo’s murder without consulting his wife because he wants to protect her from the corruption that he has involved himself with. His role is now completely changed and there is no turning back for him.

As Macbeth goes off on his own course during this time, Lady Macbeth’s guilt is overwhelming and, cut off from him, she descends into madness. Her guilt emerges in Act III, Scene ii when she says she would rather be dead, and it grows from then on until her death. Lady Macbeth’s character change is also evident in Act III, Scene ii when she backs out of Macbeth’s mysterious murder plan and tells him, “You must leave this. ” The relationship between the couple is being torn apart by this time in Macbeth. They are headed in separate directions – Macbeth towards a life of evil and Lady Macbeth towards insanity and grief.

As Shakespeare developed the characters of Macbeth and his wife, their changing roles ironically ended up resembling the other one’s role. At the beginning of the tragedy, Macbeth was the hesitant character with a strong conscience, while Lady Macbeth was powerful and firm. However, by the time these two characters were completely changed, Macbeth ended up being decisive and greedy, as Lady Macbeth turned out to be weak since her guilty conscience drove her insane. Shakespeare’s exchange of roles in Macbeth is clever yet unusual, but after all, “things aren’t always what they seem. “

Hamlet Tragism Essay

Arguably, the best piece of writing ever done by William Shakespeare, Hamlet is the classic example of a tragedy. In all tragedies the hero suffers, and usually dies at the end. Othello stabs himself, Romeo and Juliet commit suicide, Brutis falls on his sword, and like them Hamlet dies by getting cut with a poison tipped sword. But that is not all tht is need to consider a play a tragedy, and sometimes a hero doesn’t even need to die. Not every play in which a hero dies is considered a tragedy. There are more elements needed to label a play one.

Probably the most important element is an amount of free will. In every tragedy, the characters must display some. If every action is controlled by a hero’s destiny, then the hero’s death can’t be avoided, and in a tragedy the sad part is tht it could. Hamlet’s death could have been avoided many times. Hamlet had many opportunities to kill Claudius, but didn’t take advantage of them. He also had the option of making his claim public, but instead he chose not too. A tragic hero doesn’t need to be good. For example, MacBeth was evil, yet he was a tragic hero, because he had free will.

He also had only one flaw, and that was pride. He had many good traits such as bravery, but his one bad trait made him evil. Also a tragic hero doesn’t’ have to die. While in all Shakespearean tragedies, the hero dies, in others he may live but suffer “”oral Destruction”” In Oedipus Rex, the proud yet morally blind king plucks his eyes out, and has to spend his remaining days as a wandering, sightless beggar, guided at every painful step by his daughter, Antigone. A misconception about tragedies is that nothing good comes out of them, but it is actually the opposite.

In Romeo and Juliet, although both die, they end the feud between the Capulets and the Montegues. Also, Romeo and Juliet can be together in heaven. In Hamlet, although Hamlet dies, it is almost the best. How could he have any pleasure during the rest of his life, with his parents and Ophelia dead. Also, although Hamlet dies, he is able to kill Claudius and get rid of the evil ruling of the throne. Every tragic play must have a tragic hero. The tragic hero must possess many good traits, as well as one flaw, which eventually leads to his downfall.

A tragic hero must be brave and noble. In Othello, Othello had one fatal flaw, he was too great. Othello was too brave, too noble, and especially too proud to allow himself to be led back to Venice in chains. A tragic hero must not back down from his position. He also had to have free will, in order to stand up for what he believes in. Finally, the audience must have some sympathy for the tragic hero. In Macbeth, although MacBeth commits many murders, one almost feels sorry for him and his fate. Hamlet is the perfect example of the tragic hero.

Hamlet has all the good traits needed to be a tragic hero. He is brave and daring. One example of this is that when he went to England, he was taking a big risk. If his plan didn’t work, he would have been executed. He also is loyal. His loyalty to his father, was the reason he was so angry at Claudius and his mother. Another trait was that he was intelligent. He was able to think up the idea of faking insanity, in order to get more information about Claudius. But Hamlet like all other tragic heros had a flaw. He couldn’t get around to doing anything, because he couldn’t move on.

He was a full grown adult, yet he till attended school in England, because he couldn’t move on. Also, it took him a long time to stop grieving about his father, because he didn’t want to move past that party of his life. And after he finally did, Hamlet couldn’t get around to killing Claudius. He kept pretending he was insane even after he was sure that Claudius killed his father. The final example of Hamlet’s inability to get around to do anything was that he w as dating Ophelia for a long time, but never got around to marrying her.

The audience was able to feel sympathy for Hamlet too. He had just lost his father, and his mother remarried so quickly that according to him they could have used the leftover food from the funeral in the wedding reception. Also, the audience could feel that Hamlet loved his parents and this sudden change was hurting him. In any tragedy, there is a tragic hero, and he must possess certain characteristics in order to be one. He must have many good traits such as loyalty and bravery, but one bad one such as pride. Also the audience must have sympathy for the hero.

A tragic hero also ust have free will or his fate would be decided for him. And his death could have been avoided. Finally, the audience must have sympathy for the tragic hero, or it w ouldnt seem so tragic. Hamlet is a perfect example of a tragic hero. He was brave, loyal, and intelligent, but he couldn’t move past one thing, which let to his death. HE had a choice of how he would deal with Claudius, and like other tragic heros he made a decision. Also, the audience was able to feel sympathy for the position Hamlet was in. These attributes made Hamlet the perfect example of a tragic hero.

Sonnet 149 by William Shakespeare

In William Shakespeare’s sonnet number one hundred and forty-nine there is a very clear case of unrequited love. In a somber tone he outlines the ways in which he selflessly served his beloved only to be cruelly rejected. His confusion about the relationship is apparent as he reflects upon his behavior and feelings towards her. This poem appears to be written to bring closure to the relationship, but it could be argued that this poem is one final effort to win her affection. The first twelve lines of the poem are a questions proposed by the poet to his beloved.

The theme of these questions all lead back to his absolute commitment to her. The questions show a pattern of pathetic and blind devotion that is both sad and disheartening to the poet. Canst thou, O cruel, say I love thee not, When I against myself with thee partake? In these two lines Shakespeare is asking is she can deny his love for her when she knows that aganist his better judgment, he always he takes her side. In doing this he gives her total control over him. On the other hand, he is calling her O cruel which indicates that he may now see through her uncaring ways.

Similarly he goes on to ask her:Do I not think on thee when I forgot Am of myself, all tyrant, for thy sake? This question can be paraphrased to mean: Am I not thinking of you when I forget myself for your sake, tyrant as you are? (Rowse 309) Here again he asks her if she can deny his devotion even though she has acted terribly. The fact that the poet can now see that she is treating him poorly and cruelly indicates progress from where he claims to have been in the past. The poets level of devotion increases with the next line of questioning which confronts is willingness to shun those whom she finds displeasing.

Who hateth thee that I do call my friend; On whom frown’st that I do fawn upon? From these questions it becomes evident that his actions are not just for the ladys sake, but also for his own satisfaction. He asks her: Who hates you that I call my friend? This is interesting because there is no indication that she has any interest in his friends at all. In spite of this he continues to judge people by their opinion of her. In addition to this he claims to give no favor to those whom she dislikes for that very reason.

From this it can be inferred that she is everything to him and that he has no will of his own. It is this very point which leads him into his next questions. Nay, if thou lourst on me, do I not spend Revenge upon myself with present moan? What merit do I in myself respectThat is so proud thy service to despise, When all my best doth worship thy defect,Commanded by the motion of thine eyes. These six lines sum up much of what he has been attempting to convey. He is asking her: Dont I show pain and grief when you frown at me? Is there any part of me that I wouldnt give up for you? Dont I worship your imperfections? (Rowse 309)

He is making an argument that he has never done anything to deserve the way that she has treated him, yet he loves her wholly and unconditionally. The poet finds himself in a depressing and desperate situation, and these questions convey his position perfectly. The last two lines of this poem are quite ambiguous. In one sense they suggest an acknowledgment that the relationship is finished, but on the other hand there is that possibility that they are a different kind of attempt to please and ultimately win that sloe affection of his beloved.

But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind; Those that can see thou lovst, I am blind. There is a great deal of irony in this statement because he is telling her to continue in her cruel ways because he now understands what she wants. He perceives her aspiration to be a man who will love her for thge person she is, not wholly and blindly as he had the poet has loved her. (Rowse 309) The irony in this is that if he now can see her faults and what she desires, then he is no longer blind. Thus this poem is arguably another attempt to win her affection.

Macbeth – Conflict Essay

Prior to deciding whether or not conflict is central to the dramatic development of MACBETH, one must consider all the dramatic factors that contribute to the Shakespearean play. The gradual decline of the protagonist , the role portrayed by characters and the order in which the events occur, greatly influence the direction in which the development of the play takes place. After reading the text MACBETH, by Shakespeare and viewing the film version, directed by Roman Polanski, it is logical to see that ambition and the deceptive appearances of what really is, is central to the dramatic development of MACBETH.

Initially MACBETH is seen as a great soldier, a fearless fighter who has loyally defended his King against a treacherous rebellion. However, he is corrupted by evil in the form of three witches and their supernatural prophecies, and by ambition, not so much his own at first but by Lady Macbeth’s ambition for him to murder Duncan, thus attaining the crown of Scotland. In Act I, Scene I three witches plan to meet MACBETH upon a heath. They announce the major theme of the play: appearances can be deceptive.

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair. MACBETH’s affirmation of this is reciprocated in Act I, Scene III, when he echoes the witches words, “So fair and foul a day I have not seen. ” Factors that are apparent in both the text and visual of MACBETH are the symbols and imagery used by Shakespeare and Polanski. Due to the different language modes used in both versions of MACBETH, the audience must themselves visualise the images in the text, since the main language mode is reading and can therefore interpret the images quite differently in comparison with Polanski’s MACBETH.

The main language mode in the film is viewing and listening, so the audience does not have to interpret the images for themselves because it has already been done for them, which enhances the audience’s response and emotions to the dramatic development of ambition and deceptive appearances. In the written text, Shakespeare emphasis’s the hidden reality through the use of dramatic techniques of imagery and symbolism. There is a constant use of light and dark imagery which is used by the protagonist , MACBETH and his wife to express their motives and deeds.

This produces psychological and dramatic effects, contributing to the gradual development of the play. Take Lady Macbeth’s first invocation to darkness in Act I, Scene V: “Come, thick Night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of Hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor Heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry, ‘Hold, hold! ‘” This vividly illustrates the imagery used in MACBETH and is interpreted to mean that night equals evil, as does Hell, which is not necessarily correct. This also implies that darkness is necessary for the carrying out of Duncan’s murder.

Meaning the blanket that covers him affords no protection in the darkness against the evil deed and the cry envisions the imaginary voice which MACBETH hears as he ‘murders Sleep’. This encompasses the central action of the play, murder. On the night MACBETH brutally kills the King of Scotland, Banquo fearful of his own ‘cursed thoughts’ observes that: “There’s husbandry in heaven; Their candles are all out. ” (Act II, Scene I) The darkness itself, which is ironically equated with Heaven, but seemingly appropriate for the acts of Hell, provides the natural cover for the unnatural murder.

MACBETH in the same scene, refers to the fact that ‘Nature seems dead’, symbolically representing what Duncan is soon to be. Another continuance of imagery is the ‘clothes’ sequence, relating to deceptive appearances to gain MACBETH’s ambition by hiding the truth. This begins with MACBETH’s ‘borrowed robes’ and has its central emphasis in Macduff’s ironic words “Lest our old robes sit easier than our new” (Act II, Scene IV), referring to MACBETH’s new title as King of Scotland, thus MACBETH’s ambition achieved. MACBETH now has the ultimate power he once craved.

MACBETH not only ‘borrows’ the robes of the former king, and although he knows that these ‘robes’ will not go to his children and grandchildren and so on, he still wears them during his undeserved and corrupt reign of Scotland. Despite the fact that he has conquered all to achieve his “vaulting ambition” MACBETH cannot rest either mentally or emotionally, showed in both texts through the dramatic and literary device of soliloquy. This unrest is caused by guilt, MACBETH’s solution to this is to hide by wearing these “borrowed robes”.

Note that MACBETH acknowledges that these ‘robes’ are borrowed, meaning he knows that the rightful heir to the throne will claim the crown sooner of later. The clothes imagery particularly contributes to the central theme of appearance and reality. This imagery is clearly shown in Polanski’s film MACBETH where the protagonist is literally and figuratively wearing the royal “borrowed robes” , whereas in Shakespeare’s written version it is shown through MACBETH’s portrayal of his violent ambition to become king and wear the crown of Scotland.

One of the main dramatic and literary devices used in Shakespeare’s and Polanski’s version of MACBETH is soliloquy, where the character is alone and speaking to aloud, revealing their inner thoughts, reactions, motives and deeds. This establishes a familiarity between character and audience or the reader of the play. Lady Macbeth’s first soliloquy is an analysis of her husband’s character and her ambition for him. “Yet I do fear thy nature: It is too full o’the milk of human-kindness To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it.

Since these soliloquy’s are in written form by Shakespeare it does not express all the character’s emotions, this is in contrast to Polanski’s MACBETH, where the audience is able to watch the character’s emotions and reactions while the soliloquy’s are being said. In the written text the reader only receives one side of the character’s inner thoughts and feelings, whereas in the film we hear and see the reactions. This is seen through the character’s facial expressions, gestures and body language, this cannot be seen in Shakespeare’s text MACBETH, as it left to imagination of the reader.

Despite this contrast both Shakespeare and Polanski have firmly portrayed the themes of ambition and deceptive appearances as being central to the dramatic development of the play by presenting considerable evidence through the character’s motives and actions. In opposition to this view conflict could be considered to be central to the dramatic development of MACBETH since it is the cause of the protagonists evil and treacherous actions. Initially, conflict is seen as a minor theme in the play, yet quite quickly this changes when three witches implant an evil seed in his mind.

Thus we see how MACBETH turns from good to evil, from a “valiant cousin” and “worthy gentleman” to a “bloody butcher”. MACBETH’s inner conflict is a prominent figure in which the path of the play will lead. He is torn between his loyalty to Duncan and his ambition to fulfil the prophecy of becoming the King. The pivotal point of this conflict is when MACBETH enters Duncan’s chamber with a knife ready to carry out the murder, and hesitates. His inner conflict has reached its highest point, kill Duncan and become King or walk away and continue being a “valiant cousin” and the Thane of Cawdor and Glamis.

When Duncan awakes MACBETH has no choice but to kill Duncan or to face execution for betrayal. MACBETH’s mind and emotions is both complex and immediate, and its dramatic effect is shown through the use of soliloquy’s that reveal these inner conflicts. MACBETH is imaginative, responsive and as his evil actions continue, increasingly violent. His conscience, on the other hand, before and after the murder of Duncan, is unstable. A further exhibition of conscience can be seen in his nightmares, the immediate realisation that he has ‘murdered Sleep’.

Insecurity is present initially, and is intensified by MACBETH’s actions. Shakespeare indication of this the soliloquy of MACBETH before the murder of the King: “If it were done, when ’tis done, then ’twere well It were done quickly.. ” (Act I, Scene VII) Encompassing all the evidence that has been presented and after reading and viewing Polanski and Shakespeare’s renditions of MACBETH it is logical to come to the conclusion that ambition and deceptive appearances is central to the dramatic development of MACBETH.

Without ambition MACBETH would not have pursued his path to become King of Scotland so viciously. Deceptive appearances is the key to this play because without hiding reality all the evil enfolding this play, all the intentions of protagonist and the other characters would have been revealed. Without the centralisation of these themes, MACBETH would have been altered and the plot would be non-existent.

Comparing the Different Types of Love Evident in Romeo and Juliet

True love is like ghosts,”claims Franois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, “Which everyone talks about but few have seen”. What is true love? Is it idealistic love or physical love, mature love or paternal love. Well kiddies, it is all that are listed here for each has its own place in the Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet. Physical love, which Mercutio believes in, is well explained in his Queen Mab story. Queen Mab, an English folk tale fairy was said to bring the dreams to men and her child is the midwife to men’s fantasies. Mercutio wants just the physical part of love, that is, sex.

This is evident in his queen mab story: O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you. She is a fairie’s midwife, and she comes In shape no bigger than an agate-stone On the fore-finger of an alderman, Drawn with a team of little atomies Over men’s noses as they lie asleep; Her waggon spokes made of long spinners legs, The cover of the wings of grasshoppers; Her traces of the smallest spiders web; Her collars of the moonshine’s watery beams; Her whip of cricket’s bone; the lash of film; Her waggoner a small grey-coated gnat, Not half so big as a round little worm Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid:

Her chariot is an empty hazle-nut Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub, Time out o’ the fairies’ coachmakers. And in this state she gallops night by night Through lovers brainsand then they dream of love; O’er the courtier’s knees…. (ActI Scene iiii lines 62-73) Mercutio tells this story because that is the way he feels about love; which is All that he is in it for is the sex. It is not important to him to wait and let the relationship advance with age it is important that he gets what he wants fast. Physical love is defined as the act of sex or sexual intercourse.

