Shakespeare's Plays: Henry the IV Part I, Hamlet, a Midsummer Night's Dream
Henry the IV, Part I
Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 78-90.
KING HENRY IV: Yea, there thou makest me sad and makest me sin In envy that my Lord Northumberland Should be the father to so blest a son, A son who is the theme of honour's tongue; Amongst a grove, the very straightest plant; Who is sweet Fortune's minion and her pride: Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him, See riot and dishonour stain the brow Of my young Harry. O that it could be proved That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged In cradle-clothes our children where they lay, And call'd mine Percy, his Plantagenet! Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.
This scene sets delineates the conflict between father and son. The King has found Henry to be enough of a disappointment…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Richard II
One of the most interesting dynamics explored within illiam Shakespeare's drama Richard II is the dichotomy inherent in the way that kingship structures subjectivity. The play, set within medieval Europe, takes place during the time when the king was largely seen as a divine agent of God himself. Therefore, among his subjects, the king was viewed in much the same way that God was, while his subjects were viewed in much the same way that common people are viewed in respect to a divinity as omniscient and omnipotent of God. The dichotomy existent in this relationship is that the subjects are essentially powerless, while the king is all-powerful. Yet this particular play is an anomaly in this conventional medieval view of the nature of kingship and subjectivity because Richard II's actions are anything but akin to God's. He is selfish, impecunious, and at times immoral -- which…… [Read More]
Also, in his play, the Enchanted Island, Dryden expands on the prologue from Troilus and Cressida. However, this time Shakespeare is a king whose poetic monologue unveils contemporary anxieties about royal succession (Dobson 74). In this sense, Shakespeare is depicted in this particular play as an old Hamlet (Ibid.), a royal ghost, and a direct reference to contemporary royal turmoil.
This was only the first of Shakespeare's many posthumous appearances on stage as a dramatic character. Shakespeare's metamorphosis into a character in one of his plays represents an endeavor with double meaning. On the one hand, Shakespeare's appearance is synonymous to authority as his direct involvement in his own writings brings a sense of realism and authenticity. On the other hand, by creating a dramatic character out of the writer, he also becomes involved in the process of reviving his works. However, there is more to this transformation. Shakespeare's authority…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Sonnet 130
Analysis of Shakespeare's "Sonnet 130"
William Shakespeare was a renowned poet and playwright who wrote 38 plays and more than 154 sonnets. Among these sonnets is Sonnet 130 (My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun) in which he describes the features in his mistress that he admires. This sonnet is interesting due to the nature of the comparisons. While many would use metaphors to boast that their beloved's features are far more beautiful than anything known to man, Shakespeare contends that his beloved's features are nothing like the beautiful things that are found in nature. Through his use of imagery, Shakespeare is able to detail the things that he admires in nature despite the fact that his mistress does not embody any of those qualities.
The sonnet begins with the line "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun" (Shakespeare, n.d., line 1) which out of…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Richard II
Careful analysis of John Locke's Two Treatises of Government reveals the author's fairly rigid attitude towards the constitution, right and responsibilities of a political state. hen applying Locke's well defined principles to Henry Bolingbroke's overthrow of Richard II for rights to the throne of England in the late 14th century in Shakespeare's Richard II, several parallel situations are found which Locke primarily refers to in a hypothetical sense. hen examining Shakespeare's work from an erudite perspective, one may perceive that in many ways, Bolingbroke and Richard II's struggle for power -- along with the surrounding circumstances of the political state and the lot of its commoners -- actually mirror several circumstances which Locke portrays in his book. By interpreting the events in Shakespeare's drama through the mandates outlined in Two Treatises of Government, it becomes apparent that Locke would have willingly sanctioned Bolingbroke's usurpation of the throne…… [Read More]
Namely, it demands us to consider the anomaly potential in Shakespeare's socioeconomic modesty as it compared to his great vocabulary wealth. And in doing so, it draws us into a keener awareness of the courtly life about which Shakespeare wrote with such remarkable acuity and into a similar appreciation for the colorful, frequently playful, representation of commoners in his plays. The intermingling of such figures denotes something of Shakespeare's own journey, and warms us to the ideas that perhaps it was this commoner who would ultimately leave the modern world with one of the widest windows available into Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Thus, even if there is both cause to suggest that we don't have sufficient evidence to be assured of his authorship and cause to suggest that we have shreds of evidence connecting this authorship to figures such as Marlowe, Bacon or de Vere, the cause of evidence is…… [Read More]
The play stands out from many aspects. However, there are some elements which make it one of the most important of Shakespeare's works and one of the most acclaimed. The tragedy comes from the eventual incompatibility between true love and the code of honor. Convinced by Iago's evil plan that his wife was unfaithful, Othello the Moor of Venice becomes blind to any explication and swears revenge. In the end, every one of the characters finally pays for his deed, although Desdemona appears to be the one pure presence of the play that is sacrificed in the midst of revenge. The story of the Othello is relevant because it showed a deep psychological and analytical approach on the character, a characteristic which is present in the drama of Hamlet. Moreover, Shakespeare builds his characters as mere peons in Iago's hands who, through thorough manipulation managed to influence them…… [Read More]
The Epilogue, focus of much allegorizing, alludes to the parallel between Prospero's abandonment of his art, and the actor's abandonment of his role when he steps forward to ask for applause"(F. Kermode, 49)
Prospero does not give away his ability to use magic, only because he has found redemption and he has put things right. It is a symbolic gesture, an attempt to make the reader and the individual member of the public a magician in his turn, a magician of his own mind, first of all.
