In terms of discussing William Shakespeare as the quintessential Renaissance poet, the reader must understand that Renaissance is a loaded cultural term. During Shakespeare’s time, Renaissance was considered a positive evocation of representing a societal rebirth. However, social historians and modernists view the term in a more pejorative fashion. The question of whether Shakespeare’s work represents historical or trans-historical significance is open to debate. Perhaps the brilliance of Shakespeare occurs with the fact his works have endured and engendered so much dialogue.
Othello – its Appeal Let us examine the William Shakespeare drama Othello for the purpose of determining exactly what characteristics of the play are the outstanding ones which give it such universal appeal. Othello would appear to have a beauty about it which is hard to match. Helen Gardner in “Othello: A Tragedy of Beauty and Fortune” touches on this beauty which enables this play to stand above the other tragedies of the Bard: Among the tragedies of Shakespeare Othello is supreme in one quality: beauty. Much of its poetry, in imagery, perfection of phrase, and steadiness of rhythm, soaring yet firm, enchants the sensuous imagination. This kind of beauty Othello shares with Romeo and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra; it is a corollary of the theme which it shares with them.
In a good play, it is said, a style naturally reflects the character of the person speaking even though the same man in two different moods may speak in two different ways (Lipson and Lipson 14). Dramatic irony, or words used to convey a meaning contrary to their literal sense, is also used in several scenes in this Shakespearean play. During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, however, Shakespeare's works were looked at as "immoral classics" (Lamb 3) In 1818, Thomas Bowdler, an English editor, published an edition of Shakespeare's works (Th... ... middle of paper ... ...the reader to see, feel, or know the intensely rich meaning or purpose Shakespeare wanted his work to have. Works Cited Arrangement in Literature. America Reads, Chicago, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1979.
Two modem works of criticism provide the clue along which my argument progresses, and help to ... ... middle of paper ... ...Jonson's The Alchemist and Shakespeare's The Tempest within the context of the Renaissance conception of alchemy, I have become more and more convinced that while Jonson's play sets forth a largely pessimistic and resigned some would say realistic appreciation of the human situation, Shakespeare's work, on the whole, offers a more hopeful outlook on the possible fate of humanity. Both Shakespeare and Jonson treat of a world which has been hurled topsy-turvy into the ring of eternity, and both attempt to redeem serenity and illumination from the chaos which informs time and space of the here-and-now. However, while Shakespeare, in his last personally completed play, bodies forth the poise and promise of consummation, Jonson's broken compass stands as an abiding monument to the unattainable, though ever-alluring and philosopher's Stone of selfhood and actualisation.
In Act 3, Scene 1, Hamlet begins a soliloquy in which Shakespeare showcases his literary genius. A literary device that is often overlooked in the Early Modern period of Europe is the utilization of soliloquys to give insight to a character’s inner thoughts. Perhaps the most famous line in English literature: “To be or not to be…” is at the start of a soliloquy. Soliloquys are often found to be the turning points of many pieces of literature, especially Shakespearean literature. For example, in Othello, all of Iago’s soliloquys proves to be points where Iago shares his motives, or decides the next step of his treacherous plan.
Othello – the Universal Appeal For 400 years the audience has found William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello to be relevant to their lives and tastes. Why? What enduring qualities does the play possess in order to ensure its continuing success? Does the reason lie in the great heterogeneity of characters and scenes and actions within the play? Robert B. Heilman in “The Role We Give Shakespeare” relates the universality of Shakespeare to the “innumerableness of the parts”: But the Shakespeare completeness appears graspable and possessable to many men at odds with each other, because of the innumerableness of the parts: these parts we may consider incompletenesses, partial perspectives, and as such they correspond to the imperfect (but not necessarily invalid) modes of seeing and understanding practiced by imperfect (but not necessarily wrongheaded) interpreters and theorists of different camps.
Custom Written Essays - The Perspective of Aristotle on Hamlet One of the foremost Elizabethan tragedies is Hamlet by William Shakespeare and one of the earliest critics of tragedy is Aristotle. One way to measure Shakespeare's work is to appraise it using the methods of classical critics and thereby to see how if it would have retained its meaning. Hamlet is one of the most recognizable and most often quoted tragedies in the all of English literature. Aristotle, is concerned with the proper presentation of tragic plays and poetry. Aristotle defines tragedy as: "...a representation of an action that is worth serious attention, complete in itself, and of some amplitude; in language enriched by a variety of artistic devices appropriate to the several parts of the play; presented in the form of action, not narration; by means of pity and fear bringing about the purgation of such emotion.
Discuss The Importance Of Noting In Much Ado About Nothing Noting, or observing, is central to many of the ideas in Much Ado About Nothing. The word nothing was pronounced as noting in Elizabethan times, and it seems reasonable to presume that the pun was intended by Shakespeare to signal the importance of observation, spying and eavesdropping in the play. As a plot device, these occurrences propel the action and create humour and tension. The perils of noting incorrectly are portrayed and this leads naturally to the investigation of another major theme, the discrepancy between appearance and reality. Shakespeare uses the problems of illusion, deception and subjectivity of perception to examine the Elizabethan patriarchy, and he shows how adhering to convention can distort the views of society’s leaders.
That modern readers may relate to these themes for different reasons than their historical counterparts, citing the state of politics or current events, is only further evidence of their timelessness. In the tragedy Macbeth, Shakespeare deftly weaves a variety of themes and motifs around a cast of tortured, riveting characters, resulting in a masterpiece. Themes such as overwhelming ambition and thirst for power, the use of violence and bloodshed to gain power and maintain power, and viewing rumors and prognostications as fact are prevalent in this play. Each is a fine example of themes that transcend time, fascinating and absorbing contemporary readers just as they did those of the Elizabethan Era. The ambition that drives Macbeth also drives the play’s storyline, prompting him to commit an act that initially horrifies him: killing Duncan, a man both kin and king to him.
Even though the topic of love seems far from the center of their conversation, if the love that both Poloniu... ... middle of paper ... ...e in Hamlet. Evil, whatever the conception, must have some motivation of some sort. Evil always requires some previous occurrence to emerge from the depths of the human soul. Love, undoubtedly, does just that. In today’s society as well as in the literary works of the great William Shakespeare, love is all-powerful in many ways.