Romeo, on the other hand believes in idealistic love. This is when everything should be perfect and . This is evident in the scen where Romeo is at the Capulet household and Juliet and him are on the balcony. By love, that first did prompt me to inquire; He lent me counsil and I lent him eyes. I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far As that vast shore wash’d with the farthest sea, I would adventure for such merchandise. (Act II Scene ii Lines 80-84) This is also evident in this statment: I have Night’s cloak to hide me from their eyes; And but thou love me, let them find me here.

My life were better ended by their hate. (Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 75-78) Friar Laurence, on the otherhand, believes in paternal love. This is evident in the following: That’s my good son… (Act 2 Scene 3 Line 47) and … He loves Romeo as a son… (Page 99, Scene Summary) Paternal love is the love that a father has for for a son or daughter. The friar really cares for Romeo. There are Many types of love portrayed in the Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet. These types of love can still be noticed around in the world today. One of the less comon ones around is idealistic love. Maybe that is what true love is.

The play “Much Ado About Nothing”, William Shakespeare

In the play “Much Ado About Nothing”, William Shakespeare describes how a person can do a lot of things out of nothing. There are four main characters in this play that find a lot to do about stupid things and it can make things very difficult. The main characters are: Benedick, Claudio, Beatrice, and Hero. Shakespeare explains the roles of these four different characters and how relationships work. It’s amazing what he knew 400 years ago about relationships and how it is very similar to today’s relationships. Benedick is the young Lord of Padua, and is a man who will never get married nor settle down with one woman.

Benedick is what we would call in the nineties, a bachelor. He likes to play the field and is a typical male, Benedick thinks that no woman can hold him down and he will never fall in love. Benedick will also never listen to a girl or do what she says either. Then he comes into the town of Messina and Claudio and Don Pedro decide to play cupid and match up Benedick and Beatrice. Benedick thinks that Beatrice is in love with him and wants to wed him, which is somewhat untrue and this changes Benedict’s mind completely.

He is now flustered with emotions and is in love and he wonders how this could be. Now Beatrice is a very pretty woman but the old Benedict didn’t care, he’s a man and no woman can hold him down. The new Benedict, on the other hand is head over heels in love and would do anything for sweet Beatrice. This is very ironic on how a person can change completely when falling in love. A great example is when Beatrice tells Benedick to kill Claudio, his best friend, and he ponders it and then says I will draw him to a duel.

That is when the audience knows for sure that Benedick is in love and it is also the changing point in the play for Benedick. Claudio is the young Lord of Florence, and he is a handsome young man and has a thing for Hero, and in fact proposes to her and marries her. Claudio is like a Tom Cruise in today’s society, he is every woman’s dream man. Claudio is also a good man, as Leonato, Hero’s father, just adores Claudio with all his heart. Leonato thinks Hero is a lucky woman since Claudio is a perfect man.

Claudio is also Benedick’s best friends and they get along very well together despite their differences in takes on women. Claudio is the gentleman and Benedick is the macho man, the jock of that time. Although they both have great looks and woman adore them, Claudio plays the role of the polite guy who is very respectful of Hero. But his thoughts change as he is the victim of a terrible rumor started by Don John the Bastard, the evil brother of Don Pedro. The rumor was that Hero was cheating on Claudio and Don John showed them proof, which was all set up the night before the wedding.

Now Claudio didn’t take liking to this and at the wedding told Hero it was over and made a fool of her. It all works out in the end as he finds out it was all a lie and he betrayed his love Hero. As a true man he takes responsibility and gives his remorse and things turn out happily ever after. Beatrice is Benedick’s love, and Leonato’s niece. She is just like Benedick just from a girl’s side of view. Those to bicker back and forth at each other so much that a person would think how could they ever fall in love together.

Beatrice has a small little crush on Benedick, but it is hard to tell because she makes fun of him all the time. Before Benedick comes into Messina she asks how he is and if he is injured or in other words okay. That is Beatrice’s way of dealing with men, she may be a little immature in relationships. Beatrice’s views change suddenly also when she overhears the gossip that Benedick has a thing for her and wants to wed her. Now she is also a caught in the middle with the gossip and believes that this is true, that Benedick does have thing for her.

Now Beatrice is in love and it is much ado about nothing because neither where saying something about the other. It was all a plan of Don Pedro and Claudio to hook them up and let the bachelor and bachlorette find true romance. It is very much like today’s society when a friend hook’s up another friend with a boy or a girl. It is also a very much high school, college relationship between best friends and their women. Hero is Lenato’s daughter and lives in Messina. Claudio is coming into town to see her and she can’t wait to see him.

The men are all coming back from war, no one is hurt and it was a good war. Hero is a prize woman, she is very attractive with a stunning beauty. She is caught in the middle of Don John little game of break up. She didn’t do anything wrong and the rumor comes around and slaps her in the face. Leonato, her father, doesn’t even believe his own daughter and thinks that the rumor is true since Claudio is such a great guy. Leonato thinks Claudio can do no wrong. Leonato also disrespects his daughter by slapping her and taking Claudio’s side without even letting her explain.

Hero is a beautiful woman caught in the middle of high school rumors and it really hurts her and her father. When they find out that Hero is right with her story the friar has to come up with an idea on how to get her back with Claudio. The plan is that Hero killed herself and she has a cousin who is almost identical as Hero(which is truly Hero) which Claudio will marry cause he feels so bad about his love. So Hero and Claudio end up happily together. This play is a great example of a relationship where best friends date two woman who are close and something bad is bound to happen.

But in “Much Ado About Nothing”, William Shakespeare ends it with a two couple wedding which is usually in his plays. Claudio and Hero have a beautiful wedding and Benedick and Beatrice also do have a fine wedding. Everything turns out okay despite the rumors that were stirred up by Don John the Bastard. I think this play is a great example of relationships and how people act and can change in them. It is amazing how Shakespeare writes this play as if it was in today’s time period with relationships, but then I guess love doesn’t change and people may always act this way when in love.

William Shakespeare Short Biography

Born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. His father John Shakespeare and his mother Mary Arden. W.S. was able to attend grammer school and learned Greek and Latin classics (this is comparable to college education today). At age 14 his father lost the family fortune and remained poor until his death

At 18 he married Anne Hathaway in 1582. She was 26 years old. They had three children Suzanne(1583) and the twins Hamnet and Judith(1585).

In his mid-twenties he left Stratford(supposedly because of poaching on the Queen’s land) for London. His first job with Richard Burbage’s men was as an osler; next an actor.

No one knows what he was doing during 1585-1592.

By 1592 he had become known in London as an actor and playwright; his rise was rapid.

Queen Elizabeth 1 supported the arts and the theater.

In 1592 a plague closed the theaters(Shakespeare wrote poetry during this time to support himself). In 1593 a brief reopening of the theater happened. In 1594 theaters reopened.

The troupe became the Lord Chamberlain’s Men set up on a servant co-op structure. Requirements for actors:

1. loud voice 2. sing and play instruments 3. good swordsman 4. good memories

During this time he wrote many comedies: Comedy of Errors first of any status.

Histories were written in support of the gov’t. This is where they were receiving much of the financial support so they wanted to keep the gov’t (Queen) happy. W.S. was a major stockholder in the theater.

1597-bought New Place in Stratford(2nd largest house)

1599-Lord Chamberlain’s Men bought land and built the Globe Theater in Southwark(South Bank of the Thames River). W.S. owned 1/10th

1603-Queen Elizabeth died. King James took reign of England. He loved the arts more than the queen. The name was changed from Lord Chamberlain’s Men to the King’s Men.

1608-Added to the Globe Theater by buying the Black Friars Theater and giving performances there also. W.S. owned 1/7th

1613-Fire at the Globe during a performance of Henry 8th; rebuilt within a year. Left comedies and histories to write tragedies soon after the Globe reopened.

The Author And His Times

William Shakespeare lived in a time of great change and excitement in England- a time of geographical discovery, international trade, learning, and creativity. It was also a time of international tension and internal uprisings that came close to civil war. Under Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603) and James I (reigned 1603-1625), London was a center of government, learning, and trade, and Shakespeare’s audience came from all three worlds. His plays had to please royalty and powerful nobles, educated lawyers and scholars, as well as merchants, workers, and apprentices, many of whom couldn’t read or write.

To keep so many different kinds of people entertained, he had to write into his plays such elements as clowns who made terrible puns and wisecracks; ghosts and witches; places for the actors to dance and to sing the hit songs of the time; fencing matches and other kinds of fight scenes; and emotional speeches for his star actor, Richard Burbage. There is very little indication that he was troubled in any way by having to do this. The stories he told were familiar ones, from popular storybooks or from English and Roman history.

Sometimes they were adapted, as Hamlet was, from earlier plays that had begun to seem old-fashioned. Part of Shakespeare’s success came from the fact that he had a knack for making these old tales come to life. When you read Hamlet, or any other Shakespearean play, the first thing to remember is that the words are poetry. Shakespeare’s audience had no movies, television, radio, or recorded music. What brought entertainment into their lives was live music, and they liked to hear words treated as a kind of music.

They enjoyed plays with quick, lively dialogue and jingling wordplay, with strongly rhythmic lines and neatly rhymed couplets, which made it easier for them to remember favorite scenes. These musical effects also made learning lines easier for the actors, who had to keep a large number of roles straight in their minds. The actors might be called on at very short notice to play some old favorite for a special occasion at court, or at a nobleman’s house, just as the troupe of actors in Hamlet is asked to play The Murder of Gonzago.

The next thing to remember is that Shakespeare wrote for a theater that did not pretend to give its audience an illusion of reality, like the theater we are used to today. When a housewife in a modern play turns on the tap of a sink, we expect to see real water come out of real faucet in something that looks like a real kitchen sink. But in Shakespeare’s time no one bothered to build onstage anything as elaborate as a realistic kitchen sink. The scene of the action had to keep changing to hold the audience’s interest, and to avoid moving large amounts of scenery, a few objects would be used to help the audience visualize the scene.

For a scene set in a kitchen, Shakespeare’s company might simply have the cook come out mixing something in a bowl. A housewife in an Elizabethan play would not even have been a woman, since it was considered immoral for women to appear nstage. An older woman, like Hamlet’s mother Gertrude, would be played by a male character actor who specialized in matronly roles, and a young woman like Hamlet’s girlfriend Ophelia would be played by a teenage boy who was an apprentice with the company.

When his voice changed, he would be given adult male roles. Of course, the apprentices played not only women, but also pages, servants, messengers, and the like. It was usual for everyone in the company, except the three or four leading actors, to “double,” or play more than one role in a play. Shakespeare’s audience accepted these onventions of the theater as parts of a game. They expected the words of the play to supply all the missing details.

Part of the fun of Shakespeare is the way his plays guide us to imagine for ourselves the time and place of each scene, the way the characters behave, the parts of the story we hear about but don’t see. The limitations of the Elizabethan stage were significant, and a striking aspect of Shakespeare’s genius is the way he rose above them. Theaters during the Elizabethan time were open-air structures, with semicircular “pits,” or “yards,” to accommodate most of the udience. The pit could also serve as the setting for cock fights and bear baiting, two popular arena sports of the time.

The audience in the pit stood on three sides of the stage. Nobles, well-to-do commoners, and other more “respectable” theatergoers sat in the three tiers of galleries that rimmed the pit. During breaks in the stage action- and sometimes while the performance was underway- peddlers sold fruit or other snacks, wandering through the audience and calling out advertisements for their wares. The stage itself differed considerably from the modern stage. The ain part, sometimes called the “apron” stage, was a raised platform that jutted into the audience.

There was no curtain, and the audience would assume when one group of actors exited and another group entered there had been a change of scene. Because there was no curtain someone always carried a dead character off. It would, after all, have spoiled the effect if a character who had just died in the play got up in full view of the audience and walked off stage to make way for the next scene. The stage often had one or more trapdoors, which could be used for entry from below or in graveyard scenes. Behind the main stage was a small inner stage with a curtain in front of it.

During productions of Hamlet, the curtain served as the tapestry (or arras) that Claudius and Polonius hide behind when they spy on Hamlet, and later it was opened to disclose Gertrude’s bedchamber. Above the apron stage, on the second story, was a small stage with a balcony. In Hamlet this small stage served as a battlement and in Romeo and Juliet as the balcony in the famous love scene. Still higher was the musicians’ balcony and a turret for sound effects- drum rolls, trumpet calls, or thunder (made by rolling a annon ball across the floor).

Now that you know something about the theater he wrote for, who was Shakespeare, the man? Unfortunately, we know very little about him. A writer in Shakespeare’s time was not considered special, and no one took pains to document Shakespeare’s career the way a writer’s life would be recorded and studied in our century. Here are the few facts we have. Shakespeare was born in 1564, in the little English country town of Stratford, on the Avon River. He was the grandson of a tenant farmer and the son of a shopkeeper who made and sold gloves and other leather goods.

We know that Shakespeare’s family was well off during the boy’s childhood- his father was at one point elected bailiff of Stratford, an office something like mayor- and that he was the eldest of six children. As the son of one of the wealthier citizens, he probably had a good basic education in the town’s grammar school, but we have no facts to prove this. We also have no information on how he spent his early years or on when and how he got involved with the London theater. At 18 he married a local girl, Anne Hathaway, who gave birth to their first child- a daughter, Susanna- six months later.

This does not mean, as some scholars believe, that Shakespeare was forced into marriage: Elizabethan morals were in some ways as relaxed as our own, and it was legally acceptable for an engaged couple to sleep together. Two years later, Anne gave birth to twins, Hamnet (notice the similarity to “Hamlet”) and Judith, but by this time Shakespeare’s parents were no longer so well off. The prosperity of country towns like Stratford was declining as the city of London and its international markets grew, and so Shakespeare left home to find a way of earning a living.

One unverified story says Shakespeare was riven out of Stratford for poaching (hunting without a license) on the estate of a local aristocrat; another says he worked in his early twenties as a country schoolmaster or as a private tutor in the home of a wealthy family. Shakespeare must somehow have learned about the theater, because the next time we hear of him, at age 28, he is being ridiculed in a pamphlet by Robert Greene, a playwright and writer of comic prose. Greene called Shakespeare an uneducated actor who had the gall to think he could write better plays than a university graduate.

One indication of Shakespeare’s early popularity is that Greene’s emarks drew complaints, and his editor publicly apologized to Shakespeare in Greene’s next pamphlet. Clearly, by 1592 the young man from Stratford was well thought of in London as an actor and a new playwright of dignity and promise. Though England at the time was enjoying a period of domestic peace, the danger of renewed civil strife was never far away. From abroad came threats from hostile Roman Catholic countries like Spain and France.

At home, both Elizabeth’s court and Shakespeare’s theater company were targets of abuse from the growing English fundamentalist movement we call Puritanism. In this period, England as enjoying a great expansion of international trade, and London’s growing merchant class was largely made up of Puritans, who regarded the theater as sinful and were forever pressing either the Queen or the Lord Mayor to close it down. Then there were members of Elizabeth’s own court who believed she was not aggressive enough in her defiance of Puritans at home or Catholics abroad.

One such man was the Earl of Essex, one of Elizabeth’s court favorites (and possibly her lover), who in 1600 attempted to storm the palace and overthrow her. This incident must have left a great impression on Shakespeare nd his company, for they came very close to being executed with Essex and his conspirators, one of whom had paid them a large sum to revive Shakespeare’s Richard II, in which a weak king is forced to abdicate, as part of a propaganda campaign to justify Essex’s attempted coup d’etat.

The performance, like the coup, apparently attracted little support. Elizabeth knew the publicity value of mercy, however, and Shakespeare’s company performed for her at the palace the night before the conspirators were hanged. It can hardly be a coincidence that within the next two years Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, in which a play is erformed in an unsuccessful attempt to depose a reigning king. The Essex incident must have taught him by direct experience the risks inherent in trifling with the power of the established political order.

Elizabeth’s gift for keeping the conflicting elements around her in balance continued until her death in 1603, and her successor, James I, a Scotsman, managed to oversee two further decades of peace. James enjoyed theatrical entertainment, and under his reign, Shakespeare and his colleagues rose to unprecedented prosperity. In 1604 they were officially declared the King’s Men, which gave them the tatus of servants to the royal household. Shakespeare’s son Hamnet died in 1596, about four years before the first performance of Hamlet.

Whether he inspired the character of Hamlet in any way, we probably will never know. Some scholars have suggested that the approaching death of Shakespeare’s father (he died in 1601) was another emotional shock that contributed to the writing of Hamlet, the hero of which is driven by the thought of his father’s sufferings after death. This is only speculation, of course. What we do know is that Shakespeare retired from the theater n 1611 and went to live in Stratford, where he had bought the second biggest house in town, called New Place.

He died there in 1616; his wife Anne died in 1623. Both Shakespeare’s daughters had married by the time of his death. Because Judith’s two sons both died young and Susanna’s daughter Elizabeth- though she married twice and even became a baroness- had no children, there are no descendants of Shakespeare among us today. On Shakespeare’s tombstone in Stratford is inscribed a famous rhyme, putting a curse on anyone who dares to disturb his grave: – Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear To dig the dust enclosed here.