The theatre has always had a more emphasized social value than any other type of literary fiction, primarily because of its ability to be acted out in front of people, as if it were happening for real. The impact is so strong, that it allows people to release their emotional tension and to make merry together with the characters of the play. It…… [Read More]
Reflecting the greater audience sympathy stirred in Five Kings and its cinematic incarnation Chimes at Midnight, the Welles saga ends with Hal pardoning Falstaff for disturbing his coronation, thus showing a more loving tribute to Falstaff than utterly rejecting him, as in the original Shakespeare.
Falstaff's potentially seditious views of honor and the importance of the individual's life over sacrificing it for the collective are thus validated very clearly in Welles' work. In Shakespeare these perspectives are raised, but however attractive Falstaff may seem as a character, they cannot be endorsed by the playwright because to do so would invalidate the entire English system of government. Falstaff's humor and pacifist values, even his value of self-preservation resonate more with contemporary American views of iconoclasm and individualism. Thus by making Falstaff the centerpiece of Five Kings, Welles was also making an implicit claim for the need for a uniquely American form…… [Read More]
Imbalance, even in love, can produce negative and unwanted effects that affect more than two people.
The tempest is another Shakespearean play that is set both in the real and fantastic world. The two real are interwoven and deliberately confusing. The action of the play is swinging back and forth in time. Prospero, the Duke of Milan, is recounting for his daughter Miranda the events that led to their living on an island. The description is like he plunges deep, in a level of suppressed memories: Thou hadst, and more, Miranda. But how is it / That this lives in thy mind? hat see'st thou else / in the dark backward and abysm of time? / if thou rememb'rest aught ere thou camest here, / How thou camest here thou mayst (Shakespeare, 1136).
Prospero, who has suffered the injustice of his brother trying to usurp him and take his place…… [Read More]
However, disorientation can be either debilitating or empowering. In the case of Shakespeare -- and arguably all enaissance people of greatness -- the new concepts and materials were liberating, at least, and in fact enabled them to create works of lasting value. The world is familiar with Shakespeare: who can name one playwright from the Middle Ages? "Anonymous" was responsible for the Everyman plays, plays that say little to modern people. The interplay between the civilized and the savage, possible for Shakespeare but not for the dramatists before him, may have been disorienting and may have presaged the seemingly eternal questions of 'us' and 'other' we still grapple with, but without doubt, that interplay made for lasting drama with eternal meaning.
Cefalu, Paul A. (2000) ethinking the discourse of colonialism in economic terms: Shakespeare's "The Tempest," Captain John Smith's Virginia Narratives, and the English esponse to Vagrancy. Shakespeare Studies,…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Play "All's ell that ends well" -- a Critique
Conflict between generations is a theme prevalent in many of Shakespeare's tragedies, histories, and comedies. Romeo and Juliet struggle against their parents' feud and values. Hamlet battles within himself to deal with the ethics of his father's order for revenge. Hal and his biological father, Henry IV, work out an uneasy coexistence, while the Prince simultaneously resolves his relationship with his spiritual father, Falstaff. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, the mainspring of the plot is the willingness of Lysander and Hermia to go against the wishes of Egeus. In such works audience sympathy is usually with the younger generation, which often embodies a tolerance and understanding unrestricted by narrow beliefs and codes of behavior.
In All's ell That Ends ell, however, wisdom lies with the older characters, who frequently harken back to past years as a better, happier time. All's…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Foreshadowing In Tragedy And Comedy
Shakespeare is popularly known as "The ard" for good reason: he excels at his literary craft, applying all the techniques and tools of drama at his disposal with a certain regularity. One of these important tools necessary for any truly coherent play is foreshadowing, or the appearance of elements early in the play that subtly predict the future direction of the plot, action, or symbolism. In all of his plays, Shakespeare uses foreshadowing extensively, both in the dialogue and in the situations he creates. This is as true of his comedies as of his tragedies and histories. y looking at any group of his works, one can find many examples of foreshadowing. For example, in the trio of King Lear, Hamlet, and Much Ado About Nothing, we can see that quite nearly the entire play is prefigured in the themes and dialogues of the…… [Read More]
Shakespeare and omantic Love
Clearly one of the most influential writers in the English language that has survived and prospered in contemporary times is William Shakespeare. Despite some of the controversy of whether he actual wrote what is attributed to him, or the other theories of the origination of his writing, no one can deny that he holds a place in literature that few, if any, have attained. The classic stories and phrases of Shakespeare permeate contemporary society -- young love epitomized by omeo and Juliet, treachery and false betrayal in Othello, and even the way the universe and nature conspire against the human condition in The Tempest. To begin to understand Shakespeare, though, it is first necessary to have a basic understanding of his time period -- Elizabethan England (roughly 1558-1603). Also called the "Golden Age" in English history, this time period was the height of the English enaissance…… [Read More]
Iago's Character in Othello
This paper analyzes Iago's speech to Roderigo in "Othello," by illiam Shakespeare. Specifically, it discusses what the speech reveals about Iago's character.
Does the play ultimately seem to suggest that Iago is right? Iago is a tortured character who displays many different and unhealthy psychological traits. He ruins the lives of those around him, and the play clearly shows he is a jealous, unhappy, and scheming man who cannot be happy, so he decides no one else can be happy, either. He is central to the play because he causes so much death and unhappiness. It is clear his garden needs to be tended for a long, long time to make it healthy.
