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While it would seem that she did not love her husband, but it really seems like Gertrude marries Claudius so quickly because she knows it is the only way to preserve her status and position in the kingdom, otherwise she will lose power, rank, and privilege. She needs a man to protect her, and she uses Claudius to save herself, just as Claudius uses her to ensure he can take over the kingdom.
It seems by the end of the play that Hamlet is truly insane. He talks to dead skulls, he reacts irrationally (such as when he stabs Polonius even though he cannot even see it is really him through a curtain), and he plots revenge on his uncle, but cannot bring himself to carry it out until his own mother dies. He seems extremely depressed and cynical, and he just seems mad. He is not acting, there would…
3.47-51). hile Ophelia clearly is intelligent enough to take care of herself as well as offer her own rebuttals against the male characters' altogether creepy insistence on controlling her sexual life, she suppresses this intelligence and ability out of deference for her father. Thus, her eventual fall is inevitable and largely her own fault, because by allowing her relationship to her father to overshadow everything else, including her own thoughts and desires (revealed explicitly when she says "I do not know, my lord, what to think"), she sets herself up to be utterly devastated following her father's death (and abandonment by Hamlet) (1.3.104).
The circumstances surrounding Ophelia's death are somewhat murky, as they are only related second-hand via the Queen, and the reasons for Ophelia's madness are only ever truly "explained" by the king. Although Ophelia does state that she "cannot choose but weep" at the thought that her father…
Shakespeare, William. "Hamlet." Shakespeare Navigators. Web. 4 Aug 2011.
Willy suffers from the consequences of the internal and external conflicts in his life. One of the antagonists in this story is the false promise of the American Dream, not another person per se. Willy is unable to become rich and show his family his own worth through material possessions, despite his hard work and perseverance, which is a conflict to him because he believed that would happen. He believes that the company he has been employed by for decades will promote him, but instead he is fired. He has worked hard and struggled to provide for his family, yet his sons reject him. Willy learns that the truths he has believed in life are actually false promises. These conflicts are all caused by the antagonist of the play, and losing his job and income and therefore perceiving himself to have let everyone, including himself, down are his external conflicts.…
This explains the indecisiveness of Hamlet to remove Claudius and a strong barrier between Gertrude and Hamlet is made by him so as he will never express his true emotions for her. Hamlet feelings for Gertrude will be disguised by the ones for Ophelia which aren't real as long as Claudius stayed in the way. His original indecisiveness about revenge ultimately grew and he tried to defy his order after a while. hen his mother is killed, then the reason for not killing Claudius disappears and he makes the decision to kill his him and avenge his father. His indecisiveness does cost him his life and that of his mother who was the one reason for his living (Utter 137).
The tragic flaw is of Hamlet is evident in his indecisiveness to take revenge for the death of his father. Hamlet brings up several excuses for not taking action yet…
Burch, R. "I knew Hamlet." Mississippi Review. 29.3 (2001): 43-47
27 April. 2010. < http://www.jstor.org/stable/20132124>
Halliday, F.A Shakespeare Companion 1564 -- 1964. Baltimore: Penguin, 1969
"Hamlet: Themes." The lit Chart Library. 3 Sept. 2008. 27 April. 2010.
Oedipus Exemplifies or Refutes Aristotle's Definition of a Tragic Hero
Aristotle's, the Greek philosopher definition of a tragic hero and tragedy has been influential since he set these definitions down in The Poetics. These definitions were viewed as important during the Renaissance, when scores of writers shaped their writings on the works of the ancient Rome and Greece. Aristotle asserted that tragedies follow the descent of a tragic hero or a central character, from a noble and high position to a low one. A tragic hero posse some tragic flaws, which cause his, fall from fortune, or turnaround of fortune, and to some point, the tragic hero realizes that his own mistakes have caused the turnaround of his fortune. Aristotle also noted that the tragic fall of a hero or a central character in a play stirs up fear to the audience or the reader given that the audience sympathizes…
Bloom, Harold. Oedipus Rex. Texas: Infobase Publishing, 2007.
Grene David. Sophocles. Oedipus the king. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010
Kahan Jeffrey . King Lear: New critical essays. New York: Routledge, 2008.
Madden Frank. Exploring literature: Writing and arguing about fiction, poetry, drama and the essay. Pearson Education Canada, 2008
He continued to repeat the same behavior without at least trying to do something different. His dream probably kept him alive a little longer than he might have lived otherwise. As pathetic as his dream was, he owned it and believed he could reach it on some level. illy's tragic flaw begins with a delusion. He chooses to foster that delusion instead of moving in another direction. He takes the lazy way out of the situation because anything else would take him out of his comfort zone and he might actually develop into something successful. illy lies to himself and to those around him because that is easy as well. illy is a fictional character but he is far more real than many would like to admit. His humanity makes him worth studying because many people live in this kind of complacent, unfulfilled state. illy is his own obstacle and…
Ardolino, Frank. "I'm not a dime a dozen! I am Willy Loman!': The Significance of Names and Numbers in Death of a Salesman." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology. (2002) 174.11.
Phelps, H.C. "Miller's Death of a Salesman." Explicator. 53.4. (1995) p239-41.
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. An Introduction to Literature. Sylvan Barnet, ed. Boston:
Little, Brown and Company. 1985. 1030-1114.
Irony in "Soldier's Home" -- Irony is a device used by writers to let the audience know something that the characters in the story do not know. There is usually a descrepancyt between how things appear and the reality of the situation. Often the characters do not seem aware of any conflict between appearances and the reality, but the audience or reader is aware of the conflict because the writer has used irony in the story. Whatever the emotion of the story is, irony heightens it.
There is a strong element of irony in Ernest Hemingway's painful story "Soldier's Home." Harold, who served in the Army in World War I on the bloodiest battlefields, comes home too late to be welcomed as a hero. We know he needed to be treated as a hero (because he makes up lies about himself) but the townsfolk and his parents do not. While…
Tragedy and the Common Man," he contemplates the idea that only the wealthy, noble characters can fully understand tragedy, and therefore appreciate it. That thought is not a reflection of his own opinion, as Miller argues the case of tragedy and the common, working class man - for tragedy knows no income boundaries, but rather that this person would "lay down his life...to secure one thing - his sense of personal dignity." To that end, Willy Loman epitomizes what Miller is speaking about.
Willy Loman is most certainly a tragic hero, according to the modern-day, Arthur Miller type definitions. Loman is hardworking and relentless in his pursuit of his American dream. His tragic flaw is that he cannot recognize how desperately his family wants to love him, yet Willy loves his family deeply enough to sacrifice self in order to give Biff the American dream that he could not obtain…
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.…
Aristotle. Poetica. Trans. W.H. Fyfe. http://www.noncontradiction.com/ac_works_b38.asp
Charlton, H.B. "Humanism and Mystery" Shakespeare The Tragedies. Ed. Alfred
Harbage. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1964. 10-18.
Harbage, Alfred. "Introduction" Shakespeare The Tragedies. Ed. Alfred Harbage.
Oedipus the King by Sophocles. Specifically, it will explain how the suffering brought upon others by Oedipus contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole. Oedipus is the classic tragic hero, as he not only adversely affects his own life, he is the instrument of suffering for many of the other characters surrounding him in the play. His tragic flaw, or hamartia, is a fatal mistake that flows from a hero's character, and this tragic flaw continually affects those around him, and ultimately leads to his downfall, and the tragic ending of this play. Tragedy surrounds everything that Oedipus does, and ultimately no one in the play can survive when Oedipus touches their lives.