Blest be the man that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones. – The inscription had led to speculation that manuscripts of unpublished works were buried with Shakespeare or that the grave may in fact be empty because the writing attributed to him was produced by other hands. (A few scholars have argued that contemporaries like Francis Bacon wrote plays attributed to Shakespeare, but this notion is generally discredited. ) The rhyme is a final mystery, reminding us that Shakespeare is lost to us. Only by his work may we know him.

The Tempest in Lear

In Act 3, scene 4, Shakespeare utilizes the ominous storm pounding down upon the suffering Lear in order to elucidate the storm which actually affects Lear the greatest–the internal storm caused by the ingratitude shown by his daughters Regan and Goneril. Prior to Lear’s speech, Kent urges the King to enter a nearby hovel for the purpose of protecting himself from the seemingly unbearable storm. The tempest in Lear’s mind, however, is revealed as a greater concern than the storm on the outside.

Lear is so fixated on his daughters’ ingratitude that he scarcely feels the effects of the harsh environmental lements crashing down upon him. He then gives a metaphorical speech to Kent, and he declines to enter the hovel while urging both Kent and the fool inside. The speech given by Lear before he implores Kent to enter the hovel is a major component in the development of the scene, as a whole, as it cleverly exhibits, through various poetic devices, both the mental situation of Lear and the progression of the play’s plot.

A particular rhetorical device Shakespeare uses to manipulate Lear’s speech is syntax and rhythmic deviation. Lear commences his speech using an almost natural hythm in which he speaks in long, smooth sentences: “Thou think’st ‘tis much that this contentious storm Invades us to the skin…. ” ( lines 6-7) However, it becomes quite evident to the reader when Lear begins focusing more and more on the tempest inside his mind–the storm that he feels the greatest effects of. His speech thus becomes marked by heavy separations.

His sentences become increasingly choppy, as they are marked by intense punctuation: “Save what beats here. Filial ingratitude! ” (line 14). This syntax and deviation of rhythm is indicative of Lear’s attitude hat his internal tempest is of much greater concern than the harsh storm on the outside. While he scarcely feels the latter, he cannot avoid feeling the full affects of the former. The definite shift in syntax underscores the truism that the harshness of the environment correlates to the ingratitude Lear’s daughters have shown towards him.

The short, choppy nature of Lear’s language also indicates his inability to think complete, coherent thoughts while his mind is essentially battered by an internal tempest. The harsh “s” sound filtered throughout Lear’s speech further verifies his inner turmoil over the fact that his aughters show a diminutive amount of gratitude towards him despite his providing endlessly for them. The “s” sound in this case serves as a cacophony. It is especially effective as the reader can almost hear the crashing of waves and the howling of wind Thou think’st much that this contentious storm Invades us to the skin.

So ‘tis to thee… (lines 6-7) Lear’s speech in Act 3, scene 4 also has a distinctive metaphorical air to it and is accompanied by definite examples of Shakespeare’s lucid imagery. But if thy flight lay toward the roaring sea Thou’dst meet the bear in the mouth” (lines 8-10). The preceding citation is clearly characteristic of the principal theme encompassed in Lear’s speech–that the environmental storm is less daunting than the disturbance within Lear’s own mind. If one is being tracked down by a bear, they will naturally run.

But, if they are running towards a roaring sea, they have little choice but to face the bear since they will have no chance to survive the sea. The bear here is being compared to the harsh storm that Lear rarely feels and the roaring sea is being compared to his internal tempest. Not only does this set of lines capture a vivid image in the reader’s mind, but it also serves s a metaphorical comparison between Lear’s mind (the subject of more concern) and the storm (the lesser of the “two evils”).

Another powerful metaphor illustrated in Lear’s “Thou think’st ‘tis much that this contentious storm Invades us to the skin…. ” The key element in this metaphor is the word “invade”, which conjures up the idea of something, such as an army, taking another entity completely over. This is comparable to the actuality that Lear’s thoughts about what his daughters have done is the single thing which are inherently conquering his mind. The reader is now completely able to see the ffect Lear’s daughters are having upon his mental state.

Following the metaphor which concerns the bear and roaring sea, Lear declares, “When the mind’s free, The body’s delicate” (lines 10-12). This illustrates the certitude that Lear would become more susceptible to the elements if he no longer focused upon what was eating him, mentally. However, since Lear’s mind is focusing only on his daughters’ ingratitude and the grief it has caused him, he is made impervious to the storm occurring all around him. Near the ending of his speech, Lear uses two more poetic devices: rhetorical uestions and repetition.

He opens his series of rhetorical questions with, perhaps, the most important one: “Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand for lifting food to it? ” (lines 15-16). This quote seems to correlate to the clich, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. ” Lear has given his daughters all of his land, and yet, they show no gratitude towards him. He has raised them and cared for them, but they repay him with ingratitude, greed, and hate. Lear continues with more rhetorical questions, which are linked by hints of repetition: In such a night to shut me out? Pour on; I will endure.

In such a night as this? ” (lines 18-19). Again, it is evident that Lear is able to withstand the harsh elements, as he is focusing on the tempest within his mind. The repetition further emphasizes that he has been ultimately disowned by his daughters and left without shelter. In addition, he was cast out into horrible conditions, and Lear fears he will soon go mad based upon his daughter’s ungrateful nature. Lear concludes with: “O Regan, Goneril, Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all–O, that way madness lies; let me shun that! No more of that” (lines 19-22).

The reader is able to see now the complete effect that Lear’s daughters have had upon his mind and sanity. He has given them everything, and they have not given anything in return. Therefore, Lear is allowed to suffer and to essentially Many of the elements which lay the foundations for Lear’s speech in Act 3, scene 4 are contrasted through previous speeches in Acts 1 and 2. For instance, Lear’s speech in Act 1, scene 1, lines 108-119, is almost opposite in content and style of his later speech. His Act 1 speech concerns the fact that his daughter, Cordelia cannot profess her love for Lear through words.

This speech is driven by anger, as more exclamation points are used, and Lear actually curses his daughter: “The barbarous Scythian, Or he that makes his generation messes to gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom Be as well neighbored, pitied, and relieved As thou my sometime daughter” (lines 116-119). However, in his later speech, Lear is more in disbelief that his daughters whom he gave all his land to could be so ungrateful. He is more obsessed with his inner being and feels he will go mad, and he doesn’t express such volatile anger as he did in Act 1.

The rhetorical questions in Act 3 eveloped Lear’s highly unstable and insecure character. In Act 1, however, Lear is more egotistical and self-assured, thus posing less of these questions. Furthermore, Lear’s speech is definitely less choppy and short in Act 1. “The mysteries of Hecate and the night, By all the operation of the orbs From whom we do exist and cease to be… (lines 110-112). Here, Lear is thinking in more coherent and complete thoughts, making his sentences longer and linking them into a more collective whole. Furthermore, in Act 1, Lear’s imagery is more graphic in nature.

For instance, when he speaks of the Scythian arbarian, he discusses them as having offspring for the purpose of eating them and gorging their appetites. The effect of this generally graphic imagery in Act 1 is the establishment of a more angry and almost violent tone expressed through the character of Lear. The imagery in Act 3, on the other hand, serves more for the development of a contrast between the environmental storm and the tempest mounted within Lear’s mind. It thus becomes quite evident that the language used by Lear in Act 1 is in great contrast with that which he uses in Act 3 due to the circumstances and Lear’s mental state.

A Critical Look at The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew is one of the earliest comedies written by sixteenth and seventeenth century English bard, William Shakespeare. Some scholars believe it may have been his first work written for the stage as well as his first comedy (Shakespearean 310). The earliest record of it being performed on stage is in 1593 or 1594. It is thought by many to be one of Shakespeares most immature plays (Cyclopedia 1106). In The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio was the only suitor willing to court Kate, the more undesirable of Baptistas two daughters.

Kate was never described as unattractive (Elizabeth Taylor played her role in one film of the production), but was known for her shrewish behavior around all of Padua. Bianca, on the other hand was very sweet and charming and beautiful; for these reasons many suitors wooed her. Kate was presented to be much more intelligent and witty than Bianca, but, ironically, she could not compete with Bianca because of these witty comebacks and caustic remarks she made (Dash 830). All of the men who desired Bianca needed somebody to marry Kate, as it was customary for the older daughter to be married before the young one.

Finally, Petruchio came along to court Kate, saying he wanted to marry wealthily in Padua. It appeared, though, as if Petruchio was the kind of man who needed an opposition in life. The shrewish Kate, who was known to have a sharp tongue, very adequately filled his need for another powerful character in a relationship (Kahn 419). When Petruchio began to woo Kate, everybody was rather surprised, but Signior Baptista agreed when Petruchio wanted marry her on Saturday of the week he met her. Clearly, he was not opposed because he wanted to hurry and get Kate married so she would not be in Biancas way anymore.

Petruchio showed up to the wedding late and in strange attire, but nevertheless they were married that Saturday. Petruchio began his famous process of taming his bride. From the beginning, Petruchio wanted to dominate a relationship of two dominating personalities. He sought to tame her in a nonviolent but still somewhat cruel fashion. Petruchios method of “taming” Kate featured depriving her of the things she had taken for granted and been given all of her life, and he sarcastically acted as if it was in her best interest (Leggatt 410).

In the name of love, Petruchio refused to let her eat, under the pretense that she deserved better food than what was being given her (Nevo 262). Similarly, Petruchio did not think that her bed was suitable for her to sleep in, so his servants took turns keeping her awake and denying her the sleep that she so desperately needed. When the tailor brought in what seemed to be a very pretty cap, Petruchio refused to let Kate have it, despite her incessant pleas to keep the cap (Legatt 410). Petruchio took the stance that Kate was his property, as he pointed out in the second scene of act three: I will be master of what is mine own. 0She is my goods, my chattels, she is my house.

My household stuff, my field, my barn, My horse, my ox, my ass, my anything. Petruchios words left no doubt as to his belief in the patriarchal marriage system that existed during Shakespeares time, perhaps presented in somewhat of an exaggerated form (Kahn 414). As tiredness, hunger, and frustration set in on Kate, her wildcat personality began to weaken noticeably. Because of the helplessness of her situation, she began to show submission to her husband. When Kate mentioned the sun in a conversation, Petruchio absurdly disagreed with her and told her it was the moon.

Kate proceeded to agree with him, to which, of course, he changed his mind back. Kates response was that it changes even as his mind, and this was the first sign of her submission to Petruchio (Evans 32). Petruchios actions were very extreme during the play, but as Kate caught on to their role playing their relationship improved (Nevo 262). Many scholars feel that, despite Kates submissiveness in the closing scene of the play, she would continue to be a strong opposition for Petruchio. Her representation at the end of the play, however, is very docile and submissive.

There were several points in the play during which she demonstrated her new found domesticated personality. Firstly, she showcased it by saying what Petruchio wanted her to, regardless of the absurdity of the statement. In addition to the already mentioned sun-moon incident, Kate referred to the old and decrepit Vincentio as a young budding virgin, fair and fresh and sweet (Evans 32). In effect, Petruchio was demonstrating absurdity by being absurd, and Kate responded to his preposterousness. Another point in the play where Kate displayed her complaisance was when she came at Petruchios call.

When one of the men proposed a wager on whose wife will return first when they are all called, Petruchio responded by raising the bet significantly. He reasoned that he would wager that much on his hound, but his wife merited a much larger bet (Leggatt 413). Petruchio displayed complete trust in Kate in that situation, and she came through for her man. Many critics have pointed out that the wager scene is dominated by reversals: quiet Bianca talked back, while the shrewish Katherina came across as an obedient wife (Kahn 418). Kate enjoyed winning the wager for Petruchio just as Petruchio delighted in making (and raising) it (Leggatt 413).

However, Ruth Nevo pointed out that Kate did not only win the wager, but her speech testifies a generosity worth far more than the two hundred crowns of the wager (264). Another point that must be made concerning her speech is that she delighted in reprimanding the other ladies for their unconventional behavior. She especially enjoyed admonishing Bianca for her unseemly behavior (Dash 835). Another instant when Kate obeyed her husbands outlandish demands came as somewhat of a surprise after the wager scene. Kate returned with the hat Petruchio had given her, and he instructed her to take off the hat, which Kate actually liked.

She once again complied in front of the surprised crowd. As if all of these symbols of her obedience were not enough, Kate showed one more sign. As she concluded the scene and the play, Kate prepared to put her hand beneath her husbands foot, and Elizabethan symbol of wifely obedience (Kahn 419). Kate truly showed submission, obedience, and respect to her husband in the final scene of the play, earning respect for herself in the process. Many critics have observed and noted that Petruchio and Kate had a need for each other, being the strong personalities that they are.

They thrive off of the intellectual games they play throughout The Taming of the Shrew. Both have a witty intelligence that made them attracted to each other. Also, each of them had something to prove: Petruchio needed to confirm his manhood, while Kate needed to steer her demeanor toward the ladylike side of things. The whole plot of the play drives toward these goals. It was Kates submission to Petruchio which makes him a man, finally and indisputably (Kahn 419). Kate earned bountiful respect from the other men in the closing scene, as she proved to fit the mold of the conventional woman better than their wives did (Dash 835).

Petruchio did not break Kates wit and will, as some might perceive; he simply used them to his advantage, as is quite noticeable in the wager scene. This showed how Kate was actually a foil of Petruchio (Nevo 262). The acting done by Kate and Petruchio lived up to the patriarchal ideals of their time, but yet the reader is led to believe that in the future, there will still be opposition in their relationship. Even in the final scene, Kate never showed signs of being a weak character, but rather the ability to be strong in any way she needs to be.

In a sense, Kate and Petruchio had what one might call a symbiotic relationship; that is, they both had a strong need for each other, which is somewhat paradoxical, as both of them were fiercely independent characters. The customs and standards of marriages during the Elizabethan Age that Shakespeare wrote The Taming of the Shrew in are represented very accurately throughout the text of the play. There are hints that the marriage of Petruchio and Kate may not have exactly met these standards, but for acceptance they attempted to make it look that way. In fact, neither of them were really accepted until they did that.

The marriages of the time were very male dominated. This is why Petruchios form of violence was accepted; because he was the master of his property and could do what he wanted with it. Kate was not the conventional shrew, because most “shrews” were women that were already married and dominated their husbands in their relationship. Kates violence was very unacceptable in their society, because women just did not do that at that time. Kate committed four physically violent acts on stage: she broke the lute over the Hortensios head, tied and beat Bianca, and hit Petruchio and Grumio (Kahn 415).

Petruchio, however, never once committed an act of physical violence, but he did, in the name of love, deprive Kate of her needs until she bent to his will. Because Petruchio was a male, though, his violence was more accepted by society than was Kates (Kahn 414). Petruchios therapy for Kate has been compared to holding up a mirror and letting the shrew see herself. Whenever Kate would throw her tantrums, Petruchio would throw them right back, in perhaps even more exaggerated form. These provided the comical aspect of the play, as well as giving Kate a chance to look at her own image (Nevo 262).

This exchange of roles, which landed Kate on the receiving end of all of those hideous tantrums, took her out of herself. This remedy appealed to the intelligent aspect of Kates complex personality, and they brought about a change in her. This appeal to her intelligence is why Kates will was not broken, but rather changed to meet Petruchios mold to some extent (Nevo 263). The patriarchal styles that the marriages took on during the Elizabethan age are very well represented in Shakespeares The Taming of the Shrew.

Two Gentleman of Verona

Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by Mr. Wolfe, depicted an excellent plot through strong acting and characterization. In addition it possessed humor that perfectly affixed into the era of the sixties. The play was transformed from it’s original time era and placed in the sixties. The main plot outline surrounds two gentleman from Verona who were best friends. These two best friends named Valentine and Proteus were played by Geoffrey Kidwell, and Noah Silverman. The story really begins when Valentine leaves Verona. He is then banished from the next city he enters, Milan.

During his time spent in Milan Valentine falls in love with a young women, Sylvia, played by Katie Moran. However he is torn away from her when he is banished. Then Proteus, his best friend, betrays him. Proteus persues Sylvia, although he already has a fiance, Julia, played by Stephanie Nealy. Proteus experiences true loneliness when he is rejected by Sylvia and dumped by fiance. Julia rides off with Speed, a servant/messenger of Valentine, played by Ronald Del Castillo. Thus the moral and theme of the story surrounds the idea of friendship and betrayal.

Ronald Del Castillo, Speed, had very good vocal choices. He played a messenger/servant who was always on the run. Speed used a bicycle or rolerblades, to give the effect of constant movement. Thus, he rapidly talked like he acted, to demonstrate his sense of chaos and lack of control. His physical and vocal choices showed he was a messenger or servant and was always on the move needing to be somewhere. His choices definitely were very effective. The next character had some opposite and alike characteristics but also effectively fulfilled his character.