Iago's Character in Othello
Iago could be one of Shakespeare's most evil and frightening villains. He has no remorse, and is totally consumed with his own hatred of Othello. It colors everything…… [Read More]
As things are in the play, the text proves to be much more complicated. Thus, one significant element is Prospero's magic art and his powers.
His great lore and his art give him an unusual power over the island and the people on it. Thus, after completing his act of justice, Prospero relinquishes his powers symbolically burying his 'staff' and drowning his book: "But this rough magic / I here abjure, and, when I have required / Some heavenly music, which even now I do, / to work mine end upon their senses that / This airy charm is for, I'll break my staff, / Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, / and deeper than did ever plummet sound / I'll drown my book."("The Tempest," V. i. 55-62) the act is symbolic as it shows Prospero ultimately drained of forces and spirit, and he himself a prisoner of his…… [Read More]
In his "to be" soliloquy, Hamlet explores how we can sometimes kill our motives when we think about them too much. He is thinking of Fortinbras when he makes this statement because he is aware that there is something in him that is very different from Fortinbras and he attempts to figure this out. Thoughts "make cowards of us all" (Shakespeare III.i.91). He states, wishing he could not think so much about his actions but simply act upon what he knows to be right. This statement allows us to see how much Hamlet is haunted by Fortinbras as he is haunted by his father. Fortinbras reaches Denmark when it is too late to actively do anything about his father's death. hen Hamlet hands the kingdom over to Fortinbras at the end of the play, Shakespeare is reinforcing the good and upstanding character of Fortinbras and Hamlet's respect for him. This…… [Read More]
Shakespeare: Analysis and Response
"Then must you speak of one that loved not wisely, but too well; of one not easily jealous, but being wrought, perplexed in the extreme . . . "
The quote at hand is from William Shakespeare's work, Othello. Othello speaks these words during his final farewell speech within the play. After realizing that he had been tricked into believing the lies of Iago, Othello realizes that he cannot candle the anguish and personal disgust of knowing that he had murdered for jealousy rather than for justice. Othell's devastation works as a complete turn-around for Othello, and brings back the strong warrior that had been missing for some point in the play. In coming to this realization and fully understanding his role and his actions, Othello is completely transformed. He acts as both his own judge and jury and imposes a sentence of his own choosing…… [Read More]
Her forgery was never discovered, and the social order remained intact.
So one can see that the expression of female power leads to the inevitable victimization of that proto-feminist, while a yielding and obedient female is shown as havign the resources to overcome anything that stands in her way. This is nothing short of a celebration for the traditional place of women as obedient to their fathers. Likewise, the violent rebellions of Othello and Shylock against racism and the social stigma end in terrible tragedy for themselves and their families. One might argue that Shylock ought to have converted to Christianity long ago to avoid loosing his daughter and suffering the spite of Antonio, and that it was his refusal to do that (even more than his miserliness) which defeated him. Likewise, one might argue that if Othello had meekly accepted the snubs of society and kept his place (away…… [Read More]
Yet despite the fact that the play's title is nothing but his name, Othello is arguably not really the central figure of the story. Iago is far more instrumental in moving the plot forward; it is his (not fully explained) hatred of Othello that the play is concerned with, and though Othello is obviously necessary as the object of Iago's hatred and jealousy, he takes a largely passive role in the bulk of the events as they unfold. It is Iago who truly effects the twisted and complex machinations that eventually lead to Desdemona's death and his own rather emasculating evisceration. Iago more time onstage and almost exactly the same number of lines as Othllo, making him a clear rival for the audience's attention. The tide begins to shift enormously in Iago's favors when his many soliloquies -- monologues generally delivered to the audience when no one else is present…… [Read More]
Polonius: A Literature Review
As chief counselor to the king of Denmark, Polonius plays an important and nefarious role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet—yet his words are often quoted out of context and it is Polonius, the spying, lying, manipulating old fool of a father and counselor who gives one of Shakespeare’s most memorable lines: “To thine own self be true!” (Shakespeare 1.3.564). Polonius shows of course that it matters not if one is being true to one’s self because the self is a chameleon that shifts and changes depending on the environment: Polonius adapts his character to the situation, as does Hamlet, Ophelia, Claudius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and so on (Wilson; Landy). Horatio is one of the few characters who consistently expresses himself from scene to scene; the others attempt to deceive regularly, and deceive themselves throughout. Instead of being true to God or to others, Polonius’s counsel is essentially a…… [Read More]
Should Shakespeare's ork Be Translated?
Shakespeare has been the lord of writing for centuries. His work, full of wit and puns has not been replaced by any other writer so far. However, the language used in Shakespeare's work has been the reflection of the then literary language which was full of flavor and richness and suited the culture of estern world then. The question is whether Shakespeare retains its meaning when translated into other languages. There are two different schools of thought on this subject. ith research, it has been proved that Shakespeare loses its essence when translated in any other language and turns into a mere story with no melody attached to it.
There are two aspects of translating Shakespeare's work; one is converting it into simple English which is the main weapon of the modernizers and the second one is converting it into other regional languages…… [Read More]
She declares that a man who snatches what he desires is actually a true man. Lady Macbeth burdens herself by seducing his husband into committing the murder afterall. Although, initially she has the strength and potential to deal with the task of abetting in a murder and thinks she will be able to forget all about it once she becomes the Scottish Queen but eventually conscience overpowers her vices. She dies of guilt and anguish.