Oedipus' tragic flaw is his rashness. He does not think things through before he acts on his rash impetuousness, and this continually affects those around him. From the moment he slays the traveler…
Sophocles. Oedipus the King. Trans. Robert Bagg. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1982.
Iago notices this flaw at once and plots to exploit it almost immediately. This is evident when he tells Roderigo:
The Moor is of a free and open nature,
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by th' nose
As asses are. (Shakespeare I.iii.393-6)
Here we see that Iago intends on using Othello's open nature against him by allowing him to believe that Desdemona is cheating. Othello has a tendency to be slightly gullible - especially when he believes he is interacting with a confidant. R. B Heilman notes that it is the villain in Othello that defines the tragic hero. hen Iago describes Othello as one "loving his own pride and purposes" (I.i.12), he is describing Othello's "tragic role" (Heilman 21) a.C. Bradley observes, "Othello's mind, for all its poetry, is very simple. He is not observant. His nature tends…
Aristotle. "Poetics." S.H. Butcher, Trans. MIT Internet Classics Archive. Information Retrieved March 01, 2009. http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/poetics.html
Bradley, a.C. Shakespearean Tragedy. Victoria: Penguin Books. 1991.
Shakespeare, William. Othello. Kenneth Muir, ed. New York: Penguin Books. 1968.
Heilman, R.B. "Modes of Irony in Othello." Shakespeare's Tragedies. Baltimore: Penguin Books. 1966.
searching for an example that follows Aristotle's principles for creating the perfect tragedy, we need look no further than illiam Shakespeare's play, Othello. According to Aristotle, a tragedy must possess certain characteristics. These include a plot that is easily remembered and structured to arouse pity and fear within the audience. Additionally, Aristotle writes, "Such an effect is best produced when the events come on us by surprise; and the effect is heightened when, at the same time, they follows as cause and effect" (Aristotle VIIII). A great deal of importance is also placed on the action of the plot. According to Aristotle, "A Complex action is one in which the change is accompanied by such Reversal, or by Recognition, or by both" (Aristotle X). These events must "turn upon surprises" (Aristotle XI) in order to fulfill the requirements of a tragedy. Suffering is also essential for a tragic hero to…
Aristotle, Poetics. Trans S.H. Butcher. MIT Internet Classics Archive. http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/poetics.html . Site Accessed March 01, 2004.
Bradley A.C. "Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on 'Hamlet,' 'Othello,' 'King Lear,' 'Macbeth.' 1904. Site Accessed October 23, 2003. http://www.infotrac.com
Cantor, Paul A. Othello. "Southwest Review." 1990. Site Accessed October 23, 2003. http://search.epnet.com/direct.asp?an=9608042302&db=aph
Muir, Kenneth. Othello: Introduction. New York: Penguin Books. 1968.
He kills his father as he flees his home and marries his mother after solving the riddle of the Sphinx. His end is inevitable, but Sophocles clearly shows the role negative character traits play in Oedipus' tragedy, while Hamlet's supposedly negative traits of doubt are not necessarily evil.
Thus Hamlet could be classified as a kind of nascent anti-hero, a man who mourns "the time is out of joint/oh cursed spite/that ever I was born to put it right," and never succeeds in 'putting it right' because society offers him only one, ineffective mechanism for pursuing a brutal type of justice (1.5). The failure of heroism to 'put things right' is manifested starkly in Waiting for Godot, where the heroes famously wait for the final 'solution' of the arrival of the presumably heroic Godot, who never comes. These characters are not so much heroes or even anti-heroes -- rather they…
Bradley describes this by saying that "Othello's nature is all of one piece... Love, if he loves, must be to him the heaven where either he must leave or bear no life. If such a passion as jealousy seizes him, it will swell into a well-night incontrollable flood" (Bradley 188). This shows how Othello goes to the extremes, especially relating to his emotions. Bradley also says that "He is quite free from introspection, and is not given to reflection. Emotion excites his imagination, but it confuses and dulls his intellect" (Bradley 188). This shows that like Hamlet, Othello is not able to consider the source of his emotions. This occurs as a natural part of Othello's character, while for Hamlet it is specifically linked to the particular situation and the particular emotion. However, the end result is the same with both characters unable to consider their emotions and rationalize them.…
Bradley, A.C. Shakespearean Tragedy. New York: Penguin, 1991.
Eliot, T.S. "Hamlet and his Problems." The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism. 1922. Bartelby.com. Retrieved October 29, 2005. URL: http://www.bartleby.com/200/sw9.html
Shakespeare, W. Hamlet. New York: Penguin, 1987.
Shakespeare, W. Othello. New York: Penguin, 1984.
One of the most pervasive archetypes in literature is the hero. The Greeks presented a complex and very human type of hero, often referred to as the tragic hero. eaders can relate especially to tragic heroes because tragic heroes have flaws. Their flaws make tragic heroes more human, and are effective protagonists even when their plans fail. The hero who is semi-divine or divine is a less compelling story, given that few if any human beings can relate to a figure who is flawless, immortal, and possessing of unlimited strength. Graphic novels present complex characters including some that fit the definition of tragic hero. Modern literature teems with examples of heroes who are just like us: they have good intentions, they are far from perfect, and they sometimes fail. Yet embedded in the definition of hero is the imperative that the individual must be able to put aside egotism,…
Franklin, J.H. (n.d.). The train from hate. Retrieved online: http://www2.selu.edu/Academics/Faculty/scraig/Franklin.htm
Knight, E. (n.d.). Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane. Retrieved online: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15411
Quinonez, E. (2000). Bodega Dreams. Vintage.
The Tragedy of Pride: Othello and Oedipus
Tragedies most generally focus on a hero that has a tragic flaw or hamartia, which ultimately leads to his downfall. This flaw is something that is innate to the hero and can reflect his background. According to Aristotle, the tragic flaw is the most important part of the hero, and the events which lead up to the hero's downfall are a reflection of that flaw. With Shakespeare's Othello, and Sophocles Oedipus, the common flaw that both men share is their pride. Pride is linked with other powerful emotions, such as jealousy and selfishness, which only lead to a world of pain and loss when combined. Pride becomes the fertile ground in both Oedipus and Othello for the seeds of their destruction and ruin.
Even though these plays were written by men who were born 2000 years apart, the works are similar in…
He is out of control, and he hurts the one who loves him the most.
Ophelia is of course, devastated by Hamlet's denunciation. She cries to the King, "And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, / That suck'd the honey of his music vows, / Now see that noble and most sovereign reason, / Like sweet bells jangled, out of time and harsh" (III. i. 147-150). Hamlet is a tragic hero in this drama, but Ophelia is equally tragic because her love denounces her, and in her melancholy, she drowns herself. Her fate is tied to Hamlet's, even though he denies his love, and that helps make her a sad and tragic heroine. In today's world, Ophelia is even more tragic, because it is impossible for her to make up her own mind. She listens to the men in her life - her brother, the King, her father, and…
Shakespeare, William. "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Michael Meyer, ed. Seventh Edition. New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2006. 1407-1558.