Thomas Odell, who played Launce, was Proteus’s servant. His character was somewhat quaint, but was very funny. He had a lot of curved physical choices, like his walk. He always had a sense of bewilderment on his face. He was always walking around, almost as if he was lost, and tangled up with his leash from his dog. His vocal and physical choices completely fulfilled his character in showing he was a bewildered and chaotic servant. The first costume that was very effective was worn by Katie Moran, Sylvia. It was almost as though she was a Marilyn Monroe look a like.

Her costume consisted of a blonde wig on and a brightly colored dress. The dress she wore was a red shiny dress. This dress make her look sexy in order to draw attention to her. When she came on stage she caught your eye. Her dress didn’t really have a time and setting effect but, it was very important. It made her a very important character and a wanted character by everyone in the play. This, is the reason that Valentine and Proteus fell in love with her. The Director’s concept of this costume was to make this character very significant and it was efficiently achieved by giving her a bright costume.

The next costume was that of Thomas Odell, ho played Launce, a servant of Proteus. His costume was like Sylvia’s. It had bright colors but they were peculiar. His costume consisted of purple, orange and yellow colors. He wore unique shirts and a Hawaiian looking shirt. He also wore a straw hat and his nose was covered with zinc. This costume was almost portraying him as a tourist. I don’t know if that was the Mr. Wolfe was trying to get across or if he was showing us that this character was a uncanny and unusual character that didn’t really know were he was going. In addition to his costume he had a dog.

The dog symbolized confusion and chaos by creating more cluster because he kept on getting tangled in the leash while trying to carry the briefcases. His costume made it seem like it was always daytime. Mr. Wolfe’s concept definitely was qualified for the character and gave it a funny twist. The first setting begins at the beach. That is where the play starts showing with many people on the beach having a good time. the scene props consisted of towels, beach chairs and a life guard station. The towels were green, yellow and purple along with matching bathing suits.

Everything was awkward, similar to the sixties. This setting took up the whole stage. The beach was mostly used during the daytime and you could tell by the sun would be up and everything would be bright. When the beach was used there were many funny parts. Although, there were some serious talks on the beach and you could tell because the lights would dim and it would seem as though it was night time. The next setting is at the Palace Studios in Milan. The studio’s busy clustering took up the whole stage. There were many colors along with actions occurring at all times.

Although there ere no real backdrop you could tell the setting was a studio by the people and their actions. In addition there was a producer looking off stage directing a play. Everything was extremely busy and you could tell it was the happening place to be. This setting was definitely used during the day but then again it was inside so you could not exactly tell what time of day it was. Mr. Wolfe’s concept of the studio was very life-like and you could certainly tell it was a studio. It was exceptionally well planned out. At two particular points in the play one being where the outlaws, played by John

Dzunda, Nick Fahey, and Jeremy Abbott and the other part in the play with Lorelei Larson, Antoinette, and Justin Vasquez her chauffeur and lover. The first scene is very colorful. There is a colorful background where the three outlaws pop out from the top of the background setting and then later come to the ground to capture Valentine. The background was very colorful and the three made a surprising entrance in the up right of the stage. Thus, signifying there was going to be a conflict. Which there was. The scene is very intense but then changes to laughter.

The three outlaws weakly try to capture Valentine with a gun but then ask him to be their leader. This scene was in the forest in the middle of the day. Mr. Wolfe was showing us through this scene that these three guys were a bunch of “jerks” and didn’t now what they were doing. They were poor robbers and now that this smart man who was better than them came along, they wanted him for their leader. The next scene is in Antoinette’s house. The house is very colorful. The room has a lot of yellow in it and “blow up” furniture. This scene is played in down left and is very intense.

It is a hidden love scene. The two characters are off and on kissing while people keep interrupting them during the mid day or early night scene. The first important stage picture from the play was near the end when Valentine and Sylvia are in the center of the stage, signifying complete control or calmness, where they both confess thy love for each other. Valentine is standing 1/4 right and Sylvia is facing 1/4 left, they both are looking at each other but at the audience too. The next stage picture is when Julia is talking to Lucetta, her best friend, on the beach at night.

Everybody has left the beach and their the only ones left. They are discussing the matter of whether or not Julia should love Proteus. By the end, she chooses to love him. In this scene they are down right, which signifies happy, intimate and romantic.. Which in essence is what they are talking about: love and romance. The two are sitting full front. In these scenes the actors positioning is very important, just like it is in every scene. The positioning tells more about the actor’s character by it tells us what mood and situation he’s in. The actor’s stage composition equals the audience picturization.

For instance, usually, down right is romantic positioning, down center is confrontational, down left is argumentative, up right is heavenly figure’s or angels, up center is royalty and up left is where surprise entries occur. If the characters move: diagonal it’s usually action oriented, straight it’s forceful or curved it’s relaxed. When you combine these and everything is perfect you can usually get a stage picture. Then the stage picture should evoke a lot of feeling and bring forth the theme of the play. It brings the theme up by the characters and their positioning are signifying an underling reason.

Not just the obvious but an actual theme. The picture should make you think and want to learn more. Although by the positioning you should be able to tell what is happening in that scene. When combined, the director creates a totally different world on stage. The audience is watching and they are not concerned with anything else. Everything in the play should be flowing perfectly and the audience should be taken captive by the actors/actresses. That is when you know you have a good play. In conclusion, Mr. Wolfe’s production of The Two Gentleman of Verona, was extremely well don.

Not only did the costumes, setting, characters, acting, lighting and direction, actively portray the play but they contributed into making it more lively and interesting. The choices of these facts had a positive impact on the production. The show possessed humor, direction, and creativity, three factors essential in putting on a great performance. I personally enjoyed the modern rewrite of the play and favored the bright colors of the costume, settings and character development. Overall I feel that this play had an excellent performance and demonstrated an important moral in life!

Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

Antonio is the namesake of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, but in addition to contributing to the title, his constant search for emotional martyrdom adds an air of depth and drama to an otherwise lighthearted and laughable play. Like many of Shakespeare’s best characters, Antonio could easily be overlooked as a mere plot-device. However, upon further inspection, he’s more than just two-dimensional; he has a history, a personality, and a raison d’tre. Entering with complaints of phantom depressions, Antonio explains his woes to two of his friends, Salerio and Solanio. In sooth, I know not why I am so sad.

It wearies me, you say it wearies you. But how I caught it, found it, or came by it What stuff ’tis made of, whereof ’tis born And such a want-wit sadness makes of me That I have much ado to know myself (I. i. 1-7). The audience never does learn the cause of this depression. Nor, it seems, does Antonio. Many speculate it is foreshadowing of his melancholy to come, while others say it is just a display of Antonio’s default attitude: romantic sadness. His emotions are not those of a cell-bound manic-depressive, but rather those of a large hearted person doting ceaselessly for the unattainable.

Why does this open the play? Shakespeare often cleverly manipulated his characters’ actions for the sake of plot revelations. For instance, Shakespeare uses his depression to let Salerio and Solanio question him about his affairs, thus introducing him to the audience. Throughout the play, the repercussions of many adventures fall upon Antonio; his 3,000-ducat debt, and Shylock’s subsequent rancor, as well as the destruction of his ships all must be placed on his shoulders. However, in the end, while everyone else finds love, he is alone.

It almost seems that Antonio welcomes these negative events, as they fuel his tears and moans. This is not to say that he is a crybaby, but rather that he does what he can to remain romantically sad. I hold this world but as the world, Gratiano, A stage where every man must play a part, This quote quite bluntly states how Antonio feels it is his destiny, his dharma, to be depressed. So, if he is not a plot device with legs, what is Antonio? Although his love interests seem non-existent, Antonio seems to be the lover of the story; he is sensitive, doting, and generous (as well as single! all common characteristics of Shakespearean romantics.

However, Bassanio, a worthier suitor (he seems to have a more positive look-out on life) takes this role. Antonio is not comic relief, since the Gobbos fill that. Any hatred the audience might feel is directed at Shylock, so the only thing Antonio can pull from the viewers is sympathy. It seems Antonio is there to supply the “dramatic relief. ” One can only take so much levity before it becomes nauseating! The Merchant of Venice is categorized as a comedyperhaps Shakespeare felt he needed to mix up the emotions.

And this is trueAntonio’s emotions, if examined, seem to be some of the truest of the play, although few investigate the subtext. His amity with Bassanio is a close one, worthy of words like ‘love’: “BASSANIO: To you, Antonio / I owe the most in money, and in love (I. i. 137-138). ” This shows fairly obviously how Bassanio is indebted to Antonio not only in borrowed money, but also in love. Antonio concurs with this a few lines later, saying “My purse, my person, my extremest means / Lie all unlocked to your occasions [needs] (I. i. 145-146),” reminding his friend that his money, help, love and help are available to him.

The phrasing is interesting though. Saying that his offerings are “unlocked” to him implies that to everyone else, they are locked. Perhaps Bassanio alone can pierce through Antonio’s fog of heavyheartedness. Most male friends, even those in Shakespeare, don’t toss “love” around lightly. While some dismiss it as nothing but word choice, others dig deeper. Homoerotic underplays are cited numerous times throughout the play, and these are worth investigating. First off, the fact that, even with such obvious characterization as “the lover”, Antonio fails in filling that duty could be symbolic of his homosexuality.

The correlation is notable between his and Portia’s “world-weariness”, and at first a reader may think the two seem destined to be togetherbut he remains a bachelor. This leads one to wonder… if he is so in love, and with no woman (for Shakespeare leaves no emotion un-exploited ), who with? However, Bassanio’s love for Portia is genuine, as we see. Antonio’s love for Bassanio is ardent and passionate. He is willing to bear all his suffering at Shylock’s hands for the sake of his friend, and Bassanio declares frequently that he will offer his life en lieu of Antonio’s “pound of flesh.

Again, this could be close friendship, but one must ask oneselfwould you give your life up for just any friend? Some critics opine that Bassanio is bisexual. His offering of his wedding ring to the handsome young “male” lawyers can be inferred as a sign, depending on the view of the two’s relationship. Would it affect the story one way or another? Possibly. It would explain the fervor with which Antonio aids Bassanio, as well as why he remains a bachelor through out the play. This could in turn also explain why Antonio is depressed.

His close friend, and possible object of affection, is involved with a far-off woman, to whom he would no doubt make haste, leaving Antonio alone. But he seems to accept his station in the plot — in life. He almost seems to enjoy this pain, like some sort of emotional masochist. He even states this, calling himself the ‘lame lamb of the flock, apt for death’: Meetest for death. The weakest kind of fruit Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me; You cannot be better employed, Bassanio, Than to live still, and write mine epitaph (IV. i. 116-120).

He begs Antonio to let him die for this. Maybe Antonio thinks a life without Bassanio is not worth living. Or perhaps he says this to test him, hoping for the response he gets: Which is as dear to me as life itself, But life itself, my wife, and all the world, Are not with me esteemed above thy life: I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all, Here to this devil [Shylock], to deliver you (IV. i. 294-299). But even with his worth recognized by Bassanio, Antonio’s overall mood remains unchanged. He is sad, almost anhedonic, in that he never attains any truly positive feelings.

This being a comedy, his depression shines through the humor like, as Portia states in act V, a candle in a dark hallway. Were this a drama, he would fit in perfectly. In the grand scheme, Antonio’s sexuality is not the important thing found while wading through the subtext of the play. Whatever they may be, Antonio’s decisions are always tainted, if not full of the goal of further sadness. So Antonio, the established “dose of drama”, acknowledges that he is best (and most useful plot-wise) when sad, and perhaps subconsciously does what he can do to keep himself this way.

And he does: by yearning for a man he can never have, digging himself into debt with Shylock (even when aware of the dangers), and dramatically lamenting, even without a good reason to. While most characters change from beginning to end, Antonio only gains in his gloom. He begins sad, and ends unfulfilled. Portia mentions briefly that his ships have returned safely, but this somewhat artificial (and all too convenient) relief is not what he wants. He wants to remain himself: to remain dejected, forlorn and inconsolable. For if he remains himself, than the play has authentic drama and emotion.

The Supernatural in Macbeth

In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, specific scenes focus the readers’ attention to the suspense and involvement of the supernatural. The use of witches, apparitions and ghosts provide important elements in making the play interesting.

Examining certain scenes of the play, it can be determined that as supernatural occurrences develop, Macbeth reflects a darker self-image. Macbeth experiences his first strange encounter of the supernatural when he meets the three witches in act one, scene one. After learning of his prophecies to become king, Macbeth states, “Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor: The greatest is behind (still to come). . 3. 117-118).

Shakespeare uses foreshadowing, a literary technique, to suggest to his readers the character Macbeth will suffer a personality change. Macbeth also implies his first notions of plotting an evil scheme by this comment. After the prophecies of the witches revealed the fate of Macbeth, the quest of the throne will be his next victory. “The witches reveal a fate for Macbeth and imply that a part of what will come to him must come, but they reveal no fate of evil-doing for him and never, even by suggestion, bind him to evil doing. tates literary critic Willard Furnham.

Furnham declares the only power the witches obtain over Macbeth is the power of insinuation. By offering to Macbeth the idea of power, the witches push Macbeth to the next level of greed and evil that did not exist prior to the encounter. The murder of King Duncan initiates Macbeth’s second encounter with the supernatural when he witnesses a floating dagger. As Macbeth awaits the signal to make his way up the stairs, he sees the floating dagger and proclaims, ” Come, let me clutch thee.

I have thee not, fatal vision, sensible (able to be felt) to feeling as to sight, or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain? ” (2. 2. 33-38). This apparition confuses and frightens Macbeth. He can not comprehend how he can see something and not be able to touch it. “Thou leads me the way I was going; and such an instrument I was to use. And on thy blade and hilt, drops of blood which was not so before. There’s no such thing. It is bloody business which takes shape. ” (2. 2. 43-49) Here, Macbeth begins to question whether his mind is playing tricks on him.

The situation seems quite coincidental considering he is minutes from murdering a man with a similar weapon. He states the apparition takes place due to the bloody business about to occur. The dagger symbolizes the point of no return for Macbeth. If he chooses the path in which the dagger leads, there will be no turning back. Macbeth fears Banquo due to his prophecy to father kings, so Macbeth proceeds to plot the murder of his once friend, which spurs yet another brush with the supernatural. Macbeth attends a banquet at which he witnesses the ghost of his dead friend. (3. 4. 145)

The fortunes of the three witches sparked Macbeth’s desire to murder Banquo and caused him to dig himself into a deeper hole. Macbeth’s guilt and fear combined drive him to darker and more evil actions in an attempt to cover his past misdeeds. “What man dare, I dare. Approach though like the rugged Russian bear, the armed rhinoceros, or th’ Hyrcan tiger; Take any shape but that (Banquo) and my firm nerves shall never tremble. ” (3. 4. 100-104) Macbeth feels frightened at the sight of the bloody ghost haunting him and is angered that the ghost revealed it self to him.

His guilt causes him to proclaim he could take on a rhino, tiger or any other wild animal, but not Banquo’s ghost. After his encounter with the ghost, Macbeth proceeds to visit the witches one last time to insure his security. After this last visit, Macbeth becomes overconfident and a tyrant, which cause his downfall. The use of supernatural in Macbeth, provides the suspenseful nature of his work. Without the witches, apparitions and the ghost, Macbeth could not have reached his downfall. The use of supernatural in Macbeth caused Macbeth to become a darker and more evil person with each paranormal encounter.

The Life And Works Of Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is the world’s most admired playwright and poet. He was born in April, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, about 100 miles northwest of London. According to the records of Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church, he was baptized on April 26. As with most sixteenth century births, the actual day is not recorded but people are guessing that he was born on April 23. Shakespeare’s parents were John and Mary Shakespeare, who lived in Henley Street, Stratford.

John, the son of Richard Shakespeare, was a maker, worker and seller of leather goods like purses, belts and gloves and a dealer in agricultural commodities. He served in Stratford government successively as a member of the Council , constable , chamberlain , alderman and finally high bailiff which is the equivalent of town mayor. About 1577 John Shakespeare’s fortunes began to decline for unknown reasons. There are records of debts. William had seven siblings. He was the third child and first born son.

In the sixteenth century Stratford-upon-Avon was an important agricultural center and market town. The building in Henley street known today as the birthplace of William Shakespeare was at the time of his birth, two different buildings that John Shakespeare bought at two different times. William went to school at the Stratford Grammar School. He had to show up at six or seven A. M. depending on the season and stay there most of the day, six days a week. William studied many different authors and dramatists including Caesar, Cicero, Virgil, Horace, Livy, and Ovid.

Ovid was his favorite. Grammar school was the beginning of Shakespeare’s career. Almost everything he mastered he learned there. After grammar school, William went to the Warwickshire Countryside. There he played parts in plays and wrote poetry. The years 1594-1599 were momentous for Shakespeare. He produced a steady stream of plays of the highest quality. He continued as a principal actor and manager in the Chamberlain’s men, blessed with a stable work environment in the theater. Finally in 1599, he became part owner in the most prestigious public playhouse in London, the Globe.

