He is a general in the Venetian defense forces, and, although a foreigner from Africa, he has won this post by excellence in the field of war. He has courage, intelligence, the skill of command, and the respect of his troops. Under pressure, he makes an inspiring speech. When the colony of Cyprus is threatened by the enemy, the Duke and Senate turn to "valiant" Othello to lead the defense.
Intellectual, self-reflective, alienated, and seemingly paralyzed by doubts about both himself and the circumstance in which he is called upon to act as an agent of revenge, Hamlet has come to be considered the quintessential modern hero.
For the subject of his drama, Shakespeare turned to a story already popular in English theaters; at least two earlier productions of the sad tale of the Danish prince had appeared in London playhouses.
Most of these were bloody spectacles in which almost every character dies in the final act. The body-strewn stage in act 5 of Hamlet continues this tradition, as does the central action of the drama: The central dramatic interest in the play is the character of its hero.
The prince feels he must delay his revenge, however, until he is certain Claudius is guilty. Much is made of the mother-son relationship; Hamlet spends considerable time trying to convince his mother that she has made a mistake in marrying Claudius.
Only when she finally comes to accept his view that the new king is somehow guilty does Hamlet decide to act. His decision is precipitated by several other actions as well, most notably the efforts of his supposed friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to have him killed.
Many critics have observed that Hamlet is really too sensitive to effect the revenge that he intends.
He is by nature melancholic, possessing a fatalistic disposition that borders on the suicidal.
His most famous soliloquy focuses on the virtue of ending his life. Viewing the world as a place where things are seldom as they seem, he spends a good portion of his time trying to sort appearance from reality.
He invents various devices to help illuminate the truth, such as his elaborate arrangement for a dumb show that will re-create the murder of his father in the presence of Claudius to try to make the king reveal his guilt.
Hamlet is not satisfied simply to take vengeance on his uncle clandestinely; he wants Claudius to admit his guilt. Early in the play, his inactivity can be attributed to his lack of assurance that Claudius is guilty.
Were he to kill the new king without justification, he would be seen as no better than a murderer himself, and no good would come of his action.
Such casuistry has been reason for several critics to claim that Shakespeare is simply drawing out the drama until the final catastrophe. By the final act, Hamlet has become totally fatalistic. In the final scene, all of the principals meet their end—and almost all by some mischance of fate.
Despite the resounding encomium pronounced over the body of the slain prince, the bleak ending offers little encouragement for an audience who has witnessed this great tragedy. Surprisingly, however, the ending seems justified, in that order has been restored to the Danish kingdom, although won at a terrible price.
Such is the lesson of most great tragedies, and Hamlet ranks with the very best examples of the genre.Othello - Character Analysis of Othello After reading Othello by Shakespeare over about 3 times, I came to feel sorry for a man that I can easily say was gulled into tragedy by his own purity.
I can see Othello as a man that could sit at the ‘Round Table” with King Arthur and rank among tho. + free ebooks online. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day? Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. SparkNotes are the most helpful study guides around to literature, math, science, and more.
Find sample tests, essay help, and translations of Shakespeare. Genre William Shakespeare's stage play Othello, Moor of Venice (or simply Othello) is a tragedy in which a good man falls to ruin and death after an evil man inflames him with jealousy.
Dates of Composition and First Performance. Scott McMillin has added a new section on key events in scholarship and theater since the s (including international, political, feminist and postcolonial analysis) to this updated edition of Shakespeare's Othello. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth (Penguin Classics) [A.
C. Bradley, John Bayley] on benjaminpohle.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A.C. Bradley put Shakespeare on the map for generations of readers and students for whom the plays might not otherwise have become 'real' at all writes John Bayley in his foreword to this edition of Shakespearean Tragedy.