Like Macbeth, Banquo, is also a nobleman of Scotland and a general in rank.To some extent through Banquo and Macbeth, the writer has offered a comparison of choices made by men in similar circumstances. When Macbeth was foretold of his rule on Scotland, so was Banquo made aware that his descendants would one day be wearing the crown. Like Macbeth, Banquo is a man of high rank and status and hence of an…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Othello: Is it a tragedy according to Aristotle?
Aristotle and tragedy
Aristotle defines tragedy as imitation of an action that is serious and has a certain dramatic and complete magnitude. Tragedy to Aristotle is something that is:
"A form of drama exciting the emotions of pity and fear. Its action should be single and complete, presenting a reversal of fortune, involving persons renowned and of superior attainments, and it should be written in poetry embellished with every kind of artistic expression. (Poetics, Part IX)
Aristotle saw tragedy as a simulation of an event that aroused pity and fear in the individual and, by doing so, served as a form of catharsis in the individual could identify with the plot and feel a certain sort of purging or relief (VI.2).
In fact, it is this sense of purging that most distinguishes the tragedy from the comedy or epic (for instance)…… [Read More]
William Shakespeare's play Hamlet puts across a series of concepts related to treachery, honor, and impulsiveness. In spite of the fact that they initially appear to be very different in nature, Hamlet (the central character), and Laertes are more similar than one might be inclined to think. The two are principally concerned about avenging their fathers and believe that nothing can stop them from reaching their goal. In spite of their determination they are both imprudent and this reflects in a series of mistakes that they make in their attempt to accomplish their goals. Anger is one of the principal concepts that influence them in losing control and it is the eventual reason for their death.
Although anger is enough to influence both characters in losing their minds, Hamlet is somewhat different from Laertes because of his tendency to over think each step that he makes. Laertes is prepared to…… [Read More]
Here, though ordsworth has once again assumed his place apart from the natural world, he denotes that it is of value to return to this beautiful space in his memory when he is in need of emotional or psychological respite. And ultimately, this reinforces the romantic imperative of distilling the human experience within its context. For ordsworth, the context of modernity invokes a greater appreciation for man's inextricable bond to the natural world.
For Shakespeare, a pre-romantic prerogative toward leaving one's own stamp on the world seems to drive the perspective of Sonnet 116. So is this evidenced by his closing remarks, which states rather definitively, "If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved." Both with regard to the way that Shakespeare characterizes the everlasting nature of true love and the way that he references his own role in the world…… [Read More]
Antony and Cleopatra. Retrieved September 30, 2005 from:
Brown, Lenora Inez. "Enter the Body: omen and Representation on Shakespeare's Stage." American Theatre. May 01, 2001. Retrieved September 30, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library eb site.
Desmet, Christy. "omen's Matters: Politics, Gender, and Nation in Shakespeare's Early History Plays." Comparative Drama. September 22, 2000. Retrieved September 30, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library eb site.
Hunt, Maurice. "Shakespeare's Venetian paradigm: stereotyping and Sadism in The Merchant of Venice and Othello." Papers on Language & Literature. March 22, 2003. Retrieved September 30, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library eb site.
Julius Caesar, The Life and Death of. Retrieved September 30, 2005 from:
Othello, The Moore of Venice. Retrieved September 30, 2005 from:
Starks, Lisa S. "Like the lover's pinch, which hurts and is desired: The Narrative
of Male Masochism and Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra." Literature and Psychology. December 22,…… [Read More]
Antony offered Caesar a diadem, but Caesar refused it, saying Jupiter alone is king of the Romans, "possibly because he saw the people did not want him to accept the diadem, or possibly because he wanted to end once and for all the speculation that he was trying to become a king" (Julius1 pp). In Shakespeare's account, Antony says at the funeral, "I thrice presented him a kingly crown, hich he did thrice refuse. as this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, And sure he is an honourable man" (Julius III.ii)
Julius Caesar. orld of Education. Retrieved August 30, 2005 at http://library.educationworld.net/s26/index.html
illiam Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Retrieved August 30, 2005 at http://www.entrenet.com/~groedmed/jc.html
Julius1 Caesar: Historical Background. Retrieved August 30, 2005 at http://www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/caesar.html… [Read More]
My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty:
To you I am bound for life and education;
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you; you are the lord of duty;
I am hitherto your daughter: but here's my husband,
And so much duty as my mother show'd
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor my lord.
(Othello, Act 1, Scene iii, lines 179-188)
Desdemonda's character is defined early in Shakespeare's Othello. She plays a supportive role, allowing the nature of Othello's character to emerge clearly by the end of the play. Here, Desdemonda defends both herself and her husband. The passage tells the audience much about gender roles and norms in Elizabethan society, as Desdemonda speaks of her father as the "lord of duty," and refers to a…… [Read More]
Shakespeare delays the entry of his tragic hero until the second scene of Othello, creating dramatic irony and suspense. He also allows the audience to first perceive Othello from the eyes of Iago and Roderigo, thus emphasizing their roles in the coming course of action. Although it is unclear whether Iago and Roderigo are honest men this early in the play, the fact that they fail to name the title character leads the audience to suspect that these two men might be up to no good. Furthermore, their characterization of Othello raises curiosity in the mind of the audience. The introduction of Othello in Scene 2 of the first act relieves this dramatic tension. Othello is poised, regal, and, as we soon see in scene 3, popular; the Duke clearly favors him over Brabantio. Othello is portrayed as a sympathetic character early in Shakespeare's play.