His first works which were heavily influenced by the classical examples he had learned as a student were The Comedy of Errors and Titus Andronicus. He invented a new genre called the history play. His early works in this genre were the three Henry VI plays, and Richard III. He got his idea for Venis and Adonis and Rape of Lucrece from his favorite author, Ovid. Over the years 1594-1599 the Chamberlain’s Men had ecome the most popular acting company in London, being invited to perform at court far more often than any other group.

Shakespeare must have done a great deal of acting. He is listed by Ben Jonson in Jonson’s magnificent 1616 Folio of his Works as having acted as the chief comedian in Every Man In His Humour in 1598. The Globe Theater burned down in 1613 and many of Shakespeare’s manuscripts were ruined. It was then rebuilt by a carpenter named Peter Rose. Shakespeare’s last work before he retired was The Temptest. Then he died in 1616 and was then buried in the Parish Church. His death was sudden and they don’t know hat caused it but they think he could have lived much longer.

Almost all his things went to his oldest daughter Susanne. His younger daughter Judith got 300 pounds, and his wife got all the furniture. After he died Judith married John Quiney. He cheated on her and got another girl pregnant. That baby died. Judith and John had three children together. One they named Shakespeare died as an infant. There other two, Richard and Thomas died at the ages of 21 and 19. Shakespeare was one of the greatest playwrights and poets ever. He was a big part in literature. He invented a new genre and made many plays that everybody loves. He was a great man.

William Shakespeare a great English playwright, dramatist and poet

William Shakespeare was a great English playwright, dramatist and poet who lived during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest playwright of all time. No other writer’s plays have been produced so many times or read so widely in so many countries as his. Shakespeare was born to middle class parents. His father, John, was a Stratford businessman. He was a glove maker who owned a leather shop. John Shakespeare was a well known and respected man in the town.

He held several important local governmental positions. William Shakespeare’s mother was Mary Arden. Though she was the aughter of a local farmer, she was related to a family of considerable wealth and social standing. Mary Arden and John Shakespeare were married in 1557. William Shakespeare was born in Stratford in 1564. He was one of eight children. The Shakespeare’s were well respected prominent people. When William Shakespeare was about seven years old, he probably began attending the Stratford Grammar School with other boys of his social class.

Students went to school year round attending school for nine hours a day. The teachers were strict disciplinarians. Though Shakespeare spent long hours at school, his boyhood was probably fascinating. Stratford was a lively town and during holidays, it was known to put on pageants and many popular shows. It also held several large fairs during the year. Stratford was a exciting place to live. Stratford also had fields and woods surrounding it giving William the opportunity to hunt and trap small game. The River Avon which ran through the town allowed him to fish also.

Shakespeare’s’ poems and plays show his love of nature and rural life which reflects his childhood. On November 28, 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway of the neighboring village of Shottery. She was twenty-six, and he was only eighteen at the time. They had three children. Susana was their first and then they had twins, Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s son, died in 1596. In 1607, his daughter Susana got married. Shakespeare’s other daughter, Judith, got married in 1616. In London, Shakespeare’s career took off.

It is believed that he may have become well known in London theatrical life by 1592. By that time, he had joined one of the city’s repertory theater companies. These companies were made up of a permanent cast of actors who presented different plays week after week. The companies were commercial organizations that depended on admission from their udience. Scholars know that Shakespeare belonged to one of the most popular acting companies in London called The Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Shakespeare was a leading member of the group from 1594 for the rest of his career.

By 1594, at least six of Shakespeare’s plays had been produced. During Shakespeare’s life, there were two monarchs who ruled England. They were Henry the eighth and Elizabeth the first. Both were impressed with Shakespeare which made his name known. There is evidence that he was a member of a traveling theater group, and a schoolmaster. In 1594, he became an actor and playwright for Lord Chamberlain’s Men. In 1599, he became a part owner of the prosperous Globe Theater. He also was a part owner of the Blackfriars Theater as of 1609.

Shakespeare retired to Stratford in 1613 where he wrote many of his excellent plays. There are many reasons as to why William Shakespeare is so famous. He is generally considered to be both the greatest dramatist the world has ever known as well as the finest poet who has written in the English language. Many reasons can be given for Shakespeare’s enormous appeal. His fame basically is from his great understanding of human nature. He was able to find universal human qualities and ut them in a dramatic situation creating characters that are timeless.

Yet he had the ability to create characters that are highly individual human beings. Their struggles in life are universal. Sometimes they are successful and sometimes their lives are full of pain, suffering, and failure. In addition to his understanding and realistic view of human nature, Shakespeare had a vast knowledge of a variety of subjects. These subjects include music, law, Bible, stage, art, politics, history, hunting, and sports. Shakespeare had a tremendous influence on culture and literature throughout the world. He contributed reatly to the development of the English language.

Many words and phrases from Shakespeare’s plays and poems have become part of our speech. Shakespeare’s plays and poems have become a required part of education in the United States. Therefore, his ideas on subjects such as romantic love, heroism, comedy, and tragedy have helped shape the attitudes of millions of people. His portrayal of historical figures and events have influenced our thinking more than what has been written in history books. The world has admired and respected many great writers, but only Shakespeare has generated such enormous ontinuing interest.

My source states explanations rather than opinions on why Shakespeare’s contributions to literature are so vast. My source devoted thirty pages to William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s plays are usually divided into three major categories. These are comedy, tragedy, and history. Three plays which are in the category of comedy are The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Two Gentlemen of Verone. Three plays which are in the category of tragedy are Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus, and Julius Caesar. In the category of history, three plays are Henry V, Richard II, and Richard III.

Macbeth: Tragic Hero

The following is an essay on how the character of Macbeth serves as an example of a tragic hero in Shakespeares Macbeth. His tragic decision stems from the influence of a tragic flaw. Once he has made the decision, it is irreversible, and produces his downfall. In an attempt to save himself, the tragic hero tries to reverse his decision, but ultimately fails. Aristotle defined the tragic hero as the following: The tragic hero must be neither villain nor a virtuous man but a character between these two extremes… an who not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity but by some error or human frailty. ”

Aristotle The play follows Aristotles five-act pattern. In Act I, the Act of Introduction, the setting, characters, and plot are introduced to the reader. The background and setting of the play are introduced in order for the reader to fully understand it. In Act II, the Act of Development, the plot develops, the conflict intensifies, and signs of characters flaws appear. Act III is the Act of Tragic Decision.

Characters usually act under the influence of a tragic flaw, causing them to make a crucial decision. In Act IV, the Act of Falling Action, the character realizes the error in the decision. In a futile effort, they try to reverse it but ultimately fail. The damage is beyond repair. In Act V, the Act of Catastrophe, the character suffers the consequences of the decision, and is destroyed professionally, physically and socially. In Macbeth, Shakespeare strays from the traditional structuralist point of view and takes upon a more creative point of view in a sense that the tragic decision could be anywhere in the play.

Unlike most tragic plays, in Macbeth, the tragic decision does not occur in act three. Instead, he makes decisions that occur throughout the play, which do not necessarily happen in act three. Throughout the play, Macbeth is blinded by his ambition. The witches, Lady Macbeth, and his own insecurities aid in helping him carry out his actions. In the beginning of the play, we see him as a noble leader, and in the end, as a violent, desperate individual. In the first act, the witches awaken Macbeths ambition to rise to power.

In the second act, Lady Macbeth encourages him to commit the crime necessary for him to fulfill this ambition. Throughout the entire play, his own insecurities lead Macbeth to rash actions to rid himself of his enemies, of which he often regrets. In act one, three witches who in turn contribute to the downfall of his character confront Macbeth. They tell him he will become Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Gladis, and King of Scotland. These prophecies arouse Macbeths curiosity to rise to power. Once the witches give him the prophecy of becoming king, he immediately thinks about how he can accomplish this.

In Act I, he says, If good, why do I yield to that suggestion? Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair? And make my seated heart knock against my ribs. Against the use of nature? (Act I, iii. 14-137). He believes the prophecy to be good news, and cannot think of a reason why he should not be king. We see his aspiring to become king even more in the following quote. Glamis and Thane of Cawdor! The greatest is behind (Act I, iii. 133) As the play progresses, he relies more and more on their prophecies. He shows great faith in the witches words, not once considering that they may be apparitions of evil.

In the following passage, he writes to Lady Macbeth his thoughts. They met me in the day of success; and I / have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in / them than mortal knowledge. (Act I, v. 1-3). He considers their prophecies to be true and in his words, the perfectest. He believes that they have knowledge beyond what any human could possibly know. The influence of Macbeths wife, Lady Macbeth also contributes to his downfall. Lady Macbeth has a strong influence on his decisions and actions.

She feeds Macbeths ambition by suggesting the murder of Duncan in order to acquire the throne. This also spurs Macbeth to commit more murders following his first one. Lady Macbeth encourages Macbeth to carry out the murder of Duncan. She says, Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valour as thou art in desire? Wouldst thou has that which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem? (Act I, vii. 39-41). Thus, she pressures him to commit the act of murder for her own sake and is aware of his ambition to claim the throne.

Even though Macbeth knows what is morally right, his own greed and ambition take control over his conscience. By deciding to murder Duncan, he determines his future. Lady Macbeth takes an active role in planning the murder by helping him follow through with it. She says, his two chamberlains / Will I with wine and wassel so convince,” (Act I, vii. 70-71). Macbeths own ambition is a major factor in contributing to his downfall. Once he becomes king, his ambition takes over, and his actions become increasingly desperate. In the first act, Macbeth himself is aware of his ambition and drive to become king.

He says, I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition which oerleaps itself and falls on thother. (Act I, vii, lines 25-27) The witches’ prophecy concerning Banquo’s descendants and Macbeth’s feeling of inferiority to Banquo lead Macbeth to arrange for the murder of Banquo and his son, Fleance. Banquos presence around Macbeth is a constant reminder to him that it will be Banquos descendants and not his that will inherit the throne. He is aware that he has worked very hard to accomplish what he has, and does not want to lose it to Banquo.

We see this in the following quote, Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown, / And put a barren sceptre in my gripe, / Thence to be wrench’d with an unlineal hand, / No son of mine succeeding. ” (Act III, i. 65-68). He is clearly bitter over the possibility of Banquos descendants, not his, inheriting the throne. We see more of Macbeths rash decisions and ambitious behavior in Act IV when he learns that Macduff fled before he could have him killed. He says, from this moment, the very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand.

Act IV, scene I, 145-147). From that point on he will make his decisions without thinking about the possible dire consequences. His ambition blinds him to that possibility that maybe his actions are producing negative effects. For example, by killing Macduffs family, he brings out revenge and hate in Macduff, ultimately leading to his demise. Macbeths character displays strong signs of being a tragic hero, making him an ideal example. He is not a villain, and is far from a virtuous man. He is easily influenced by outside forces that indirectly control his actions.

Macbeth makes a variety of bad decisions that begin in Act I and end in Act IV. He is inspired to become king by the three witches and their prophecies. His wife, Lady Macbeth manipulates his thoughts and actions while feeding his driving ambition. And finally, Macbeth is the victim of his own rash decisions and actions stemming from his pride and ambition. Macbeths tragic decision stems from his pride and ambition. He makes numerous irreversible decisions that in turn produce his downfall. He constantly relies on the witches prophecies to save him, and in the end realizes that they were false.

The Role of Prejudice in ‘The Merchant of Venice’

William Shakespeare’s satirical comedy, The Merchant of Venice, believed to have been written in 1596 was an examination of hatred and greed. The premise deals with the antagonistic relationship between Shylock, a Jewish money-lender and Antonio, the Christian merchant, who is as generous as Shylock is greedy, particularly with his friend, Bassanio. The two have cemented a history of personal insults, and Shylock’s loathing of Antonio intensifies when Antonio refuses to collect interest on loans. Bassanio wishes to borrow 3,000 ducats from Antonio so that he may journey to Belmont and ask the beautiful and ealthy Portia to marry him.

Antonio borrows the money from Shylock, and knowing he will soon have several ships in port, agrees to part with a pound of flesh if the loan is not repaid within three months. Shylock’s abhorrence of Antonio is further fueled by his daughter Jessica’s elopement with Lorenzo, another friend of Antonio’s. Meanwhile, at Belmont, Portia is being courted by Bassanio, and wedding plans continue when, in accordance with her father’s will, Bassanio is asked to choose from three caskets — one gold, one silver and one lead. Bassanio correctly selects the lead casket that contains Portia’s picture.

The couple’s joy is short-lived, however, when Bassanio receives a letter from Antonio, informing him of the loss of his ships and of Shylock’s determination to carry out the terms of the loan. Bassanio and Portia marry, as do his friend, Gratiano and Portia’s maid, Nerissa. The men return to Venice, but are unable to assist Antonio in court. In desperation, Portia disguises herself as a lawyer and arrives in Venice with her clerk (Nerissa) to argue the case. She reminds Shylock that he can only collect the flesh that the agreement calls for, nd that if any blood is shed, his property will be confiscated.

At this point, Shylock agrees to accept the money instead of the flesh, but the court punishes him for his greed by forcing him to become a Christian and turn over half of his property to his estranged daughter, Jessica. Prejudice is a dominant theme in The Merchant of Venice, most notably taking the form of anti-semitism. Shylock is stereotypically described as “costumed in a recognizably Jewish way in a long gown of gabardine, probably black, with a red beard and/or wing like that of Judas, and a hooked putty nose or bottle nose” (Charney, p. 1).

Shylock is a defensive character because society is constantly reminding him he is different in religion, looks, and motivation. He finds solace in the law because he, himself, is an outcast of society. Shylock is an outsider who is not privy to the rights accorded to the citizens of Venice. The Venetians regard Shylock as a capitalist motivated solely by greed, while they saw themselves as Christian paragons of piety. When Shylock considers taking Antonio’s bond using his ships as collateral, his bitterness is evident when he quips, “But ships are but board, sailors but men.

There be land rats and water rats, water thieves and land thieves — I mean pirates — and then there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks” (I. iii. 25). Shylock believes the Venetians are hypocrites because of their slave ownership. The Venetians justify their practice of slavery by saying simply, “The slaves are ours” (IV. i. 98-100). During the trial sequence, Shylock persuasively argues, “You have among you many a purchased slave, which (like your asses and your dogs and mules). You us in abject and in slavish parts, because you bought them, shall I say to you, let them be ree, marry them to your heirs… ou will answer, `The slaves are ours,’ — so do I answer you:  The pound of flesh (which I demand of him) is dearly bought, ’tis mine and I will have it” (IV. i. 90-100).

Shakespeare’s depiction of the Venetians is paradoxical. They are, too, a capitalist people and readily accept his money, however, shun him personally. Like American society, 16th century Venice sought to solidify their commercial reputation through integration, but at the same time, practiced social exclusion. Though they extended their hands to his Shylock’s money, they turned their backs on him socially.

When Venetian merchants needed usurer capital to finance their business ventures, Jews flocked to Venice in large numbers. By the early 1500s, the influx of Jews posed a serious threat to the native population, such that the Venetian government needed to confine the Jews to a specific district. This district was called geto nuovo (New Foundry) and was the ancestor of the modern-day ghetto. In this way, Venetians could still accept Jewish money, but control their influence upon their way of life. Antonio, though a main character in The Merchant of Venice remains a rather ambiguous figure.

Although he has many friends, he still remains a solitary and somewhat melancholy figure. He is generous to a fault with his friends, especially Bassanio, which lends itself to speculation as to his sexuality. His perceived homosexuality makes him somewhat of a pariah among his countrymen, much like Shylock. Shylock’s loathing of Antonio, he explains simply, “How like a fawning publican he looks! I hate him for he is a Christian” (I. iii. 38-39). Antonio holds Shylock in the same contempt, trading barbs with him and spitting at him. His contempt for shylock is further demonstrated when he addresses

Shylock in the third person, despite his presence. Antonio’s prejudice is clearly evident when he asks, “Is he yet possessed? (I. iii. 61). The word “possessed” is synonymous with the Devil in the Christian world. In his mind, his greed and his Judaism are one, and because Shylock lacks his (Antonio’s) Christian sensibilities, he is therefore the reincarnation of the Devil and the embodiment of all that is evil. Images of a dog, which is coincidentally God spelled backwards, are abound. Society must restrain the Jew because he is an untamed animal.

Shylock sees himself in society’s eyes and muses, “Thou call’dst me a dog before thou hadst a cause. But since I am a dog, beware my fangs (III. iii. 6-7). ”  When Antonio spits on Shylock in public, this is perfectly acceptable behavior in a society where Jews are considered on the same level as dogs. Antonio is presented as a “good” Christian who ultimately shows mercy on his adversary, the “evil” Jew, Shylock. By calling for Shylock’s conversion to Christianity, Antonio is saving a sinner’s soul, and by embracing Christianity, he will be forced to repent and mend his avarice ways.

Most of the women in The Merchant of Venice, true to the Elizabethan time period, are little more than an attractive presence. Despite their immortalization in art, Shakespeare, like his contemporaries, appears to perceive women as little more than indulged play things with little to offer society than physical beauty. Shylock is devastated when his daughter leaves him to marry a Christian, he regards her as little more than one of his possession, just has he regards jewels and ducats. Portia, though possessing both strength and intelligence, she, too, is inclined to prejudicial judgments.

