April 20th –30th, 1999 Jones, Eldred. "Othello- An Interpretation" Critical Essays on Shakespeare’s Othello. Ed. Anthony G. Barthelemy Pub. Macmillan New York, NY 1994.
Evans, Gareth, and Barbara Lloyd Evans. The Shakespeare Companion. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978. "Everything Shakespeare: History." Online http://www.field-ofothemes.com/shakespeare/shakehis.html.
It is also important to look at not only what these two characters think of their cultures, but what cultural outsiders think as well. Through all of this, it will be shown how these primarily opposite cultures can function together, and bring together two of the most prominent lovers in all of Shakespeare, if not in all of recorded western history. Cleopatra and Antony cannot be seen as average human beings. Never are they described in the same manner as Shakespeare would describe others in this play. "Each truly is all but everything in himself and herself, and knows it, and neither fears that he or she is really nothing in himself or herself, or nothing without the other" (Bloom, Modern Critical Interpretations 1).
Clash of Virtues in Othello Perhaps it is just human nature, but people have a way of going to absolute extremes. Whether exhibiting severity in the way one loves, or the way one is loyal, or the way one strives for ambitions, people, in general, have a tendency to take their emotions or actions "all the way." It's an exhibition of passion. Being an expert on the human condition, no one knows or can illustrate this better than Shakespeare. Particularly in his tragedies, Shakespeare very precisely defines aspects of the human condition.
(page 1-19) Jones, Eldred. "Othello- An Interpretation" Critical Essays on Shakespeare's Othello. Ed. Anthony G. Barthelemy Pub. Macmillan New York, NY 1994.
Both Kermode's and Greenblatt's notions focus upon how Macbeth's masculinity is recognized and defined -- by Macbeth himself as well as by the potentially influential people who surround him. The critics who introduce the play in these major anthologies perceive the same weakness in Macbeth's character as the apparently evil forces who play upon it do: Macbeth's masculinity becomes the psychological vehicle through which he becomes incensed, inspired, and finally incited to action. If Macbeth's "manliness" is to be questioned, it is not likely to occur within the male-dominated world of battlefields and military victories which Shakespeare introduces in Act I, Scene 2. In this passage, the bleeding Captain praises Macbeth's heroism, contending . .
2nd ed. 1970. Willen, Gerald and Victor B. Reed, eds. A Casebook on Shakespeare’s Sonnets. New York: Crowell, 1964.
This nihilistic approach, however, not only disregards many of the play’s moments of philosophical insight, but it also completely misinterprets Shakespeare’s intent. That is not to say that Lear is without fault at the end of the play; as Shakespeare surely understood, Lear is still human, and as such, he is subject to human frailty. What is most important about Lear, however, is not that he dies a flawed man but that he dies an improved man. Therefore, although King Lear might first appear “bleak,” Shakespeare suggests that Lear’s life, and human life in general, is worth all of its misery because it is often through suffering that people gain knowledge about the true nature of their individual selves and about the nature of all humanity (Roche 164). From the very beginning of the play, Shakespeare suggests that King Lear has much to learn.
April 20th -30th, 1999 Jones, Eldred. "Othello- An Interpretation" Critical Essays on Shakespeare's Othello. Ed. Anthony G. Barthelemy Pub. Macmillan New York, NY 1994.