Othello is only referred to…… [Read More]
" Again, the poet employs repetition (of the word "fair") to emphasize his point. Moreover, "chance" and "changing" provide some alliteration, which is otherwise rare in this particular Shakespeare sonnet.
Line nine begins with the word "But," to herald a shift in tone: the speaker went from listing summer's deficiencies to pointing out the particular qualities of his lover that make her superior. The speaker focuses almost exclusively on her "eternal summer" that "shall not fade," (line 9). She will never lose possession of "that fair," or her beauty, and even Death cannot claim her (lines 10, 11). In line 12 the speaker takes partial responsibility for her immortality, for "in eternal lines" she "growest" in stature.
True to the sonnet form, lines 13 and 14 end with rhyming words; in this case, "see," and "thee." The rest of the poem has an alternating rhyme scheme: ABABCDCDEFEF. Moreover, in Sonnet…… [Read More]
Iago's view of sexual desire contrasted with Othello's
In the play Othello, William Shakespeare is showing the conflict of sexual desire between a man and woman. This is taking place, when Othello (a military commander) marries a woman named Desdemona. However, her father (Roderigo) is upset about this relationship. The reason why, is because he has heard some negative rumors about Othello from Iago (his aide). Iago, was supposed to be promoted to lieutenant, but was passed over by Othello for an inexperienced soldier. This creates a conflict between the two with Othello, by telling Roderigo a number of stories about their relationship. Once this occurs, is when Roderigo will do anything to kill Othello. ("Plot Overview," 2011)
Then, there was news that the Turks have invaded Cyprus and Othello was order to the region (by his superiors). Iago returned to his unit and began to use the…… [Read More]
The Character and Relationship of Macbeth and his Lady
In Act 1, Scene V of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth reads a letter from her husband and then reflects on his character. Use this letter and speech as a focal point for analyzing their relationship. What does the letter tell you about his view of the world? What does her subsequent speech tell you about hers? Stay with these few pages of the text and examine as many of the words and phrases as possible.
It seems from the text that Lady Macbeth loves her husband and wants the best for him, but she also believes that he will not be able to do what is required. The letter introduces her to the message from the weird sisters who, as the reader knows, are witches who are, throughout the tale telling Macbeth of his fate. At the end of the opening…… [Read More]
Thus, Shakespeare's poems have shown that they deal with timeless topics, topics that have proved their worth over time, such as love, passion, and writing. Throughout time, however, Shakespeare's reputation of a writer did, indeed, change. hile he was known as a businessman and patron of the arts during his life, it is suspected that he was not celebrated for his masterful writing until after his death ("Shakespeare Biography"). Today, however, Shakespeare is recognized as the premiere master of creativity and language who wrote in English. Indeed, Pressley and the Shakespeare Resource Center argue that "illiam Shakespeare's legacy is a body of work that will never again be equaled in estern civilization," suggesting that his works "still reach across the centuries as powerfully as ever." Indeed, Shakespeare is not only remembered for the plays and poetry that have changed the scope of English literature, but he is today remembered as…… [Read More]
And while it may seem silly upon first reading or seeing the play, it is clear that a Midsummer Night's Dream also has quite serious ideas. Scholars have noted that the play includes a cultural critique of the Elizabethan era in which it is set (Lamb 93-124). Other critics have noted that the play may contain quite subversive ideas regarding the fluid nature of sexual identity (Green 369-370). Whatever way you choose to interpret a Midsummer Night's Dream, the play's goofy characters, outrageous situations, and rich language have ensured the play's status as a classic work of English literature.
Casey, Charles. "Was Shakespeare Gay? Sonnet 20 and the Politics of Pedagogy."
College Literature, Fall 1998. 29 November 2007. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3709/is_199810/ai_n8827074.
Gibson, H.N. The Shakespeare Claimants: A Critical Survey of the Four Principal
Theories Concerning the Authorship of the Shakespearean Plays. New York: Routledge, 2005.
Green, Douglas E. "Preposterous Pleasures: Queer…… [Read More]
Perhaps because of this reference to contemporary political ideals, the romance of Shakespeare seems more archetypal than the immediately relevant sociological commentary of "est Side Story." Bernstein's musical is unapologetically topical, dealing with the 1950s obsession with juvenile delinquency and even common theories to explain it, as in the song "Gee Officer Krupkie" which suggests alternatively that delinquency is caused by society, psychology, and also a young thug being "no damn good." hile Shakespeare's conflict between young desires and old hatreds and resistance to change could apply to a variety of contexts, from ancient times as in the case of Pyramus and Thisbe, to the lovers of Brooke's history of Italy, to New York City gangs, to Bosnia, Bernstein's specific focus on the linguistic differences between Puerto Ricans and whites in their speeches and songs, the significance of juvenile crime in American society, and specific cultural ideals like that…… [Read More]
Final Opportunity for Reflection and riting
"Stand and unfold yourself"
This quote comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Francisco and Bernardo are two guards standing watch in the middle of the night at the castle Elsinore. This is the second line of the play, spoken by Francisco in response to Bernardo's question of who goes there. It is an important part because it sets the tone for the rest of the play. Much of the story involves secret presences and the knowledge that people are being watched. This happens with Polonius as he is stabbed by Hamlet and with Hamlet when he is being watched by his uncle/stepfather. Uncertainty about being alone and who or what may be around lends to the overall confusion and mania of the characters which invariably leads to the tragedies which each of the characters then experience.