She takes distainful view of the lowly class, and dismisses the 3,000 ducats as “a petty debt. ”  Although she truly loves Bassanio in spite of his low social rank, Bassanio is initially portrayed as a crass materialist who regards Portia as little more than a prize to be won. Only by marrying her can he achieve any kind of social nobility. Although Portia plays a powerful role in the play’s climax, she must disguise herself as a man for her words to be taken seriously. Racial prejudice is also hinted at in The Merchant of Venice.

The Prince of Morocco, though elegant in both manner and dress, has a omposity which perhaps stems from being a dark-skinned man not altogether accepted in the predominantly white Christian surroundings. The bias of the city-state ruler is evident when during the trial, the Duke of Venice tells Shylock, “We all expect a gentle answer, Jew” (IV. i. 34). The implication is that Christians are the models of gentility and social grace, whereas Jews are coarse in both manner and words. Is Shylock really the epitome of evil? Over the years, the “pound of flesh” phrase has been interpreted by both scholars and students alike.

Author W. H. Auden draws a similarity between Shylock’s demand for payment in a pound of flesh with the crucifixion of Christ. Auden wrote, “Christ may substitute himself for man, but the debt has to be paid by death on the cross. The devil is defeated, not because he has no right to demand a penalty, but because he does not know the penalty has been already suffered” (Auden, p. 227). Shylock regards Antonio as his number one nemesis because of the countless public humiliations he has subjected him to and because Antonio has purposely hindered his business by refusing to collect interest on loans.

Hamlet in act III scene II

Hamlet in act III scene II is left alone and starts to philosophize about the concept of suicide. He presents a logical argument both for and against ending his own life and seems to be governed by reason rather than frenzied emotion as in the previous two major soliloquys . To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer Hamlet poses the question to himself , to exist , or not to exist . He says that is the question but he goes on to ask himself many more in the subsequent dialog .

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, asking himself whether it would appear nobler for him to suffer whatever fortune blocks his path with or to in some way combat and stop the troubles one has to endure. He uses the words slings and arrows to make his problems more real as comparing them with weapons can lead us to believe they have similar effects of harm . A sea of troubles is used to emphasize and exaggerate Hamlets problems.. And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;

No more; and by a sleep to say we end Hamlet believes that the only way to end his troubles is either to die or sleep comparing the two saying one is as good as the other . That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep; Hamlet believes that the only way to finally settle matters is to commit suicide. In these two lines there are three religious elements , firstly he says that flesh is heir to troubles , with this he means the original sin that his religion is born with , the word devoutly and the reference to suicide as he knows that suicide is the ultimate sin .

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come Using the parallel of sleeping and death , he compares the afterlife with dreams saying that when you sleep you dream but you can never predict what of , as in the afterlife u never know what one will encounter upon arriving there. When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there’s the respect he says we must stop to think before we take action as we must take into consideration other aspects.

That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, These other aspects are what makes life so long lived by people as Hamlet believes no person would bear the misfortunes and suffering that we encounter during life if we were certain of a way to go to a better place.

The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? o would fardels bear, One can easily settle his own problems with jus one slash of a mere knife so why do we live life with these burdens on his back , if we can so easily dispel them. To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, to work hard and sweat in a life that mentally wears us down the only thing that stops us ending life is the uncertainty of an afterlife as we may encounter something not to our liking or our pleasure. The undiscover’d country from whose bourn

No traveler returns, puzzles the will The afterlife is an undiscovered country or realm that no person returns from past its boundarys and that is what leads the mind to be confused . Hamlet has already experienced a ghost of his father though so this line indicates us to believe that Hamlet still does not know for certain the nature of the ghost that visited him. And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? We would rather suffer the down side of life than take a risk and go somewhere that we have no idea or grasp of.

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Our mind that makes us set apart from animals in the exact thing that is our downfall as it makes us lack courage and make us all look and seem like cowards. Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pitch and moment Hamlet believes that the more we think about this thought of suicide , the more it becomes of ill appeal to us as thinking of the climatic moment of killing one self would be another aspect that would discourage suicide . With this regard their currents turn awry,

And lose the name of action. — Soft you now! Hamlets believes people would become unstable like the sea when tides change and so would become incapable of the deed they set out to do. The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember’d. Hamlets soliloquy is cut short as he hears Ophelia praying and so goes to attend her. We can learn from this that Hamlet is still of a sound mind and his antic disposition is still just that but we also see one of Hamlets floors , his procrastination over this subject loses him valuable time on many fronts.

Love Loss And The Court Of King Claudius

Shakespeare worked with the simplest of principals, writing at the mind’s own speed, using everything he read, but reworking it first, and depending upon characters for the defining trait or flaw. One theme which constantly emerges throughout Hamlet is the theme of love and loss, revealed by the characters of Hamlet, Laertes, and Ophelia. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is a young man subjected to much heart ache in the course of this play. His first loss being the suspicious death of Hamlet’s beloved and respected father, Hamlet Sr.

Even Hamlet’s Uncle/Step-father, King Claudius, noted in peaking with young Hamlet that his mourning was serious. “‘Tis sweet and commendable in your nature,” says Caludius of Hamlet’s behavior, “. . . But to persevere in obstinate condolement is a course of impious stubbornness. Tis unmanly grief. . . ” (Act I, Scene II, lines 90-98). Hamlet was heartbroken at the loss of his father, which was reflected in his outlook on life. He regarded Denmark as a prison and spoke to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of having bad dreams. Unfortunately Act I is not the only time where young Hamlet expresses pain from love and loss.

Although he is cruel and nkind to Ophelia in their meetings of both Act III, Scenes I and II, he is only expressing the frustration that has built up inside of him toward all women, and directed it at Ophelia because she was available. Hamlet had not ceased to love her. He explains his true feelings for Ophelia upon arrival at her burial, completely shocked that his beloved maid has died, saying, “What is he whose grief bears such an emphasis, whose phase of sorrow conjures the wand’ring stars and makes them stand like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,” (Act V, Scene I, lines 267-271).

He then goes on to say he would do anything to prove his love, including be buried with her. Hamlet lost yet another person dear to him, his lover, fair Ophelia. Hamlet is only one character in the play who experiences love and loss. Ophelia is another. In Act III, Scene IV, after the performance of The Mouse Trap and The Murder of Gonzago for the royal court, Hamlet mistakenly kills Polonius, the father of Ophelia and Laertes. Ophelia already believed she had lost the affections of her Hamlet due to their dialogue from Act III, Scenes I and II.

She had sacrificed his love because her father and rother had ordered her to turn him away. And now, to learn that her respected father, whom she had given up her lover for, was dead, was far too great a grievance for the young woman. In Act IV, Scene V, reports reach Queen Gertrude that Ophelia has gone mad. She sings songs of unrequited love, betrayal, and death. The King, the Queen, Horatio, and the Gentleman recognize that it is the trauma of her loss that has driven her to be so. Claudius remarking, “O, this is the poison of deep grief. It springs all from her father’s death, and now behold! ” (Act IV, Scene V, Lines 80-81).

And so we see another ho was affected by the theme of love and loss. Finally, there is the son of Polonius, a man of great talent with a rapier, whose losses seem already totaled when he sees his sister in her state of madness and he concludes, “And so have I a noble father lost, and a sister driven into desp’rate terms, whose worth, if praises may go back again, stood challenger on mount of all the age for her perfections,” (Act IV, Scene VII, Lines 27-31). Laertes feels the loss of his sister before she actually kills herself in the river – and then he has truly lost both his father and younger sister.

It is tragic, but rather than sadness, Laertes expresses anger. Anger towards Hamlet because, to him, Hamlet is to blame for the death of both of Laertes’ family members. Shakespeare wrote Hamlet with several key players in mind to portray the theme of love and loss to its audience. When it was not young Hamlet experiencing love and loss, it was fair Ophelia dealing with the same feelings, or it was her brother, Laertes. In every act at least one of these three experiences dealing with love and/or loss. Therefore love and loss is a relevant theme to Hamlet which is successfully traced from beginning to end.

Othello – Brabantio, Roderigo and Iago

1. In the opening scene of the play, the audience gets their first impression of Othello in third person. Three characters have been given the role of projecting Othellos character to the audience, these are: Brabantio, Roderigo and Iago. These characters play the important role to contrast Othellos moral fibre.

In comparison to Iago and Roderigo, Brabantio says the least against Othello. Brabantio claims that this accident (Othellos marriage with his daughter) is not unlike my dream. This proves that Brabantio perceives the marriage as unnatural, and an accidental; it would not have occurred under any normal circumstances. The audience absorbs this view of him and take Brabantios reaction to judge Othello.

Furthermore, Iago and Roderigo use vile language to describe Othello, which Brabantio does not negate. This opens towards the notion for the audience to think that Brabantio accepts these descriptions as they are common. In addition, as the audience does not yet know of Othellos complexion, Brabantios acceptance that he was robbed (by) an old black ram (of his) white ewe, aids to convey the idea that Othello is a dishonest kidnapper. At no point in the first scene does Brabantio consider the possibility that the situation was escalated. Brabantio was given a summary of Desdemona and Othellos circumstance and instantly assumed that Othello had stolen his daughter.

Roderigo would appear to have an even smaller role than Brabantio in the transmission of Othellos first impression as he is only voicing Iagos thoughts. This occurs while the audience would perceive Roderigo as a just and innocent man in the process of aiding others in his community. Many in the audience would now deduce that Othello is a desperado, while Roderigo is the hero in this play. This adds to the belief that Othello is a villain and has a horrible reputation in Venice. The suggestion that Othello is a deplorable man would, however, not be this extreme if Iago was not present.

Iago presents himself to the audience with a short temper and despicable language. Iago describes Othello as an old black ram devil a barbary horse (a) beast. This imagery implies that Othello is barbaric or basically a DOG, only worse. A dog is mans best friend; Othello is not. The audience would see Othello as lesser than a dog and also think that even his actions reflect the animalistic nature because of the tupping and black deeds he performs. Clearly, the audiences impression of Othello is escalated from cruel to dreadful, evil, kidnapper through Iagos input.

2. In act 1, scenes ii and iii, Othello appears a truly honourable and modest man. Othello expresses these qualities by voicing when boasting is an honour, I (Othello) shall provulgate. Othello understands that having the gorgeous Desdemona as his wife is something most men would boast about, but as modesty is a quality, abundant in Othellos life, he does not, but instead keeps this information to himself. Iago advised Othello that they best go in suggesting that Othello should hide from Brabantio, however, Othello shows his courage which leads him to reply not I; I must be found.

The audience would now be at a point of indecisiveness, where they are forced to accept the scene i characterisation of Othello or the portrayal that the audience directly sees from Othello, himself. When the conversation with Cassio is observed, the obvious tone of respect in Cassios speech is echoed, which announces to the audience that Othello is all these good qualities, and none of the bad.

Othello is yet again placed under a test of nobility in scene ii as Brabantio now arrives with the armed guard. Othello decides to not battle the guard, however, he simply states (which Othello fails to consider at the end) that you shall more command with years than your weapons. This statement avoids bloodshed yet displays Othellos full wisdom and his thoughtfulness.

The audience now sees the true nature of Othello, thus recognising the true thugs of the play. The viewers also learn that perhaps Othellos excellent lifestyle is the cause of Roderigo and Iagos attempt to destroy him. The spectators now clearly see the villains and accept Othello as their true hero. (not Roderigo!)

King Lear vs The Stone Angel

It has been said that, “Rivers and mountains may change; human nature, never. “(worldofquotes. com) This is a quote that can be deconstructed when examining William Shakespeare’s King Lear and Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel. When reviewing the two books the main characters, King Lear and Hagar, are easily comparable. The first similarity becomes apparent when King Lear and Hagar are both developed as flawed characters. Secondly, because of their flaws the two characters become blind to reality. Thirdly, after being deceived by themselves and others as a result of their blindness, both characters seek refuge outside of their own homes.

By leaving their homes the characters are able to gain perspective on themselves and their pasts. Finally, despite these similarities between King Lear and Hagar, a significant difference prevails after the characters experience their epiphanies and are awarded a chance to redeem themselves. When exploring King Lear and The Stone Angel it becomes clear that although both main characters engage in similar journeys to self discovery a critical difference between the two books exists in the character’s ability to redeem themselves after their epiphany.

It first became clear that Shakespeare’s King Lear and Laurence’s Hagar Shipley were similar main characters when their personalities were developed with flaws. King Lear was immediately revealed as an imperfect character when he was shown in his somewhat conflicting roles as a father and a king. After resolving to divide his kingdom amongst his three daughters Lear develops a way to decide how his power and land will be divided. Looking to his three children Lear probes, “Tell me, my daughters/ (Since now we will divest us both of rule,/ Interest of territory, cares of state),/ Which of you shall we say doth love us most?

That we our largest bounty may extend/ Where nature doth with merit challenge. “(I. i. 49-54) It is at this point in the play that King Lear reveals himself as superficial. Knowing he had already divided his land in three Lear could have presented it to his daughters as each receives one third of the kingdom. However, Lear is flawed in that he is superficial and rather than hand over his land and power he would rather hear his daughters competitively praise him for it. Similarly to Lear’s flaw Hagar is also an imperfect character in The Stone Angel.

Hagar, an elderly woman living with her son Marvin and his wife Doris, demonstrates the flawed qualities of being both too prideful and irrational. These qualities become apparent when Marvin and Doris talk to Hagar about selling their house. Being older themselves, Marvin and Doris decide that they can no longer provide Hagar with the care she requires and that it would be in her best interest to move into the Silverthreads Nursing Home. When Hagar finds our she quickly states, “Doris–I won’t go there. That place. Oh you know all right.

You know what I mean, my girl. No use to shake your head. Well, I won’t. The two of you can move out. Go ahead and move right out. Yes, you do that. I’ll stay here in my house. “(57) Hagar is showing that she has too much pride to move into a home where she would be carefully monitored and assisted but is also being irrational by saying that she would remain in her house without Marvin and Doris there to help her. When comparing King Lear and Hagar Shipley their similarities are shown in the flawed character traits that they both possess. The next similarity shown between King Lear and Hagar is that as a result of their personal flaws, both characters become blind to reality.

After Cordelia fails to adequately profess her love to her father she is banished and the kingdom in divided between Lear’s other two daughters Goneril and Regan. During his stay with Goneril Lear becomes enraged in her poor treatment of him. He decides he and his train of men will be happier living with Regan. While Lear complains to Regan about her sister, Regan fully supports Goneril and openly condemns Lear leaving Goneril’s house. Faced with the reality that neither of his daughters truly love and support him as they had claimed Lear says to Regan, “No, Regan, thou shalt never have my curse. II. iv. 170)

After realizing her open lack of love for him Lear pleads to Regan and himself, “Thou better knowest/ The offices of nature, bond of childhood,/ Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude. / Thy half of the kingdom hast thou not forgot,/ Wherein I thee endowed. “(II. iv. 177-181) Because Lear superficially asked his daughters to profess their love, he has now been deceived by their falsely promoted emotions and is impervious to the fact that his daughters have used him to obtain their own power and possessions.

In the same way that Lear is blinded to the actions of his daughters because of his flaws, Hagar is blind to her own actions because she is too prideful. When Marvin and Doris try to explain that they are no longer able to provide Hagar with the care she needs Doris mentions that Hagar has been wetting her sheets. Struck by the accusation that she could be so irresponsible and not know about it Hagar says angrily, “That’s a lie. I never did any such thing. “(74) Even though Doris and Marvin both know that Hagar has been wetting her sheets every night, Hagar has too much pride to admit that she may have lost control of her own body.

Evidently it is because of Hagar’s pride that she will not acknowledge or admit to her unflattering actions. After recognizing the flaws of both King Lear and Hagar it is clear that as a result of their flaws they become blind to their own actions and the actions of others. The third similarity is the culminating point in their journey to self discovery. Both Lear and Hagar are removed from their homes and placed in an alternate environment where they are able to gain perspective on their lives. After banishing one daughter and being outcast by the other two, King Lear is officially banished from his former kingdom.

Lear had been blind to the fact that his daughters were plotting against him but now as the castle doors close to shut him out he is unable to make sense of his situation. Taking with him only a servant and his friend the fool, Lear endures terrible weather until a storm begins to gather and he finds himself on the heath. It is here that Lear is able to gather his thoughts and recognize his faults. Lear says, “Poor naked wretches, wheresoe’er you are,/ That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,/ How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,/ Your looped and windowed raggedness, defend you/ From seasons such as these?

O, I have ta’en/ Too little care of this! “(III. iv. 28-33) Lear has learned to understand what the wretches were going through while he was living comfortably in his kingdom. He is able to acknowledge that he has been selfish and superficial in the past. Likewise, in The Stone Angel Hagar also left home to seek refuge in the outdoors. After running away from Marvin and Doris, Hagar finds herself at Shadow Point. During her stay Hagar is exposed to the elements of nature and is eventually taken to the hospital. It is here that Hagar is left alone to contemplate herself and her life.