Beware my lord" -- not of jealousy, but of self-hatred
Othello is often described as a tragic character because he is a great leader and military hero who is brought low by one, fatal personal flaw that he is otherwise unaware of-namely his jealousy. But really it seems as if Iago is the more jealous of the two men, jealous of the Moor's advancement in Venetian society, and of the promotion of Michael Cassio. One of the first things Iago says in the play, in Act 1, Scene 1 to Rodrigo is "hy, there's no remedy; 'tis the curse of service, / Preferment goes by letter and affection, / And not by old gradation, where each second/Stood heir to the first." (1.1) In other words, rather than merit and age, people who are pretty and preferred like Cassio get promoted -- a statement that seethes with jealousy. In contrast to…
Abcarian, Richard and Marvin Klotz. The Human Experience Reading And Writing. Shorter Eighth Edition. New York: Bedford, 2004.
Shakespeare, William. "Othello." From MIT Shakespeare Homepage. http://www-tech.mit.edu/Shakespeare/othello/othello.1.3.html
In the challenge, Laertes will put poison on the end of his weapon so that when he slashes Hamlet it will kill him. To guarantee Hamlet's death, Claudius poisons the wine that is set out for Hamlet to drink during the competition. Unfortunately, Gertrude decides to toast Hamlet's success and drinks some of the poisoned wine. Hamlet receives a slash with the poisoned tip. When he realizes that his mother is dying, he figures out that this has been a trap. Hamlet stabs Laertes and Claudius with the poisoned blade and forces Claudius to drink from the poisoned cup. In the end all of the main characters - Laertes, Gertrude, Claudius and Hamlet are dead. Earlier, Ophelia and Polonius died. Horatio is the only character left to speak to Fortinbras as he enters on the bloody scene. Fortinbras is then made the new king.
5. Claudius sets in motion all…
Oedipus is one of the most famous names in Greek mythology. His name has become both a psychological complex as well as a familiar joke. His story has come to be a synonym as well for the capriciousness of fate. But a truer picture of the character of Oedipus suggests that, rather than being an unwitting victim, Oedipus a clear hand in his own demise. Despite its reputation, Sophocles' play "Oedipus the King" is a tragedy of character rather than of an innocent condemned by fate. Oedipus' tragic flaw his confidence and his arrogance that he understands what is happening to himself and his city. Of course, Oedipus really understands nothing.
The play begins by Oedipus, king of Thebes talking to his "children" or citizens, bemoaning the fact that Thebes is now under a plague. (ines 1-5, source from iterature and Ourselves) The priest tells Oedipus, "Now we pray to…
Later, the young man Oedipus found his way to the capital and freed Thebes from the curse of the Sphinx. He did so as a confident action, confident of his own intelligence where other men had failed and been killed by the cursed monster. As a gift, Thebes gave him the hand of Laius' widow, Jocasta. This is where the term 'Oedipus Complex' comes from, according to the Gale Online Encyclopedia of Psychology. Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) "describes a subconscious feelings in children of intense competition and even hatred toward the parent of the same sex, and feelings of romantic love toward the parent of the opposite sex. He felt that if these conflicting feelings were not successfully resolved, they would contribute to neuroses in later life. The name "Oedipus" refers to Oedipus Rex, the classic Greek play by Sophocles, which tells the story of Oedipus, who is abandoned at birth by his parents, King Laius and Queen Jocasta. He later comes back and, as foretold by prophecy, kills his father and marries his mother before finding out his true identity. Freud saw in the play an archetypal dynamic being played out, and so coopted the character's name for his description."
However, Freud's passive Oedipus has little to do with the active Oedipus of the text. Perhaps a better reading of Oedipus is provided by Michael Pennington, who states, "The Oedipus complex is...inappropriate to the play. Oedipus sleeps with his mother and kills his father circumstantially, proving only his political sense and a violent temperament." (Pennington 100) Pennington states that it was simply astute of Oedipus to marry Jocasta, he did not do so out of desire. Oedipus chose to free Thebes of the Sphinx out of intelligence and ambition. It takes a particular character of man to act out of anger and kill an older individual in a dispute of early Greek 'road rage.'
It also takes a particular kind of individual character to blind himself. Oedipus' stated reason
Nevertheless, it was his curiosity that made him popular and it would only make sense that it would be his downfall as well. This very human aspect of the king allows us to relate to him and a persona level.
The final tragic move in the play occurs as Oedipus chooses to leave his Thebes. His attempt to rid the city of contamination is brave. He realizes his failure and how he was remarkably shortsighted. Truth was nothing but trouble and for all he wanted to see, there was nothing but destruction for every aspect of his life. Oedipus does not lose his sense of fairness in the tragedy and still behaves responsibly. By the end of the drama, he is ready to accept what he has coming or what he thinks he deserves. He accepts responsibility Laios' murder and the condition of Thebes and her people. He tells Creon…
Aristotle. "Poetics." S.H. Butcher, Trans. MIT Internet Classics Archive.
Site Accessed November 15, 2010.
Barranger, Milly. Understanding Plays. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 1990. Print.
Hadas, Moses. The Complete Plays of Sophocles. Jebb, Richard, trans. New York: Bantam
In this passage, Shakespeare brings into lucidity Hamlet's tragic flaw: as he delayed his plan to avenge his father against Claudius, Hamlet opens an opportunity for the murderer of his father (Claudius) to plan ahead and instead, turn the tables against Hamlet, which eventually results to his death.
It was only at the end of the play that Hamlet redeems himself from his mistakes in life. This is when he achieves "catharsis," the "end or goal of tragedy" (1186). Hamlet finally kills Claudius before he dies himself, and Fortinbras best illustrates his redemption by exulting him by saying, "Let four captains Bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage, for he was likely, had he been put on, to have proved most royal, and for his passage, the soldiers' music and the rite of war Speak loudly for him" (1345).
Although Oedipus in the play "Oedipus the King" can be…
Roberts, E. And H. Jacobs. (1998). Literature: an introduction to reading and writing. (5th ed.). NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Sophocles writes, "Tiresias: That's your truth? Now hear mine: honor the curse your own mouth spoke. From this day on, don't speak to me or to your people here. You are the plague. You poison your own land" (Sophocles, 2004, p. 47). Each of these men has positive qualities, but their tragic flaw outweighs these qualities, and leads to pity and their downfall in the end. In addition, their tragic ends have tragic consequences on those around them, which is another element these two works have in common.
It is interesting to see the similarities in the plotting of these dramas as well. Essentially, they follow the tragic character from a turning point in their lives to the culmination of their problems and how they choose to face them. Their families and loved ones are left behind to sort out their lives without them, while they take the "easy" way…
Miller, Arthur. (1962). Death of a salesman. Masters of Modern Drama. Haskell M. Block and Robert G. Shedd, ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Miller, Arthur. (2005). Tragedy and the common man. Retrieved from the Virginia Community College System Web site: http://vccslitonline.cc.va.us/tragedy/milleressay.htm24 Feb. 2007.
Palmer, R.H. (1992). Tragedy and tragic theory: An analytical guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Sophocles. (2004). The Oedipus plays of Sophocles: Oedipus the king, Oedipus at Kolonos, and Antigone (Bagg, R., Trans.). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Specifically, it will answer the question, is Hamlet truly insane? Hamlet is a deceptively simply character whose insatiable need for vengeance makes him appear insane to the casual reader, but in reality, Hamlet is not insane, he is just insanely jealous and vengeful, and these qualities color his life and the lives of those around him. This makes Hamlet the consummate tragic hero, whose actions lead to his downfall, and the downfall of those closest to him.