"tis the sport to have the enginer /…… [Read More]
The ironic twist is the play of what is to be expected to be said and what is actually said (or, going back to the argument, what is expected from love and what actually occurs): It begins: "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; / Coral is far more red than her lips' red"
From here the sonnet continues with a much less pleasing list of the qualities about this mistress, who is definitely very far from the ideal perfection noted in the Petrarchan sonnets. The distinction between the two sonnet approaches increases in the last of the couplets when Shakespeare makes his final argument and explains why he has been using such lesser quality comparisons all along: "And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare/as any she, belied with false compare."
In other words, is it not better to have the best of what is real…… [Read More]
Shakespeare, Sonnet 57
A Reading of William Shakespeare's Sonnet 57
Shakespeare's Sonnet 57 begins with a striking metaphor: "being your slave." Shakespeare does not soften the image by using a simile to suggest he is "like a slave" -- he is already a slave because he is in love. Structurally any Shakespeare sonnet consists of three quatrains and a concluding couplet, in which the quatrains in some way speak to each other, ramifying or deepening the argument in some way. Here the striking opening metaphor of servitude is ramified and toyed with throughout the quatrains. But intriguingly the final couplet of the sonnet sidesteps all the imagery of slavery and servitude to redefine the terms of the lover's situation as described in the earlier body of the sonnet. I intend to show how the metaphor of slavery used in the first three words of the sonnet is unwritten by the…… [Read More]
She states, "I nothing but to please his fantasy," and she does not speculate that her "wayward husband" might have any malicious intent with one of Desdemonda's most precious items. Emila's unfailing trust in her husband is frustrating in light of Iago's deceit, and makes her seem even more remarkable of a character. Even when Desdemonda asks "here should I lose that handkerchief, Emilia?" Emilia does not mention how badly Iago wanted his hands on the item. In the closest thing to a lie that Emilia tells, she replies, "I know not, madam," (III, iv).
Ultimately, Othello's jealous rage startles Emilia and helps her grow as a character. In one of her boldest moments in the play, Emilia states, "They are all but stomachs, and we all but food; To eat us hungrily, and when they are full, they belch us. Look you, Cassio and my husband!" (III, iv). However,…… [Read More]
The friar puts on an act pretending he does not know what is actually happening. Therefore we have make believe within the play. The irony can be found once again, this time in the fact that Juliet will go to church just like she was supposed to only in a different hypostasis.
Not as a bride but as a corpse. Thinking that she will actually kill herself ultimately and that the solution provided by the friar is only a pale sign of what will follow makes the scene stronger in terms of psychological tension. The church and its representative are key elements in the act. As the place suited for a marriage ceremony, the church is the location where a new beginning ought to take place. Juliet however despises this potential new beginning and she prefers to annul it, first through a s symbolical gesture and than through a real…… [Read More]
A broader music discourse of English culture of early modern is reflected in the use of music dramatically with unrelenting relations between excess, music and feminine (Dane 435). Christian and platonic thought presents music ideologies which are conflicting and are being contented by the British writers of the early modern: Semantic indeterminacy and sensuous immediacy are presented by music and also the divine order earthly embodiment presented by music. A feminism depiction is seen here whereby the Pythagorean harmony is the positive aspect of music or its masculine aspect and the cultural dissonance is the negative attribute or the feminine aspect. The marginalities are expressed through the singing of Ophelia which is allowed to be not only literal but also dissonance figuratively. Jacobean and Elizabethan stages gender types inspires Ophelia representation. omen's song cultural constructions is problematic through Ophelia singing which lets the 'woman out', her disturbing feminine energy must…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is perhaps one of the most famous and hotly debated literary artifacts ever written. However, because literary critics and historians have discussed the work so often, it is easy to forget that Shakespeare wrote his tragedy as a play to be performed in the context of an Elizabethan production, to an Elizabethan audience. It is a refreshing antidote to some of more modern textual analysis of this performed text, which views the central character as a kind of an early existentialist, to consider "Hamlet" in light of its original audience.
Stephen Greenblatt's book Hamlet in Purgatory attempts to accomplish this. Greenblatt advances the theory that Hamlet, rather than simply being a tragedy about a man who could not make up his mind, is really about a man wrestling with the shifting religious climate of early Protestant England, a country still in great religious flux. Greenblatt states that for…… [Read More]
To better describe the problem of a conflict of individual and society, Almereyda referred to the tragedy "Hamlet." Hamlet was one who decided to oppose existing evil, but being the child of the society he lived in, his inner contradictions, unconfident and stereotyped nature didn't allow his will to make a definite decision. Almereyda succeeded in transforming Hamlet from a medieval prince, into the modern hero, into representative of generation-X, filmmaker student. Still modern Hamlet has a more cynic and arrogant character, he is more stereotyped and cowardly. Hamlet of Manhattan's Denmark Corporation, played by Ethan Hawke, looks more like a spoiled white American teenager, than a noble Dutch prince, whom he was presented by Shakespeare. Modern Hamlet is quite different from the person of action, his actions are substituted by his thoughts and by his desire to escape from reality and be forgotten in his own world, where it…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Hamlet contains messages that are relevant to modern society, including the problem of revenge and the disturbing nature of death and the afterlife. These themes repeat themselves throughout Hamlet and are dealt with by the play's protagonist, Prince Hamlet of Denmark. Issues of revenge and death shape Hamlet's character and color his perception of life and the people around him. His encounter with the specter of his late father early in the play brings Hamlet into intimate contact with death and the afterlife. Physical reminders of death also drive home this theme of the play, such as the decaying bodies in the cemetery and Yorick's skull. Closely related to the theme of death is that of revenge, for death is the ultimate outcome of vengeful retribution and the primary motivation for the play's protagonist. King Hamlet's ghost demands that his son exact revenge on Claudius: "If thou didst ever…… [Read More]
William Shakespeare's 1597 history play Henry IV, Part 1 involves Henry Bolingbroke (King Henry the fourth) and his struggle to maintain his throne, like the rebellions throughout the land. Although the rebellion initially appears to show the progress and conditions change of the king's son, Hal, and his peculiar friend, Sir John Falstaff, who gets actively involved in assisting Henry. Falstaff's character is especially intriguing when he prefers to use logics rather than morality with the purpose of being successful. Harry Percy (Hotspur) contrasts Falstaff and eventually comes to be defeated due to his employing an honorable attitude in combat. Comment by Nathaniel Hodes: successful in what sense? surviving the war? anything else? Comment by Nathaniel Hodes: Good. Now follow up these two points with a thesis statement that unites them. What is the play telling us about honor or morality?