After reviewing different moments in her life Hagar realizes that, “Pride was [her] wilderness, and the demon that led [her] there was fear. “(292) Hagar recognizes that many of the problems in her life have stemmed from her own pride. Consequently, both characters are eventually able to identify their own flaws. By removing themselves from their usual environment the characters are able to reflect on the past and recognize their imperfections. Although King Lear and Hagar showed great similarities in their journey to self discovery a critical difference became apparent in the after effects of their epiphanies.

While King Lear is able to redeem himself, Hagar is unable to change her old stubborn ways. After his epiphany on the heath King Lear changed both his thoughts and actions. He pushed his pride aside and reconciled with his youngest daughter Cordelia. With her he returns to his kingdom where he is sent to jail but seems to care very little when he says to Cordelia, “No, no, no, no! Come, let’s away to prison. / We two alone will sing like birds i’ the cage. / When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down/ And ask thee forgiveness. V. iii. 8-11)

King Lear has undoubtedly changed his character as a result of his epiphany. He redeems himself because he is no longer concerned with his title or the way he is spoken to, he just wants to spend time with the daughter he loves. Contrary to Lear’s positive outcome in changing his thoughts and actions because of his epiphany Hagar is unsuccessful in her own metamorphosis. In the final minutes of her life Hagar is struggling in her hospital bed for a glass of water when she sees Doris come to help her.

Instead of allowing Doris to feel good about herself and assist her mother-in-aw, Hagar snaps, “You’re so slowCan’t you evenHere, give it to me. Oh, for mercy’s sake let me hold it myself! “(308) Evidently Hagar has not been able to change her actions and is therefore not redeemed as a character. Despite this lack of success with her actions Hagar does recognize the error of her ways when she thinks to herself, “I only defeat myself by not accepting her. I know this–I know it very well. But I can’t help it–it’s my nature. “(308) Nevertheless, Hagar does not succeed in learning from her epiphany and is not redeemed before her death.

The visible difference in the outcomes of their epiphanies shows a large contrast in the characters of King Lear and Hagar. While King Lear was able to learn from his faults and change to redeem himself Hagar was only able to recognize her own flaws. In conclusion, when comparing the main characters from King Lear and The Stone Angel it is clear that although the characters endure a similar path to self discovery their outcomes prove them to be very different. This has been shown first by their development as flawed characters.

Secondly, as a result of their flaws both characters become blind to others’ actions as well as their own. Thirdly, both characters remove themselves form their usual environment where they experience their epiphany and are able to recognize their own flaws. Finally, despite all of these similarities, the two characters experience very different outcomes of their epiphanies. These two books bring an interesting perspective to the question of whether or not human nature can be altered. In the case of these two authentic characters, one changed where the other could not.

On How Tragedy Leads to Deception in: “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”

In the play “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,” William Shakespeare has used the theme of deception, and how its use by one or more characters leads to their downfall. Polonius explicitly stated this theme when he said to Laertes in I, ii, “By indirections find directions out. ” Each major character in Hamlet, in his or her own way, provided an example of this theme. By using deceit the characters in “Hamlet” employed methods to fulfill their own agenda, an action that ultimately resulted in tragedy. Shakespeare’s use of deception is seen most clearly in Hamlet’s actions.

He began to “act mad” early in the play in order to manipulate his friends. “Hereafter [I] shall put an antic disposition on” (I. v. 171-2). Hamlet swore to use this antic disposition to uncover his father’s murderer. He used this performance as a tool of artifice in order to cover up his true feelings. Hamlet went too far however, and his underhanded plan began to work against him. By not coming clean with those he trusts most, Hamlet served to alienate them from himself, and from his cause (of avenging his father’s death). In III i, Hamlet said to Ophelia, “God hath given you a face, and you make [yourself] another.

Prince Hamlet hypocritically attacked her for concealing her opinions, while he counterfeited his own opinions with the antic disposition. Ophelia is not the only character he acted mad toward; he used the same duplicity toward all characters in the play. When speaking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, for example, he asked them to “be even and direct” with him, but did not inform them of the intent behind his own deceitful actions. As shown when Rozencrantz said to Hamlet, “You bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny [telling] your griefs to your friend[s]” (III. ii. 7-8), Hamlet had not been fully open with his friends.

Hamlet’s use of an antic disposition is what lead to his death. He had overdone his acting mad, and the madness he had created began to control him as seen in V, ii when Hamlet speaks of himself in the third person to Laertes: I here proclaim [my] madness If Hamlet from himself be ta’en away, / And when he’s not himself, does wrong Laertes, / Then hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it: / Who does it then? His madness. If’t be so, / Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged, / His madness is poor Hamlet’s enemy. ” (Lines 213-22)

Hamlet’s acting mad swelled to such a level that he could not claim responsibility for the offenses that he committed. His loss of control is a crucial aspect of the play’s theme, because it shows Hamlet’s deterioration by the same actions he had previously preformed in order to mask his true outlook. Claudius is another character in “Hamlet” who used treachery to reach his objective. Everything he tried to accomplish he did in a sly manner, beginning with the killing of his brother. The ghost of the king saw Claudius as a man, “[ who has] the power to seduce my most virtuous queen.

He killed the king not by confrontation, but with a “leprous distilment” poured slowly and quietly into his ear. The sly manner in which he did this is what spurred Hamlet to seek revenge. Claudius, while praying, admitted to himself that he could not repent for what he had done: “Yet what can it, when one cannot repent? ” (III. iii. 66). He knew what he did was wrong, and that it would come to haunt him in the form of the tragic loss of his life. Through underhanded means King Claudius tried to kill Hamlet several times. The first of which he used Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as guardians accompanying Hamlet to England,

I like him not, nor stands it safe with us / To let his madness rage. Therefore prepare you, / I your commission will forthwith dispatch, / And he to England shall along with you: / The terms of our estate may not endure / Hazard so near’s as doth hourly grow / Out of his brows” (III. iii. 1-7). The king recognized his nephew’s objective of trickery through “madness”, and tried to put a premature end to Hamlet’s plans. To accomplish this he did not try to eliminate Hamlet himself, rather, the king turned Laertes against him, again embodying the theme of deception.

Another method of portraying the theme of deceit is seen in the way Shakespeare depicted Polonius. He is much like Hamlet, in the fact that he is very a hypocritical character. For example, he passed this advice on to his son: “[do] not then be false to any man. ” He proceeded to tell Claudius of how they could hide behind the arras and spy on Hamlet, in order to find out why he had been “acting mad. ”

He also hid behind the arras in Gertrude’s bed chambers in order to spy on Hamlet further, “Behind the arras I’ll convey myself” (III. i. 28). This is what led to his death though, in the end of the third act. Shakespeare portrays this as Polonius’ conniving, underhanded ways coming back to kill him. As a relatively minor character Laertes exhibits all the same traits as the rest of Shakespeare’s cast – deception and deceit. He is seen as almost identical to Hamlet. Both loved Ophelia, both of their fathers were wrongfully murdered, and both sought revenge. The only difference is that Laertes was more willing to act on his convictions.

This alone was not devious, but the methods he employed definitely were. “I will do it I’ll anoint my sword that if I gall him slightly, / it may be death. ” (IV. vii. 137-47). By poisoning the tip of his sword, Laertes not only killed Hamlet, he used the themes of the play to do so. This, as repeatedly shown, is what led him to tragedy; his death. The play’s motifs of deceit and deception are furthered with Rozencrantz and Guildenstern. They claimed to be Hamlet’s friends, when really they were profiting at his expense by collaborating with the King and Queen.

Shown when the Queen said, “Your visitation will receive such thanks / As fits a king’s remembrance,” it is explicitly implied that they are receiving compensation for their “service. ” By betraying their friend in return for pay, Rozencrantz and Guildenstern choose deceitful actions to fulfill their own agendas. It ends up killing them though, because Hamlet finds out and changes the letters. Each character in the play “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” utilizes the theme of deceit, and provides an example (through their death) of how it repeatedly leads to tragedy.

The role of women in Shakespearean literature

It is curious to note the role of women in Shakespearean literature. Many critics have lambasted the female characters in his plays as two-dimensional and unrealistic portrayals of subservient women. Others have asserted that the roles of women in his plays were prominent for the time and culture that he lived in. That such contrasting views could be held in regards to the same topic is academic. It is only with close examination of his works that we are able to suppose his intent in creating characters that inspire so much controversy.

Two works, Taming of the Shrew, and Twelfth Night, stand out particularly well in regards to Shakespeare’s use of female characters. After examining these two plays, one will see that Shakespeare, though conforming to contemporary attitudes of women, circumvented them by creating resolute female characters with a strong sense of self. The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, and has weathered well into our modern era with adaptations into popular television series such as Moonlighting.

For all the praises it has garnered throughout the centuries, it is curious to note that many have considered it to be one of his most controversial in his treatment of women. The “taming” of Katherine has been contended as being excessively cruel by many writers and critics of the modern era. George Bernard Shaw himself pressed for its banning during the 19th century (Peralta). The subservience of Katherine has been labeled as barbaric, antiquated, and generally demeaning. The play centers on her and her lack of suitors. It establishes in the first act her shrewish demeanor and its repercussions on her family.

It is only with the introduction of the witty Petruchio as her suitor, that one begins to see an evolution in her character. Through an elaborate charade of humiliating behavior, Petruchio humbles her and by the end of the play, she will instruct other women on the nature of being a good and dutiful wife. In direct contrast to Shrew, is Twelfth Night, whose main female protagonist is by far the strongest character in the play. The main character Viola, has been stranded in a foreign land and adopts the identity of her brother so that she might live independently without a husband or guardian.

She serves as a courtier to a young, lovesick nobleman named Orsino. Throughout the play she plays as a go-between for him to the woman he loves. In the course of her service, she falls in love with him. Only at the end, does she renounce her male identity and declares her love for him. Both plays portray female characters unwilling to accept the female role of passivity. Katherine rebels against this stereotype by becoming a “shrew”, a violently tempered and belligerent woman. Viola disguises herself as a man for most of the play in order to preserve her state of free will.

Katherine endures reprimands, chiding, and humiliation in the course of her chosen rebellion. Viola enjoys life and position as a man, and does not reveal who she is until the last scene of the play. Curiously enough, both women voluntarily accept the roles that society would impose on them again at the close of the plays. It is important to note though, that they freely resume these roles, and that they do so out of their own sense of self. For each woman, it is a personal choice based on their desires.

In the case of Katherine, she realizes that propriety is as much a signature of self-respect as respect for others, and she has a husband whom she need prove nothing to because he already respects her. In the case of Viola, she is in love with the young Orsino. Having found the man she would be willing to wed, the pretense of her male identity is no longer necessary, as she desires to be his wife. Having seen the similarities between Viola and Katherine, one should take notice that they do have different circumstances regarding their behavior.

The reason for Katherine’s shrewish demeanor is never given in the play, though many directors have interpreted it as an act to discourage suitors, much like Hamlet’s feigned madness. Others have attributed it to sibling rivalry between Katherine and her sister Bianca. In any case, no clear rationale is given to the audience as to the reason for Katherine’s behavior. It is enough to say that the actions of her father and sister do not relieve the situation as well. Throughout the whole of the play, her father treats her as a commodity to be bargained away to whoever is willing to take her.

Granted that he doesn’t view Bianca as anything more than a commodity as well, but he clearly favors her over Katherine as unspoiled merchandise. Bianca has a rather small role to play in the whole of things. She seems to be the archetypal young lady of quality. Her lack of understanding for her sister causes them to quarrel and results in Bianca taking the physical worst of it, whilst Katherine is blamed for her belligerent nature. The entire presence of family in the play gives Katherine her motivation and explains much of the whole situation in the dialogue.

Contrast this with the isolated Viola. She is shipwrecked and has no one to connect with at all. Her situation is implicitly understood by the Shakespearean audience as being an awkward one for a young woman. Lacking anyone to provide for her, she is forced to take measures to protect herself and her estate. The understood reason for her deception is to insure for herself, and it is clearly stated by Viola at the end of Act I . Scene 3. Obviously, the two women are very different individuals. Yet they share the same characteristics that Shakespeare imparted onto many of his heroines.

Each is resolute and knows her own mind. Though society demands certain behavior from them, they each chose to undertake a different path to deny that behavior. The self is promoted over the public image. Yet, each is not averse to returning to society’s established roles if it serves their needs and wants. The entire concept of choice and free-will, of which Shakespeare was so fond of, applies as equally to his feminine characters as to his masculine. It is this very important point which establishes the conclusion that Shakespeare did indeed create realistic and meaningful female characters.

The play Macbeth

In the play Macbeth, Shakespeare portrays Macbeth as the normal man at first. Through his skills as a warrior, his friendship with Banquo and his loyalty to Duncan, Macbeth attempts to be the everyday man. As the play develops, however, Macbeth becomes over ambitious and power hungry. Like the book A Simple Plan, where people become so involved in their own greed and self-prosper that they kill people they love, Macbeth gains power through extreme desire and corruption. Macbeth does not set out to possess these characteristics.

His simple plan for life is to be a normal man, according to society, characterized by power, class, bravery, and pride. The plan goes astray as his greed and immorality destroy his pursuit of normalcy. Shakespeare clearly establishes that as Macbeth becomes immersed in his social goals, he becomes inhuman. Although Macbeth does not appear in the first two scenes of the play, other characters talk about him in very descriptive terms. Macbeth is seen as a very brave and extremely valiant warrior:

For brave Macbeth well he deserves that name Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel Which smoked with bloody execution, Like Valours minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave, Which neer shook hands, nor bade fare well to him, till he unseamed him from the nave to th chaps and fixed his head upon out battlements (1. 2. 16-23). This captain talks about Macbeth as though he were a god. Macbeth begins as an intrepid character who is feared by his enemies and admired by his friends. This shows that society values bravery and audacity. Macbeth starts as a great warrior and a loyal servant to Duncan.

Macbeth has served under Duncan for many years as Thane of Glamis. When Duncan becomes too old to fight, Macbeth takes his place in the front line. He leads Duncans army into many battles and fights courageously for his side. Unlike the Thane of Cawdor, who betrayed Duncan in battle, Macbeth remains loyal no matter what the situation. Duncan is very proud to have Macbeth fighting for his side, What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won (1. 2. 67). Banquo, a soldier for Duncan, is a good friend of Macbeth. Banquo and Macbeth fight in many wars together, supporting each other in battle.

Macbeth does not desert Banquo in the battlefields, nor does Banquo turn his back on Macbeth and switch sides. They have a strong relationship as warriors and friends. Shakespeare, at the beginning of the play, carefully portrays Macbeth as a man of great stature with the capacity to be good, with milk of human kindness (1. 5. 15). Through Macbeths goodness, he is natural and similar to other men. Shakespeare depicts Macbeth as linked to humanity, his fellow men, and to God. As these connections to humanity and God are destroyed, Macbeth loses his conscience, his sense of compassion, and his desire to live.

As Macbeth loses his tie to humanity and God, he chooses what he perceives to be good, kingship and power. Eventually, however, these lead to corruption. Macbeth turns his back on a neatly ordered and harmonious universe and rebels against the order of nature. Through love of self, Macbeth voluntarily chooses evil. He ultimately loses his wife, his kingdom and, finally, his life. Macbeth says, Jump the life to come (1. 7. 7). He is saying that he is no longer satisfied with his life and wants to leave everything behind and move on. Early in the play, Macbeth meets the three witches, his first encounter with the supernatural.

They prophesize that he will become the Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland. Macbeth sees his future unfolding and becomes anxious to fulfill his goals. The scene with the witches foreshadows Macbeths successes and eventually his troubles. Macbeth realizes that he is next in line to replace Duncan as king. Macbeth does not want to wait until Duncan dies a natural death; instead he begins to think of murder. Greed overcomes Macbeth; he now considers a course of action that he would not have taken before. Although Macbeth is thinking of murder, he is not certain he wants to carry out such a plan.

Macbeth states, We will proceed no further in this business (1. 7. 31) He still is controlled by his conscience. Lady Macbeth, however, urges him to ignore his prior sense of humanity and go forward to commit the crime. Macbeth is losing his grip on his earlier beliefs and values. While Macbeth decides to break his bond with morality, Banquo resists the temptation. According to Irving Ribner, Banquo is ordinary man, with his mixture of good and evil, open to evils soliciting, but able to resist it. It is in such a man, Shakespeare is saying, that the hope for the future lies (Ribner 248).

Macbeth, by contrast, represents medieval society in decline. Macbeths decision to ignore his conscience permits him to commit evil acts. First, he kills Duncan, then he kills Banquo and finally he becomes estranged from his wife. Each action leads to the next. Macbeth becomes more active and less concerned with the consequences. Ribner says, His voluntary choice of evil, moreover, closes the way of redemption to him, for in denying nature he cuts off the source of redemption, and he must end in total destruction and despair (Ribner 247). Macbeth loses his bond to God and therefor becomes inhuman.