Hamlet is a tragic hero because his actions lead to his downfall, and the downfall of many around him. He recognizes that he has character flaws that will ultimately lead him to jealousy, despair, and death, in fact, he notes, "I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act…
Shakespeare, William. "Hamlet." Literature, Reading, Reacting, Writing, 5th Edition, ed. Kirszner, Laurie G., and Mandell, Stephen R. Boston, MA: Heinle, 2004. 2004-2105.
structure of ancient and modern dramas to highlight their differences and similarities. The paper also shows how drama evolved over the centuries with references to Greek, Elizabethan and Modern plays.
MODEN AND ANCIENT DAMA: A COMPAISON
Drama has an inherent ability to adapt itself to the thinking and wishes of the society in which it takes birth. Therefore modern drama with all its intensity, relevance and eloquence is certainly more popular among modern audiences than its ancient counterpart. Still we cannot deny the importance of ancient dramatic concepts, models and devices in the development and evolution of modern drama. While ancient plays are mostly remembered for their grandeur and myths, close analysis reveals that there is more to them than meets the eye. All ancient Greek tragedies contain some similar elements, which set them apart from tragedies of later eras. While they basically concentrated on highlighting the significance of myths,…
Aristotle The POETICS Book XIII: 350 BCE Translated by S.H. Butcher Online version:
Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman, 1949 Penguin USA, 1 edition, October 6, 1998
Arthur Miller, "Tragedy and the Common Man," from The Theater Essays of Arthur Miller (Viking Press, 1978)
Pride in Literature
As a universally human characteristic, pride plays an important part in world literary themes. However, pride can be defined and perceived differently, and the term also has many different definitions. For example, pride can refer to a dignified type of satisfaction, as comes from taking pride in one's work. More often in literature, though, pride is depicted in a negative light and is usually featured as a tragic flaw that, if not overcome, brings about the hero's downfall. Moreover, the implications and meaning of pride in literature has changed over the course of time. Pride was portrayed as a necessary but dangerous trait of powerful leaders in the ancient epics of Greece and Mesopotamia like Gilgamesh, the Iliad, and the Odyssey. The trait of pride reached a sort of thematic culmination in the Old English work Beowulf, in which the title character's pride contributes positively to his…
Myths - "The Other Side of Wonder"
Like the empty sky it has no boundaries, yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear.2
So run the lines from Cheng Tao, describing signifying, identifying myths - always there explaining existence and every facet of life, explaining the reason behind every man's actions:
For what is a myth? Lillian Hornstein3 describes it best. "A myth is the traditional tale common to the members of a tribe, race, or nation, usually involving the supernatural and serving to explain some natural phenomena. Given as an example is the tale of Persephone, daughter of Demeter, abducted by Hades and brought to the underworld but allowed to return to earth and visit her mother for six months. Thus, we have the varied alternations of the season on earth.
Shall we consider the social-cultural effects of myths positive or negative?
13 Mervill pp. 8-9
14 Mervill on Aristotle, pp. 25-30
15 Beehler, Roger and Alan, Drengson. The Philosophy of Society. London: Methiren and Co., 1978
This tragic flaw is very clearly apparent in Okonkwo, the protagonist of Achebe's Things Fall Apart. He is very strong and very masculine according to the expectations of his people, and this both helps him to win success amongst his people despite the shame of his family background -- his father was not well respected in the community -- and causes him to be banished from the villages. This banishment somewhat ironically -- though in a perfect twist for a tragic plot -- weakens the villages and enables the white newcomers' ways to dominate the society, which ultimately leads to Okonkwo's "weak" death at his own hands. The beginning of the change can be seen when Okonkwo convinces himself to take part in the ritual slaying of a kidnapped boy from another village, despite warnings that he should avoid participation: "When did you become a shivering old woman,' Okonkwo asked…
Death of a Salesman is the story of Willy Loman and his obsession with personal attractiveness, financial success and popularity as the most important traits in life, and the ones most likely to lead to his vision of what success is. As it becomes more and more clear to him that he is not a big success, that he is no longer handsome, and that he is not particularly popular, he cannot face this reality, and begins revisiting his past so strongly that the incidents he remembers seem real to him. The play is an example of ordinary people overwhelmed by circumstances. It can fairly be called a tragedy. The main character has a tragic flaw -- his obsession with superficial traits and his insistence that it is these superficial qualities that are important. This flaw leads to his downfall. He has methodically taught his sons to value superficial values…
Role of Free ill and Fate in Oedipus Rex and Othello, the Moor of Venice
Free will and fate play a major role in determining the outcome the hero experiences in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and illiam Shakespeare's Othello, the Moor of Venice. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus's destiny has been predetermined and despite his many efforts, he cannot escape the future the gods have planned for him. Oedipus Rex's form relies on a chorus to serve as an emissary between the gods and the audience and ultimately aims at allowing the audience to achieve catharsis. On the contrary, in Othello, the Moor of Venice, Othello's future is determined through a series of actions that were not influenced by the gods, but rather through free will. Othello, the Moor of Venice's form breaks up the action into separate "vignettes" that ultimately highlight the depravity of man and aims to serve as a…
Brown, Larry."Aristotle on Greek Tragedy." Web. 26 September 2012.
Shakespeare, William. Othello, the Moor of Venice. Web. 26 September 2012.
Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Web. 26 September 2012.
For Oedipus to be considered successful, then, he would have had to challenge his own fate and succeed, rather than enact it entirely according to what was set out for him. In Hamlet, on the other hand, the enemy is tangible and human in the form of Hamlet's uncle, and thus Hamlet is able to confront and vanquish him. Thus, Oedipus represents a kind of ignorant struggle against the ideological forces which control anyone in society, a struggle that can never succeed so long as those forces remain indistinct and ephemeral. Hamlet, on the other hand, demonstrates a pointed struggle against some of the very same tendencies, but in this case, they are identified, named, and thus exists the potential for overcoming them.
Though written in wildly different historical contexts, Sophocles Oedipus Rex and illiam Shakespeare's Hamlet actually have a lot to say about each other, because the titular characters…
Gillespie, Gerald. "Swallowing the Androgyne and Baptizing Mother: Some Modernist Twists to Two Basic Sacraments." The Comparatist 33 (2009): 63-85.
Searle, Leroy F. "The Conscience of the King: Oedipus, Hamlet, and the Problem of Reading."
Comparative Literature 49.4 (1997): 316-43.