The play rotates around the character of Hal, but…… [Read More]
Moreover, and this is where the tone takes its turn, the poet derides summer for its temporary nature. In all of its delighted qualities, the poet suggests, it is a fleeting sensation compared to the lasting statement of her loveliness. Again, we find that exaggeration is a common feature of the love poem. In this instance, there is an overly grand sentiment in the characterization of the subject and, likewise, a decidedly biased disparaging of the summer season as a counterpoint. Here, the poet observes, "And every fair from fair sometimes declines / By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed. /
But thy eternal summer shall not fade."
The poet's tone is thus ultimately one of worshipful affection. There is some combination of love and lust which drives the poet's description and which leaves us little doubt that the speaker is either courting or showering this woman.
This produces…… [Read More]
Shakespeare allows us to see Macbeth's good nature, which also illustrates how easily man can fall once he allows his passions to have free reign.
In Hamlet, Claudius is also driven by ambition and he ranks a close second to Iago as men whose hearts are tainted with evil. His ultimate desire is to be king and then to remain king and he will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. Of course, the wicked deed of killing his own brother becomes more grotesque than that of Iago or Macbeth because of the sheer lack of soul a man must have to commit such an act. Claudius admits that he will do what it takes to retain the throne and he resorts to all sorts of dubious behavior to accomplish this. He also asks Rozencrantz and Guildenstern to use their:
To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather…… [Read More]
It is the same in the Bible with the tragedy of King Saul, the first King of Israel. He has turned his back on God, but continues to seek advice before battling against the Philistines. For help, he sees a medium, or witch, and asks her to summon the spirit of the recently deceased prophet-priest Samuel, who used to help Saul he was serving God. In the same way as the ghost wearing the Kingly cloak appears before the prince, a ghost in a priestly robe appears before Saul., and "Saul knew that it was Samuel." Saul asks this spirit for advice, becomes terrified, and takes his own life in the battle the next day. David, the new king, mourns the death of Saul, just as Fortinbras does with Hamlet. Yet, the Geneva Bible adds with the Corinthians: "It was Satan, who to blind his eyes took upon him the…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's play Macbeth, women play influence Macbeth a brave vibrant soldier, ready die king, a murderer? Discuss witches predictions portrayed Jacobean era ambitious Lady Macbeth husband deranged.
illiam Shakespeare's play Macbeth provides an intriguing account involving concepts like greed, the influence women have on men, and the overall idea of human nature in dubious circumstances. Macbeth is the central character and he comes to employ deceiving attitudes as he becomes more and more overcome by greed. hile it is actually normal to see a person being obsessed with power and coming to act in disagreement with principles he or she previously believed in, Macbeth is also significantly influenced by women who he interacts with and it is only safe to say that they play an important role in making him commit regicide.
Macbeth is somewhat dependent to women, not from a sexual point-of-view, but from a point-of-view involving him wanting…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Sonnet # 138
Shakespeare's "Sonnet 138"
illiam Shakespeare's "Sonnet 138" provides audiences with the opportunity to get a more complex understanding of the speaker's relationship with the Dark Lady and concerning the insecurities that come to dominate his thinking as a result of him growing older. It seems that this relationship has become platonic and it influenced the speaker to experience an emotional detachment as he concentrates on turning a blind eye to what goes on around him -- he simply prefers to ignore the fact that she lies to him and that she is cheating on him with other men. The sonnet actually puts across a psychological study with regard to ideas like love, adultery, and acceptance of one's position in the world.
The speaker focuses both on himself and his mistress in trying to provide audiences with a thorough account about their affair. Even with the fact…… [Read More]
The commencement of illiam Shakespeare's work can be traced to the latter quarter of the fifteen hundreds when he started writing and performing plays. In his work, Shakespeare basically considered the current issues, which contribute to debates among scholars on whether his works should be regarded as contemporary writing or universal philosophical statements. His focus on current issues was mainly geared towards reconstructing the existing political and social concerns and universal concepts and issues. Notably, one of the major issues raised by scholars regarding his work is the significance of historical depiction. Some scholars argue that Shakespeare's historical depiction of his characters should not be overlooked. This depiction plays an important role in understanding the characters themselves as well as gaining important insights from his works. In this case, Shakespeare's characters fall into two major categories i.e. heroes and heroines and villain characters.