Macbeths first evil act is to kill Duncan. Macbeth was loyal to the king for many years as he rose through the ranks of the kingdom. He served as Thane of Glamis and fought in Duncans army. Macbeth had only killed on the battlefield. While Macbeth agrees to kill Duncan, Lady Macbeth actually commits the murder. Banquo suspects that Macbeth is behind Duncans murder. When Macbeth learns of Banquos suspicions, he hires the Murderers to kill Banquo. Macbeth takes this action despite his friendship and loyalty to Banquo. This time, Macbeth acts on his own without the encouragement of Lady Macbeth.

Banquos murder symbolizes two things. First, Banquo represents one aspect of Macbeth, the side of ordinary humanity which Macbeth must destroy within himself before he can give his soul entirely to the forces of darkness (Ribner 248). Second, the struggle between Macbeth and Banquo symbolizes the battle between evil and good in medieval society. Banquo represents the common man who is trampled by the corrupt forces of the power structure. After these two deeds are accomplished, Macbeths feelings towards Lady Macbeth change. Their marriage began as a partnership.

As Macbeth sinks into his corruption he no longer loves or needs his wife. Macbeth becomes completely self-absorbed and no longer cares for his wifes well being. IV. Responses to Events become Abnormal After killing Duncan and Banquo, Macbeth begins to hallucinate. He first sees a bloody dagger floating in front of him after the murder of Duncan. When Banquo is murdered, Macbeth seems to encounter Banquos ghost. Shakespeare leaves it unclear whether this ghost is real or just a figment of Macbeths imagination. These hallucinations are symbolic of Macbeths struggle with his conscience for control of his soul.

It also represents the unraveling of Macbeths mind. Macbeth is losing the ability to appreciate the consequences of his actions. Towards the end of the play, Macbeth hears women shrieking because Lady Macbeth has killed herself. Macbeth does not respond. This shows that he has lost all sense of humanity. He has become completely narcissistic and has no feeling whatsoever for the loss of his wife. Macbeth says, I have almost forgot the taste of fears She should have died hereafter; There would have been time for such a word (5. 5. 9, 16).

Macbeth becomes so self-absorbed that he does not think that his wifes death should be dealt with right then. He says that they will talk about it tomorrow. This example shows that he has become completely abnormal and inhuman. Shakespeares Macbeth teaches how absolute power corrupts absolutely. The play also represents medieval societys descent into depravity and immorality. Shakespeares normal man succumbs to the temptations of power and greed. Normal man becomes abnormal. As in the book A Simple Plan, where common people are tempted to obtain wealth illegally, greediness leads to destruction.

The mid-sixteenth century play Othello

The function of imagery in the mid-sixteenth century play Othello by William Shakespeare is to assist characterises and defines meaning in the play. The enemy Iago is defined through many different images, Some being the use of poison and soporifics, sleeping agents, to show his true evil and sadistic nature. Othellos character is also shaped by much imagery such as the animalistic, black and white, and horse images, which indicates his lustful, sexual nature. Characterisation of women is heavily dictated by imagery used to show the gender system of the time.

Some of this imagery is that of hobbyhorses and the like showing that they, Desdemona and Emelia, were nothing better than common whores. Othellos view at the start of the play is denying of these views with Desdemona and Othellos true love overcoming these stereotypes and we are told this through imagery of fair warriors and the like. The power of deceit is shown also through imagery of spiders and webs, uniforms and other such images. Also, the power of jealousy is well defined by imagery.

The handkerchief, green-eyed monster and cuckolding imagery are main in defining this theme. The cruel character of Iago is acted well through different types or imagery. His sadist intend is shown through imagery Ill pour pestilence into his(Othellos) ear says Iago in a soliloquy in as he is showing his evil intent and nature. This continues throughout the play with lines such as The Moor already changes with my poison and Not poppy nor mandragora, | Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world shall medicine thee to that sweet sleep | Which thou did owdest yesterday.

His evil character is likened to a snake through this imagery of poisons like a snake has and then Lodovico calls him a Viper which indicates how Iagos character is that of a snake, and in those times a snake was considered a creature of pure evil. Iago can also be seen through his use of reputation imagery to Cassio and Othello. To Cassio, he says Reputation is an idle and most false imposition and, to Othello, he says reputation is everything to a man and he is nothing with out it. Iago is also likened very much, though imagery, to the Devil.

I look down towards his feet-but thats a fable. | If thou best a devil, I cannot kill thee and he also is called a demi-devil and other terms. Othello is also strongly characterised by imagery too. Imagery pictures to us his animalistic nature that his cultural background suggests to the audience he has. Youll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse, youll have your nephews neigh to you, youll have coursers for cousins and gennets for germans. This is suggesting that Othello is a an animal, namely a horse, which shows him to the level of more an animal than a man.

Another quote suggesting this is when Iago says An old black ram | Is tupping your(Brabantios) white ewe. This also is lowering Othello to the level of an animal. Othellos black skin too is defined by imagery like that of the quote above and others such as Run … to the sooty bosom | of such a thing as thou (I iii 69-70). Othellos black skin is reinforced so much that it becomes in total part of his character it cannot be ignored at any stage of the play. Othello is also shown as being evil and violent and a devil , because of his cultural background. You … acker devil is a line which reflects how his skin colour and supposed evilness go hand in hand.

Irony plays a major part in the meaning of craftiness in Othello. Throughout the play Othello is constantly referred to as a devil; Thou art a devil says Emelia of Othello. This is based around his black skin and being of non-Venetian descent which makes him an alien to his companions. Yet in the end it is proved that Iago is the actual Demi-devil whereas through the whole play Othello is made out to be a devil because of his skin colour and from this we can se how racial prejudices existed strongly in the mid sixteenth century.

Female characters in the play Othello are also set to a degree by images. Women are not treated with any great deal of respect throughout the play because of the society of the time and this shows through the imagery portrayed of women throughout the play. Prostitute imagery plays a heavy part in showing women through the play with women being called many terms such as Hobby-horse(s), Minx(s) and Minion(s). Desdemona, Emelia and Bianca are all termed some of these names throughout the play.

Through the neglect for the emotions and feelings of women by men in the play, we can see how it agreed with the views on women of its contemporary audience. The males treat women throughout the play as objects. This is evident through the death of all but one woman, Bianca. They die because of mens need to have them as a possession that they can control and if they cannot control them what use to them are they. Iago takes his revenge out on Emelia, his wife and property by killing her even as she speaks.

This imagery of the silence and what it represents is that women should be silent no matter what, because if the silence is not kept it may be the end as was the case for Emelia. The image that leads to the death of Desdemona is that of the strawberry embroidered handkerchief given, by Othello, to Desdemona. The handkerchief is a very important symbol of Love, lust, Desdemonas virginity and sexuality . As Iago stages for Cassio to be seen with it, it demonstrated to Othello that he has lost Desdemona, therefore for his honour she must not live.

The unique love and feelings shared between Othello and Desdemona is illustrated through such images as fairness, the act of kissing, and ocean and water imagery. At the start of act two Othello greets Desdemona as My fair warrior but then his views start to change, as when Iagos poison has started to take effect, Othello then refers to Desdemona as The fair devil which reflects his respect and honour he has for Desdemona . Another symbol for Othellos affection for Desdemona is that of freezing cold water.

Othello likens his heart towards Desdemona was Like … e Pontic Sea | Whose icy current and compulsive course | Nevr keeps retiring ebb. This quote show how Desdemona does not have Othellos favour because of the lies of Iago which have convinced Othello he has been lied to. But Othellos love for Desdemona is unchanging. This conclusion can be drawn from the kissing that occurs throughout the play. Even when Othello has taken the last breaths from Desdemonas lungs he kissed thee (Desdemona) ere and killed thee and to signify he will always love her he Die(s) upon a kiss.

This is ultimate irony that he would be kissing his love whose life he just taken. He did it though, not out of hate but so she would not Betray more men. The opinion of cheating and honesty are tested throughout the play through images of spiders and webs, uniforms and crests. Othello, Desdemona and Cassio all consider Iago a Fellow of exceeding honesty, | And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit and has excellent Honesty and love.

But really his real aim is to, When my outward action doth demonstrate | The native act and figure of my heart | In complement exturn, tis not long after | But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve | For the daws to peck at; I am not what I am.. Because of Iagos supposedly honest nature and Othellos credulity, he is able to put his Monstrous birth to the worlds light. The jealousy in all beings souls is evident throughout the play through various symbols and images of monsters, toads and the horns of the cuckold.

Jealousy is The green-eyed monster which doth mock | The meat it feeds on. ys Iago which stops Othello from ever having Sweet sleep again. This jealousy which, even though Othello says he does not believe, bothers Othello inside, and is present through lines such as that Othello would Rather be a toad | And live upon the vapour of a dungeon | Than keep a corner in the thing .. (he).. love(s). And the imagery of the horns of the cuckold is also an image of Othello Have(ing) a pain upon .. (his).. forehead, here . These are imaginary horns Othello thinks he is growing because of his concerns about Desdemonas honesty.

Othello is very afraid of as A horned mans a monster and a beast.. So we can see how important honour and faithfulness of his wife was to the contemporary man. Imagery, as we can see, is essential in the play Othello to definition of characters and to illustrate the main meanings of the play. Imagery functions as a main source of characters nature such as Iago, the sadistic, vicious enemy whose destructive powers controls the fates of other characters. Othello, the poor misguided Moor and our tragic hero who succumbs to the evil torments of a hurting friend.

Desdemona, who was loved by a misguided, noble Moor who ended up dead because of the hatred of one man. And Emelia, the poor wife of the evil Iago who shows his vicious nature. Imagery is also essential in understanding the issues of the play such as the jealousy in all men through the images of the green-eyed monster and the horns of the cuckold. Also the power of cheating in an evil mans hand is also shown well as the end scene is The tragic loading of this bed because of powerful imagery such as spiders and webs used by the manipulative Iago.

Juliet: From Mouse To Woman

In Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare the two main characters are Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. Both teenagers matured and changed during the play, but Juliet’s changes stood out the most. Juliet transformed in less then a week, which says she did not change much, but there is a definite difference in her personality from before she met Romeo to after she married him. There are many events in the book that support that idea. Most of which interact with her mother.

Many events towards the ending of the play suggest she is very obstinate, which is quite different from the begging of the play before Juliet even thought of marriage or defying her parents and family. In Juliet’s first scene she is talking to her Mother and the Nurse. Her Mother brought up the topic of marriage and Lord Paris. This is when we first see a young girl who has just begun to grow up. She replies with the fact that she hasn’t considered marriage yet. Most girls of her age would have been wives by now, so it was slightly uncommon that she hadn’t even thought of her marriage.

Also in this scene we see in her willingness and obedience, when she does not object to her Mother’s thoughts of her marring Lord Paris soon. When her Mother asks her if she could love Paris she replies, “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move. But no more deep will I endart mine eye than your consent gives strength to make it fly. ” (I, iv, 102-105) I interpreted her to mean she will try to love him, but she will not look deeper than her mother wishes. She reminds me of a mouse in a way, meek and a pushover. This scene is right before the ball.

Later when Juliet is at the ball she meets Romeo, and falls in love at first sight. Later Romeo follows her to her balcony where she confesses her love for Romeo to herself. Overhearing her, Romeo shows himself and also confesses his love for her. Taken over by her first feelings of love and lust, she defies her parents just by speaking to him in that manner. Before this, which was only about five or six hours ago, she would not have spoken to him at all, let alone that time of night. Romeo soon proposes to Juliet and she says yes. Her parents have made it very clear that she is supposed to marry Paris.

She disobeyed them greatly by making plans, behind their backs to marry an enemy of theirs. Also during this scene Juliet’s Nurse calls her a number of times, and Juliet probably would have hurried to the Nurse immediately. Instead she kept on saying she would be right there. Although not many there are already signs of change in Juliet’s personality and how she deals with her own feelings. More changes begin to show when Juliet wakes up from her wedding night. After Romeo leaves her mother comes in and tells her that in three days she will marry Paris. In the beginning she said she would try to like Paris if her mother wished.

After her Mother gave her the news, she replied with: “Now by Saint Peter’s church and by Peter too, He shall not make me there a joyful bride! I wonder at this haste that I must wed ere he that should be my husband comes to woo. I pray you, tell my lord and father, madam, I will not marry yet, and when I do I swear it shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, Rather than Paris. These are news indeed! ” (III, v, 121-128) After saying that she has totally disregarded her family. This and many other items have convinced me that Juliet went from a meek little mouse, to a woman capable of making her own choices.

Even if those choices happen to be killing ones self. All in all, in Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet I think Juliet matured from being a immature daddy’s girl, to a dedicated strong willed wife killing herself for her husband. I think if she had not killed herself and the play continued realistically she would have gotten over her lust for Romeo and gone back to that same sweet disposition. In the beginning she was a little less selfish also. The drastic changes that Juliet went through in such a short amount of time shows how powerful love is.

The Tragedy of Hamlet

Arguably the best piece of writing ever done by William Shakespeare, Hamlet the is the classic example of a tragedy. In all tragedies the hero suffers, and usually dies at the end. Othello stabs himself, Romeo and Juliet commit suicide, Brutis falls on his sword, and like them Hamlet dies by getting cut with a poison tipped sword. But that is not all that is needed to consider a play a tragedy, and sometimes a hero doesn’t even need to die. Making Not every play in which a Hero dies is considered a tragedy. There are more elements needed to label a play one.

Probably the most important element is an amount of free will. In every tragedy, the characters must displays some. If every action is controlled by a hero’s destiny, then the hero’s death can’t be avoided, and in a tragedy the sad part is that it could. Hamlet’s death could have been avoided many times. Hamlet had many opportunities to kill Claudius, but did not take advantage of them. He also had the option of making his claim public, but instead he chose not too. A tragic hero doesn’t need to be good. For example, MacBeth was evil, yet he was a tragic hero, because e had free will.

He also had only one flaw, and that was pride. He had many good traits such as bravery, but his one bad trait made him evil. Also a tragic hero doesn’t have to die. While in all Shakespearean tragedies, the hero dies, in others he may live but suffer “Moral Destruction”. In Oedipus Rex, the proud yet morally blind king plucks out his eyes, and has to spend his remaining days as a wandering, sightless beggar, guided at every painful step by his daughter, Antigone. A misconception about tragedies is that nothing good comes out of them, but it is ctually the opposite.

In Romeo and Juliet, although both die, they end the feud between the Capulets and the Montegues. Also, Romeo and Juliet can be together in heaven. In Hamlet, although Hamlet dies, it is almost for the best. How could he have any pleasure during the rest of his life, with his parents and Ophelia dead. Also, although Hamlet dies, he is able to kill Claudius and get rid of the evil ruling the throne. Every tragic play must have a tragic hero. The tragic hero must possess many good traits, as well as one flaw, which eventually leads to his downfall.

A tragic hero must be brave and noble. In Othello, Othello had one fatal flaw, he was too great. Othello was too brave, too noble, and especially too proud to allow himself to be led back to Venice in chains. A tragic hero must not back down from his position. He also has to have free will, in order to ezd up for what he believes in. Finally, the audience must have some sympathy for the tragic hero. In MacBeth, although MacBeth commits many murders, one almost feels sorry for him and his fate. Hamlet is the perfect example of the tragic hero.

Hamlet has all the good traits needed to be a tragic hero. He is brave and daring. One example of this is that when he went to England, he was taking a big risk. If his plan didn’t work, he would have been executed He also is also loyal. His loyalty to his father, was the reason he was so angry at Claudius and his Mother. Another trait was that he was intelligent. He was able to think up the idea of faking insanity, in order to get more information about Claudius. But Hamlet like all other tragic hero’s had a flaw. He couldn’t get around to doing anything, because he couldn’t ove on.

He was a full grown adult, yet he still attended school in England, because he couldn’t move on. Also, it took him a long time to stop grieving about his father, because he didn’t want to move past that part of his life. And after he finally did, Hamlet couldn’t get around to killing Claudius. He kept pretending he was insane even after he was sure that Claudius killed his father. The final example of Hamlet’s inability to get around to do anything was that he was dating Ophelia for a long time, but never got around to marrying her.

The audience was able to eel sympathy for Hamlet too. He had just lost his father, and his mother remarried so quickly that according to him they could have used the leftover food from the funeral in the wedding reception. Also, the audience could feel that Hamlet loved his parents and this sudden change was hurting him. In any tragedy there is a tragic hero, and he must possess certain characteristics in order to be one. He must have many good traits such as loyalty and bravery, but one bad one such as pride. Also the audience must have sympathy for the hero.

A tragic hero also must have free will or his ate would be decided for him, and his death could be avoided. Finally, the audience must have sympathy for the tragic hero, or it wouldn’t seem so tragic. Hamlet is a perfect example of a tragic hero. He was brave, loyal, and intelligent, but he couldn’t move on past one thing, which led to his death. He had a choice of how he would deal with Claudius, and like other tragic hero’s made a decision. Also, the audience was able to feel sympathy for the position Hamlet was in. These attributes made Hamlet the perfect example of a tragic hero.