Shakespeare, William. "Hamlet." Shakespeare Navigator. Philip Weller, 2012. Web. 28 Feb
Sophocles & Milton
Sophocles wrote his great works two and a half millennia ago, and yet today they are still fresh and powerful. This is because Sophocles deals with deep and important human situations and emotions. Even though we can no longer imagine what it would be like to live in the world which Sophocles inhabits, we can completely understand his characters because they are fully human and human nature does not change much over time. Though he writes about kings and queens and the wealthy of Greece, his characters have the sense of being representatives of every man and woman, in every era. His characters struggle with pride and with sin and with accepting the will of the gods -- when they do things they should not do, in the end they are punished, and accept this punishment. This gives them a greater morality than sinners who are portrayed…
Milton, John. Paradise Lost. Project Gutenberg. ftp://ftp.knowledge.com/pub/mirrors/gutenberg/etext91/plboss10.txt
Sophocles. Oedipus the King. Trans. F. Storr. Internet Classics. http://classics.mit.edu/Sophocles/oedipus.pl.txt
Tragedy of Oedipus Rex
Many people understand Sophocles' play, Oedipus Rex, is a tragedy but what they may not know is that Aristotle established the notion of the tragic drama and Oedipus Rex fits it perfectly. The ancient drama serves as an excellent example of what a tragic play looks like. According to Aristotle, the hero of a dramatic play can must be noble or of royalty. Because he is noble, he is often perceived of in an extraordinary in some way. This is certainly the case with Oedipus. His people love and respect him primarily because he solved the riddle of the Sphinx. Besides being extraordinary, a tragic hero must vacillate between two extremes and reveal his tragic flaw and eventually experience a catharsis. Finally, the hero must evoke a sense of pity or sympathy from the audience before the play's conclusion. Oedipus Rex fulfills these requirements.
Aristotle. "Poetics." S.H. Butcher, Trans. MIT Internet Classics Archive. Web.
Site Accessed March 08, 2011.
Hadas, Moses. The Complete Plays of Sophocles. Jebb, Richard, trans. New York: Bantam
Books. 1971. Print.
'" (Molland 257) of course, this kind of thinking would eventually lead Dee to argue that "at length I perceived onely God (and by his good Angels) could satisfy my desire," and ultimately resulted in his extensive travels with the medium and alchemist Edward Kelley. Furthermore, this insistence on an astrological interpretation of cosmology directly influenced his other "scientific" works, something that is taken up in J. Peter Zetterberg's analysis of what he calls Dee's "hermetic geocentricity."
After discussing the somewhat limited commentary on Copernicus' theory of heliocentrism present in Dee's strictly scientific works, Zetterberg suggests that "to resolve the general ambiguity that surrounds the question of Dee's cosmological views it is necessary to leave his works on practical science and turn instead to his occult interests." In Monas hieroglyphica, the only work in which Dee "reveal[s] a cosmology," Zetterberg identifies a kind of hidden meaning Dee proposes to exist…
"A John Dee Chronology." Adam Matthew Publications. Available from http://www.ampltd.co.uk/digital_guides/ren_man_series1_prt1/chronology.aspx . Internet; accessed 20 March 2011.
Dee, John. General and rare memorials pertaining to the Perfect Arte of Navigation. 1575.
Dee, John. To the King's Most Excellent Majesty. 1604
Heppel, G. "Mathematical Worthies. II. John Dee." The Mathematical Gazette 5 (1895): 40.
She fears that she may be tricked into drinking poison by Father Lawrence, or will go mad: "O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught, / Environed with all these hideous fears?" (IV.3). In a Romeo-like frenzy, Juliet finally resolves, having no apparent recourse (other than bigamy): "Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee" (IV.3).
Juliet becomes more and more heedless over the course of the play, despite her early intelligence and caution, the closer she becomes to Romeo. But Romeo's haste and the change it spawns in Juliet's character is not simply the result of his youth: all of Verona society behaves badly and hastily, as reflected in the actions of the older generation. The servants fight with barely a pretext of an offense and even Juliet's father, Lord Capulet, the oldest character (who should theoretically be the wisest, except for the Friar) also acts impetuously.…
"Proverbs." The King James Bible. Bible Gateway November 29, 2010.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. MIT Shakespeare. November 29,
Through the characters of Bonnie and Clyde, the filmmakers present and critique the social values of 1930s merica. Issues related to anti-trust legislation and monopolies were important at this time, especially as they related to the stock market crash and the Great Depression. It is against this bleak economic and social backdrop that Bonnie and Clyde commit their crimes. The anti-establishment worldview of the title characters also corresponds with 1930s ideologies. Communism and socialism were becoming viable alternatives to capitalism. lthough robbing banks is not the hallmark of communism, Bonnie and Clyde do share the ethical viewpoint that would cause them to view banks as faceless, impersonal institutions. Finally, the film Bonnie and Clyde pays homage to the burgeoning business of organized crime that flourished during the early 20th century in…
Arthur Penn's classic 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde relays the true story of a gangster couple whose foray into bank heists turns sour and deadly. Although the title characters are clearly criminals who deviate from normative behavior in many ways, Bonnie and Clyde are heroes. The couple is depicted in a way that helps the audience sympathize with them, and therefore root for them throughout the film even as their plans go awry. Bonnie and Clyde share traits in common with the heroes in classical Greek drama.
For example, both Bonnie and Clyde suffer from a great deal of hubris and this tragic flaw causes them to fail at key moments. A hero is not necessarily an unambiguously benevolent character but rather, a multidimensional one. In fact, Bonnie and Clyde do not intend to use violence. Their tragic flaws led them astray from their true goals, the way Oedipus and other classic heroes also fail. Bonnie and Clyde are also depicted as heroes in the way their relationship deepens, because the audience wants them to succeed not just as individuals but as a couple.
Through the characters of Bonnie and Clyde, the filmmakers present and critique the social values of 1930s America. Issues related to anti-trust legislation and monopolies were important at this time, especially as they related to the stock market crash and the Great Depression. It is against this bleak economic and social backdrop that Bonnie and Clyde commit their crimes. The anti-establishment worldview of the title characters also corresponds with 1930s ideologies. Communism and socialism were becoming viable alternatives to capitalism. Although robbing banks is not the hallmark of communism, Bonnie and Clyde do share the ethical viewpoint that would cause them to view banks as faceless, impersonal institutions. Finally, the film Bonnie and Clyde pays homage to the burgeoning business of organized crime that flourished during the early 20th century in America.
In spite of the setbacks of Operation Blueheart, MacArthur was admirable in his courageous "promptitude to act," in the words of Winston Churchill (cited by Starling 1998, p. 298). After Blueheart's execution proved inconceivable, MacArthur immediately proceeded to draft the plans for the similar Operation Chromite. Operation Chromite, like Operation Blueheart, would rally the support of various branches of the military in a sweeping amphibious counteroffensive. MacArthur hoped to achieve the primary objective of American and United Nations presence in the Korean Peninsula: to stymie the communists.
If nothing else, MacArthur wanted to revitalize the spirits of troops stationed throughout East Asia and especially those trapped behind the Pusan Perimeter. On a reconnaissance mission on June 29, 1950 General MacArthur observed lackluster troops and was quoted saying Nobody is fighting," (Ballard 2001, p. 32). The seasoned CINCFE pointed out during the reconnaissance mission that among American and allied South Korean…
Ballard, J.R. (2001). Operation Chromite: counterattack at Inchon. JFQ Spring/Summer 2001.
Beidler, P. (2007). Ike v. Mac. Military History Jul/Aug 2007.
Brady, J. (2000). The Coldest Winter. St. Martin's.
Carpenter, R.H. (2000). Did MacArthur save the Marines? U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings; Aug2000, Vol. 126 Issue 8, p66, 6p.
Hamlet's enigmatic behavior so upsets Ophelia that she drowns herself, making Laertes even more set on revenge. Eventually these two deaths lead to a duel (provoked by Claudius) between Hamlet and Laertes, No one wins.