Analysis of Shakespeare's Characters:
Shakespeare's…… [Read More]
Shakespeare and Blake
A prevalent issue in English literature is how social status affects individuals. Two writers that are able to explore the negative aspects of social status are William Shakespeare and William Blake. In Shakespeare's Othello, the Moor of Venice, social status plays a major role in determining who does or does not get promoted within the military; this determination, in turn, leads to rebellion on the part of Iago who is both angry and jealous after being passed up for promotion. On the other hand, Blake's poems of the same title, "The Chimney Sweeper" from Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, highlight what children of lower social classes must endure for the benefit of their families. Through their respective works of literature, Shakespeare and Blake demonstrate the lasting impact that social striation has on individuals.
Othello, the Moor of Venice is a dramatic play that focuses on…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's play, Romeo Juliet, film version: note defend effective ineffective. Do unknown young actors, Leonard hiting Olivia Hussey, opposed recognizable stars, made film appealing? Please explain
Although some might be inclined to believe that it is impossible to compare two works of art because they should each be analyzed from different points-of-view, it is only safe to consider that illiam Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet needs to be compared with the film that was inspired from it. One of the first things that the director needed to take into account was that the play that he wanted to screen contained a particularly powerful storyline and the actors thus needed to be prepared to express its full intensity. Franco Zeffirelli decided to cut some of the play's major parts and in spite of the fact that he created a less dramatic piece he managed to create a motion picture that was successful…… [Read More]
hile Shakespeare attracted his fair share of criticism during his day, it is also clear that many of his contemporaries as well as the general public viewed Shakespeare's work in a positive light. For example, Callaghan (2004) points out that, "hile we do not know how much Shakespeare was paid for the plays he furnished his company, it is clear that the greatest part of the handsome fortune Shakespeare had started to amass as early as the 1590s came from his share in the profits of his company rather than from his plays" (405). This relative affluence apparently helped to provide a sort of comfort zone for Shakespeare that allowed him to write when and what he wanted and for whatever audience he desired in ways that contributed to his ultimate success as a playwright as well as the enduring qualities of his works. For instance, Callaghan adds that, "For…… [Read More]
Shakespeare Never Read Aristotle?
Or, the dynamic forms of catharsis and tragic flaws in Shakespeare's plays
Shakespeare's most beloved plays are his tragedies. If one were to list his best and most popular plays: Othello, Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear, and so forth, one would find the list comprised almost entirely of tragedies. So it would not be amiss to say that much of the modern literary conception of theatrical tragedy is shaped and influenced by Shakespeare. At the same time, the definitions of the tragic form as understood at the roots of theatrical history (in Greco-Roman times) continue to be part and parcel of the official comprehension of tragedy. Many critics have sought to fore Shakespeare into the mold of tragedy defined in Aristotle's Poetica, and many others have rightfully protested that he was not cast from that mold, and that in fact he owes little to it.…… [Read More]
The rhyme scheme of this sonnet follows Shakespeare's usual structure, wherein the quatrains all have an independent alternating rhyme (ABAB CDCD EFEF), and the final two lines form an heroic couplet (GG). This adds to the feeling of receiving discrete steps of an argument, and enhances the divisions of the versification. There is also a noticeable prevalence of "l's and "s's in the poem, particularly in the first and third quatrains. these sounds make up the basics of the word "lies," which is itself used as a rhyme and is repeated in the poem, and which forms one of the major themes of the sonnet. In this way, the alliteration subconsciously reinforces the meaning and feel of the poem. There are also instances of repeated words, such as "love" in the lines "O love's best habit is in seeming trust, / and age in love, loves not to have..." (lines…… [Read More]
Shakespeare used Music in his orks
illiam Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright and poet, is recognized all over the world as the greatest dramatist of all times. His plays have been performed more times than those of any other dramatist and have been translated in almost every major language. (Kastan) hile many aspects of Shakespeare's plays have been discussed and analyzed, it is perhaps not so widely known that music has also played an important role in many of his plays. In this paper we shall review the historical background of music in the Shakespearian era and discuss how and why music was used in Shakespeare's works. The type of music used by the playwright as well as some examples of music in specific plays shall also be described.
Historical Background of Music in the Shakespearian Era
The 16th century in which Shakespeare was born was a period when England was…… [Read More]
illiam Shakespeare's Othello that support the view that Iago, the chief antagonist and primary arch-villain of the play, has been imbued with and personifies a supernatural malevolence to fuel his hatred of the protagonist, Othello. This interpretation of Iago's characterization, however, is tempered by his all too human reasons for being possessed of such a fury towards his enemy: the former believes Othello has slighted him for a military promotion and eventually comes to suspect that the latter may have had a sexual relationship with his wife. Despite such seemingly concrete, logical reasons for despising another, Shakespeare takes great pains to employ devices of description, actions, and dialogue, which support the interpretation that Iago is an infernal creature whose verbal and physical manifestations seem to be aligned with evil incarnate, or at least directly juxtaposed with those of providence. Closer examinations of passages involving Iago and his methods of attempting…… [Read More]
This suspicion becomes even more ironically clear as we read further. As we progress with the analysis of the protagonist's description of his love we find even more apparently negative comparisons. For example, he states that that in comparison to perfumes his "mistress reeks" and that music has a much more "pleasing sound" than her voice. He also states that she is no goddess in the lines,
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground
However in the final couplet of the sonnet there is a dramatic change of tone and a radical change in our perception of the loved one. The final two lines read as follows.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
These two lines should be carefully considered as they ironically overturn the meaning and intention of…… [Read More]