Laertes kills Hamlet with a poison-tipped sword; Hamlet kills Laertes. Gertrude drinks poison intended by Claudius for Hamlet. Hamlet, dying and seeing his mother already dead, forces the remaining poison down Claudius's throat. Conrad suggests that even with all of his flaws, including extreme procrastination, Hamlet is "essentially courageous" (680). Ultimately then, due either directly or indirectly to Hamlet's failure to act sooner and more decisively in avenging his father's death, everyone, yet no one, is avenged.
The catalyst for the tragic events that take place within Shakespeare's Hamlet is the title character's indecisiveness, leading to an unfortunate series of ill-timed; poorly executed events ultimately resulting in many deaths, most importantly that of Hamlet himself.…
Conrad, Bernard R. "Hamlet's Delay -- a Restatement of the Problem." PMLA, Vol. 41, No. 3 (Sep., 1926) 680-687.
Eliot, T.S. "Hamlet and his Problems." The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism.
London: Methuen, 1922. 74-88.
Lawall, Sarah, et al. "William Shakespeare 1564-1616." The Norton Anthology of World
This is an interesting point-of-view about Aylmer and it works with his character. Others identify Georgiana's birthmark as something that is essentially hers and therefore, should remain with her. Shakinovsky goes even further to say that it is a "metaphor for her identity, her sexuality, her being" (Shakinovsky). Aylmer is blind to this fact altogether. He cannot see that "in removing the mark, he removes all there is of her" (Shakinovsky). He could not accept the fact that he could not just remove a portion of her -- it was all or nothing.
Shakinovsky reinforces the point that all of the characters in "The Birthmark" realize that Georgiana cannot be separated from her birthmark, except Aylmer. However, as the story progresses, the birthmark becomes "Aylmer's object, and since, as the sign of her subjectivity, it represents Georgiana, it becomes she who is his object" (Shakinovsky). Again, we see how Aylmer's…
Eckstein, Barbara. "Hawthorne's 'The Birthmark: Science and Romance as Belief.'" Studies in Short Fiction. 1989. 26.4. EBSCO Resource Database. Site Accessed November 17, 2004. http://www.searchepnet.com
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. "The Birthmark." The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Cassil, R.V., ed. 1981 W.W. Norton and Company. pp. 600-13.
Henry James. "Nathaniel Hawthorne." Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. 1879. GALE Resource Database. Site Accessed November 18, 2004. http://www.infotrac.galegroup.com
Rosenberg, Liz. "The best that earth could offer: 'The Birth-mark," a newlywed's story.'" Studies in Short Fiction. 1993. EBSCO Resource Database. Site Accessed November 17, 2004. http://www.searchepnet.com
This sudden tragedy occurs, no less, just as Ophelia is to happily crown the hanging boughs of the tree, which symbolically represents the happy instance that must have occurred just prior to the play's opening -- Hamlet's engagement to Ophelia. As on the bank of the brook, so too with Hamlet -- an "envious sliver broke"; the "rash" and "intruding" Polonius interjected himself and denied Ophelia what her nature so plainly made her for: to love. He teaches her, rather, to doubt and to suspect. Ophelia falls victim to the plague of Elsinore, which may be stated as the conflict between truth and falsehood.
The Man's Nature
Hamlet engages in this conflict in an altogether different manner, however. If Ophelia and Gertrude approach it from the direction of love, Hamlet approaches it from the direction of reason. Gertrude and Ophelia intuit; Hamlet rationalizes. Ophelia, for example, appreciates Hamlet's predicament immediately…
Battenhouse, Roy W. "The Ghost in Hamlet: A Catholic 'Linchpin'?" Studies in Philology vol. 48, no. 2, 1951, 161-192. Print.
Dane, Gabrielle. "Reading Ophelia's Madness." Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, vol. 10 (1998): 405-23. Print.
Garner, Shirley Nelson. "Shakespeare in My Time and Place." Shakespearean Tragedy
and Gender (ed. By Shirley Nelson Garner). Indiana University Press, 1996. Print.
epic narratives like Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and Lord of the ings contain some of the same elements and archetypes as those found in the Biblical narratives. Sacrifice, bondage, exodus, and survival in the wilderness are themes in each of these stories. For example, in Star Wars, the Skywalkers were forced to flee Tatooine, making numerous sacrifices in preventing the dark side from winning. In Game of Thrones, characters like Arya have been forced to survive in the wilderness as well as live in bondage while also being exiled from her place of birth. Frodo and Bilbo Baggins make sacrifices and survive in the wilderness during their journeys in Lord of the ings. These secular stories often contain strong moral messages, just as the Bible does. Honor, integrity and virtue are as important for exhibiting strong leadership in secular as in religious literature. The main difference between secular epic…
Lucas, G. (n.d.). Star Wars. [Feature Film].
Martin, G.R.R. (n.d.). Game of Thrones.
Theatrical Analysis of Macbeth and Antigone
The most accounted features of a tragedy are the gloominess of atmosphere, solemnity of action, mental conflicts, strain, suspense and capability of capturing the audience. Tragedy tries to stimulate the sentiments of pity and fear (Devi 1). Thus, this study is comparing the two Shakespearean and Greek tragedies, Macbeth and Antigone. This analysis will compare and contrast the two plays, their theme, comparison of main characters, conflict, plot etc. The purpose of this study is to provide a deeper understanding of the plays to the reader and to assess the similarity and differences in both the plays. Macbeth unfolds the story of a man, ambitious to become a king. He even murders King Duncan to fulfil his ambition due to the prophecy of the three witches and his wife, Lady Macbeth. However, he ends up dying because of his greediness. Antigone, on the other…
Boyd, Catherine Bradshaw. The Isolation of Antigone and Lady Macbeth. The Classical Journal, vol. 47, no. 5(Feb., 1952), 174-177+203, 2014, http://www.wwrsd.org/cms/lib04/NJ01000230/Centricity/Domain/230/Article%203.pdf . Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.
Cap, Adam. Creon as a Tragic Character in "Antigone." AdamCap.com, 16 Feb. 2016, https://adamcap.com/schoolwork/creon-as-a-tragic-character-in-antigone/ Accessed 12 Apr. 2017.
Chu, Dennis. Comparison of Macbeth and Oedipus. Prezi.com, 2010, https://prezi.com/jyrpci7hthum/comparison-of-macbeth-and-oedipus/ . Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.
Collins, J. Churton. Structure and Plot of Antigone. TheatreHistory.com, 2006, http://www.theatrehistory.com/ancient/structure_and_plot_of_antigone.html . Accessed 10 Apr. 2017.
Save the Cat
Author introduces himself and his history in the world of screenwriting
eason for writing the book -- to help readers not make the same mistakes he made and to avoid common screenwriting pitfalls
Meaning of 'Save the Cat:' Using scenes that define who the hero is that are dramatic (like saving a cat)
Selling the story
Importance of a good 'logline' (attention-getter for the person to whom your pitching the film). A film cannot be 'sold' without a good logline, no matter how strong the picture
Importance of 'high concept' (movies that are easy to visualize), even today
Make sure your story falls into one of the 10 basic genres to enable it to be marketed to a target audience
A. Need a hero
Use Jungian archetypes that the audience can easily identify with when constructing characters
C. Never cast the movie before you write…
Aristotle. Poetics. Internet Classic Archives. [14 Jan 2013]
Memento. Directed by Christopher Nolan. 2001.
Snyder, Blake. Save the Cat. Michael Wiese, 2005
power to transcend time and culture, which is why many of the world's best stories are also the most enduring ones. Most powerful stories are also political in scope. In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley warns the world about the arrogance of egotism and the dangers of selfishness and irresponsibility. In "Shooting an Elephant," George Orwell sends a message about the pitfalls of colonialism. Both of these stories are powerful because their narrative serves a greater purpose.
A powerful story has strong character development, because strong characters grapple with the grey areas of ethics and morality. Rather than showing clear divisions between good and bad, stories like Frankenstein and "Shooting an Elephant" show that no person is fully good or fully evil. The biggest power in Shelley's Frankenstein is the tension between the creature's emotional needs and his creator's inability to meet those needs. The story serves as a metaphor for irresponsible…
Othello by William Shakespeare and the film version of the play directed by Oliver Parker. Specifically it will analyze play from a dramatic and design point-of-view. The film, released in 1995, stars Laurence Fishburne, Irene Jacob, and Oliver Parker. This film is an excellent rendition of Shakespeare's classic play, made even more appealing by the exceptional acting by Laurence Fishburne, who brings a sensual side to the role that is quite effective.
There have been many performances of Shakespeare's play "Othello" on the stage and in film. One of the best is the 1995 version that starred Laurence Fishburne as Othello. His performance made this dramatic play even more memorable and understandable, and truly brought the character of Othello to life. He gave Othello a sensual quality that helped explain Desdemona's attraction to him, and added another dimension to the character. The film also highlighted the racial tension at the…
Othello. Dir. Oliver Parker. Perf. Laurence Fishburne, Irene Jacob, and Kenneth Branagh. Columbia Tri-Star, 1995.
Mookie's frustrated acts show that violence is sometimes justified as a means of "self-defense," in Malcolm X's words. Bigger did not have access to the words of wisdom of either Malcolm X or Martin Luther King Jr. More importantly, Bigger did not have access to a community of like-minded African-Americans who could sympathize with if not totally condone the use of violence to preserve cultural integrity and pride.
Mookie and Bigger are remarkably similar, proving that little has actually changed for African-Americans in terms of gaining social and political power even after the Civil Rights movement. Richard Wright's novel Native Son illustrates the extent of racial discrimination during the early half of the twentieth century; Spike Lee's movie "Do the Right Thing" reveals the extent of racial discrimination during the latter half of the century. The protagonists in Native Son and "Do the Right Thing" live in different times and…
This is circular logic that appears to dehumanize our freedom and minimalize our existence. The atomization of the responsible self is unimaginative and restrictive, I'll choose something else to listen to if I have a choice.
Work itself is exploitative in nature. Only when a person can work for himself or herself can exploitation be limited to being self-imposed. Labor and work do not belong to anyone, they are mere expressions of idea, to claim them as a tangible thing is confusing and appears to have a disingenuous motive.
Perfection is in the eye of the beholder and even though there are characeristics of a perfect market such as large amounts of buyers and sellers and a shared responsibility, there is undoubtedly some flaw within the system. Perfect markets would require no exchange of money, only ideas as money itself is a market within itself causing…
Speech on Alcoholism and Addiction
Main Points: I. Alcoholism is an addiction, not a character flaw.
Treating alcoholism requires modern rehabilitation methods.
The "Twelve-Step" program advocated by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
represents an extremely effective route to recovery.
Central Idea: For centuries, society has viewed addiction to alcohol and other substances as a defect in one's moral fiber, rather than a medical affliction. Modern scientific exploration into the subject of addiction has revealed that alcoholism is actually the result of neurotransmitters in the brain becoming activated, chemical responses throughout the body, genetic influences, and even environmental factors. By revising the widespread belief that addiction to alcohol is one's own "fault," and recognizing the litany of variables which determine whether somebody will be prone to addictive tendencies, the stigma placed on alcoholism may eventually be lifted.
A. For as long as mankind been aware that the actions of an individual are…
Dodes, L. (2002). The heart of addiction: A new approach to understanding and managing alcoholism and other addictive behaviors. New York, NY: Harper-Collins
Narcotics Anonymous Fellowship. (1991). An introductory guide to narcotics anonymous, revised. Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.na.org/admin/include/spaw2/uploads/pdf/litfiles/us_english/Booklet/Intro Guide to NA.pdf
The centrality of the ghost to the play's metaphysics might be inferred from the fact that illiam Shakespeare acted as the ghost and the player king (Bloom), a strange chimera and bellerophon within the anatomy of the play. To cite Eliot again, Hamlet "is the 'Mona Lisa' of literature" (cf. Hoy 182). It is an exciting challenge to participate in this critical tradition in hopes of concluding it. However, the volumes of superb criticism on Hamlet and King Hamlet's ghost are vast, and this is a mere gloss of its character. If we obsess over it too much, we, like Hamlet, may become lost in its problems.
orks Cited and Consulted
Bloom, Harold. Hamlet: Poem Unlimited. Riverhead Books: New York, 2003.
Dodsworth, Martin. Hamlet Closely Observed. The Athlone Press: London, 1985.
Greenblatt, Stephen. Hamlet in Purgatory. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 2001.
How, Cyrus, ed. illiam Shakespeare Hamlet, Second Edition. ..…
Works Cited and Consulted
Bloom, Harold. Hamlet: Poem Unlimited. Riverhead Books: New York, 2003.
Dodsworth, Martin. Hamlet Closely Observed. The Athlone Press: London, 1985.
Greenblatt, Stephen. Hamlet in Purgatory. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 2001.
How, Cyrus, ed. William Shakespeare Hamlet, Second Edition. W.W. Norton & Company: New York, 1992.
What autos a society depends on says a lot about that society too, and the gas-guzzling SUVs and pickups that have made up the backbone of American transportation indicate our indifference to global problems, including the problems the country is creating itself.
What is so disturbing about America's role in the five-gas-stations theory is the message it sends quite openly to the rest of the world. Friedman notes in his essay that this message breeds resentment because the United States is not content to spread technology and industrialization. In addition, it is spreading democratization, capitalism, fast food, and even Hollywood values to the rest of the world, and many of them strongly resent America for its presumption that everyone would be better off following her example, whether they want to or not (Friedman 134). The country feels the need to drag everyone down the same "righteous" path, and that is…
Friedman, Thomas L. "Revolution is U.S." Signs of Life in the U.S.A., 5th ed. Maasik & Solomon, eds. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006. 130-135.
Hamlet's Ghost has presented a problem for critics and readers since it first appeared on stage some four hundred years ago. Serving as the pivot upon which the action of the play is established -- Hamlet's father's ghost delivers him important information about his death and the throne -- one is likely to ask whether the ghost is truly the soul of King Hamlet or rather a devil appearing in disguise in order to trick (like Iago) the hero of the drama into a fatal course. This paper will examine the theology behind Hamlet's ghost and compare and contrast the Christian and unchristian, Catholic and Protestant, traits found in the play.
As Roy . Battenhouse states, "One may agree with Dover ilson that the Ghost is the 'linchpin' without which Hamlet falls to pieces, yet question ilson's judgment that the Ghost 'is Catholic,' 'comes from Purgatory,' and 'is the only…
Battenhouse, Roy W. "The Ghost in Hamlet: A Catholic 'Linchpin'?" Studies in Philology vol. 48, no. 2, 1951, 161-192. Print.
Miriam Joseph. "Discerning the Ghost in Hamlet." PMLA vol. 76, no. 5, 1961, 493-502.
Miriam Joseph. "Hamlet, a Christian Tragedy." Studies in Philosophy vol. 59, no. 2,
The novel vividly illustrates this event, stated as follows:
The scorching blade slashed at my eyelashes and stabbed at my stinging eyes. That's when everything began to reel. The sea carried up a thick, fiery breath. It seemed to me as if the sky split open from one end to the other to rain down fire. My whole being tensed and I squeezed my hand around the revolver. The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time, is where I tall started. I shook off the sweat and sun. I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I'd been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times…
Bree, B. (Ed.). (1972). Camus. NJ: Rutgers UP.
Booker, (1993). Literature and domination: sex, knowledge, and power in modern fiction. Gainsville: Florida UP.
Camus, a. (1988). The Stranger. NY: Alfred a. Knopf, Inc.
Dupee, F.W. (1957). In Nabokov: a critical heritage. N. Page (Ed.). NY: Routledge.
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…
Fate in Literature
Stories whether they are presented in film, printed or orally spoken all share important commonalities. One of the important shared elements amongst stories that have been around for hundreds maybe even thousands of years in literature is the role of fate within the stories. Fate in literature can be broadly defined as the power, influence or will of a superior or supernatural force that stages and predetermines events in the voyage of a the main character in the story (Princeton.edu).
A classic example of this is the tragedy written by Sophocles, the infamous tale of Oedipus Rex a king who desperately seeks to outrun, challenge and contradict fate, but is unable to because the supernatural forces above him (The Gods), have predetermined and staged inevitable events in his life. Fate is a very interesting topic to explore as it relates to stories because it challenges the notion…
Bangert, Andrea. "Epictetus and Oepidus." Diss. UCSC, 2001. Epictetus and Oedipus. UCSC. Web. 21 Feb. 2011. .
Bloom, Harold. Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. New York: Chelsea House, 2007. Print.
Booker, M. Keith. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe. Pasadena, CA: Salem, 2011. Print.
"Defining Fate." Fate. Priceton University, 15 Sept. 2003. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. .
Jealousy in Othello
Othello, by William Shakespeare, is a play demonstrating that we all have strengths and weaknesses and that while the best of us will focus on people's strengths, the worst of us will not only not weaknesses but use them in destructive ways. Throughout the play, the weakness of jealousy, directly or indirectly, brings the destruction and downfall of all the major characters, including not only Othello and his bride Desdemona, but Iago, his wife Emilia, Roderigo and Cassio.
Othello is particularly vulnerable because, being a Moor, he is somewhat an outsider (Weller, PAGE). He is accepted as a leader in society and as a great military man, but he is aware of his differences. He used them to charm those around him, wooing and winning the beautiful Desdemona and then defending her marriage to others, but the villain of the play, Iago, knows that it can be…
Carson, Ricks. 1997. "Shakespeare's Othello. Explicator:37.
Evans, Robert C. 2001. "Flattery in Shakespeare's Othello: The Relevance of Plutarch and Sir Thomas Elyot."
Hassel, R. Chris, Jr. 2001. " Intercession, Detraction and Just Judgment in Othello. Comparative Drama:35.
Heathcliff's statement bears the stamp of both arrogance and insecurity. This passage therefore encapsulates his character. He insults Edgar as being worthless and undeserving of Catherine's love. Heathcliff claims that Edgar is nothing more than Catherine's pet, her "dog" or "horse." The reader knows that on some level Heathcliff is right. Catherine loves Edgar as a friend and companion, certainly, but she does not at all love Edgar in the same deep and passionate way she loves Heathcliff. The fact that Heathcliff is aware of this makes him seem arrogant, but his arrogance is part of his charm. It is also what keeps Heathcliff honest.
However, Heathcliff's anger reveals a deep-rooted insecurity and weakness of character. Heathcliff abandoned Catherine every bit as much as she abandoned him. He did not fight for her love perhaps as much as he could have, and deep down he is furious with himself…
Television and film script writers have gained from crime and courtroom proceedings for many years. The use of the courtroom as a drama channel has significantly changed in the recent years among media options. The use of the courtroom as the basic source of drama action among these media houses has increased and changed focus from sheer creative imagination to real life cases. Indeed, many courtroom dramas today are based on real life cases. There is an increasing thin line between reality and drama. TV shows such as American Justice, 48 hours Mystery and Dateline NBC present dramas that are based on real life cases, with heavy editing and incorporating narration for the dramatic effect, of the original details but the storyline is retained. Irrespective of the nature; whether the courtroom dramas are pure fiction or edited versions of the real, most courtroom dramas today make use of new science…
For example, when the two are discussing Desdemona, Iago says:
O, beware, my lord of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss
ho certain of his fate loves the wronger,
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'ver,
ho dotes yet doubts, suspects, yet fondly loves. (III.iii.166-71)
Here we see an example of Iago's cleverness. He warns Othello about jealousy, appearing to be concerned, knowing that Othello will not be able to contain his emotion. Once the thought of infidelity has entered his mind, it can never be erased. ith very little effort, Iago has set Othello up for a great fall. Iago also displays how clever he is with the handkerchief. Iago is a dangerous villain because he is intelligent. He thinks things out and carefully plots his moves. He knows how people operate so he can…
Shakespeare, William. Othello. New York: Penguin Books. 1968.
The Better King: Oedipus or Creon?
"Oedipus Rex," a play by Sophocles, details the life of Oedipus as the tragic king of Thebes. Oedipus, whose greatest flaw was his obsession to control and know his Fate, experienced suffering in the most extreme manner: his insistence to control his Fate has led him to murder his father, take his own mother as his wife, and eventually blinded himself as an act of penance from his sins and faults.
Despite these explicit displays of weakness, Oedipus demonstrates far better leadership skills than Creon, his friend who had taken over Thebes after the event of his tragic downfall and descent towards madness and blindness. While still the leader of Thebes, Oedipus displayed a fair sense of justice, which became more pronounced when he dealt with the case of Laius's murder. His insistence to seek all means possible to track down the…
His failure at both appears to perpetuate each other: his failure as provider translates to his failure as business and family man, and indeed to his failure as American success. In this way, the American Dream is representative of ultimate success. By failing at this, Willy represents the doubts and fears of many Americans; he fails in all the ways feared by society.
Oedipus' failure occurs on a much larger scale. His success relates to his status as the person of highest importance in society. He however reacts differently from Willy, who first lies to himself and then crumbles under the pressure of the increasingly obvious truth. As the truth becomes increasingly obvious for Oedipus, he still refuses to turn away from his search. When all is finally revealed, Oedipus displays his true character by taking responsibility for his actions. Although the king can hardly be blamed for what happened,…
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman Penguin, 1976
Johnston Ian. Fate, Freedom, and the Tragic Experience: An Introductory Letter on Sophocles's Oedipus the King. 2007. http://www.mala.bc.ca/~johnstoi/introser/oedipus.htm
Sophocles. Oedipus the King.