Shakespeare: The Tragedies

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Thought of as Shakespeare's most powerful works, the four great tragedies--Hamlet, King Lear, Othello and Macbeth --are texts of unparalleled richness and depth, stimulating and exciting to study. This book takes extracts and examines them in depth to explain how the critic can use particular techniques to bring out complexities of meaning, understand the patterns of metaphor and the rhythms of the poetry and appreciate the ever-living drama. Chapters on the openings and endings of plays, heroes and heroines, ...
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Overview

Thought of as Shakespeare's most powerful works, the four great tragedies--Hamlet, King Lear, Othello and Macbeth --are texts of unparalleled richness and depth, stimulating and exciting to study. This book takes extracts and examines them in depth to explain how the critic can use particular techniques to bring out complexities of meaning, understand the patterns of metaphor and the rhythms of the poetry and appreciate the ever-living drama. Chapters on the openings and endings of plays, heroes and heroines, society, humor, imagery and the tragic universe guide the reader on a journey of inquiry into the nature of Shakespeare's tragic vision. Far from simplifying Shakespeare, the reader is challenged to confront the depth and subtlety of the dramas and to enjoy the analytical pursuit of ever finer insight, ever fuller understanding.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Using extracts from , , , and , the author provides and introduction to the critical analysis of the tragedies. Chapters discuss Shakespeare's methods of dramatic openings and closings; his treatments of heros, heroines, and society; and his uses of humor and imagery. A shorter concluding section both contextualizes the tragedies and briefly samples four critical views of Shakespeare. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312213732
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/15/1998
  • Series: Analysing Texts Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.42 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicholas Marsh teaches English at Francis Holland School, Regent's Park, London.
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Table of Contents

General Editor's Preface
A Note on Editions
Pt. 1 Analysing Shakespeare's Tragedies 1
Introduction: Analysing Shakespeare's Poetry 3
1 Openings 7
Hamlet, 1, i, 1-43 8
King Lear, 1, i, 1-34 13
Othello, 1, i, 1-40 18
Macbeth, 1, i, entire, and 1, ii, 1-45 23
2 Endings 34
Hamlet, 5, ii, 377-408 34
King Lear, 5, iii, 310-25 38
Othello, 5, ii, 361-72 40
Macbeth, 5, ix, entire 42
3 The Hero 50
Othello, 3, iii, 262-83 50
Hamlet, 2, ii, 544-601 57
King Lear, 2, iv, 262-84 65
Macbeth, 3, i, 47-71 68
4 The Heroines 77
Othello, 4, ii, 150-66 79
Hamlet, 3, i, 152-63 82
King Lear, 4, vii, 26-42 84
Macbeth, 1, v, 38-58 87
5 Society in the Tragedies 95
Othello, 2, i, 220-46 96
Hamlet, 5, i, 191-231 101
King Lear, 4, vi, 148-71 106
Macbeth, 4, iii, 140-73 111
6 Humour in the Tragedies 121
Macbeth, 2, iii, 1-21 123
Othello, 2, i, 148-64 127
Hamlet, 5, i, 1-31 131
King Lear, 1, iv, 134-85 135
7 Imagery and the Tragic Universe 145
Othello, 'heaven mocks itself' (3, iii, 282-3) 148
Hamlet, 'tent him to the quick' (2, ii, 593) 153
Macbeth, 'Shipwracking storms and direful thunders' (1, ii, 25-6) 156
King Lear, 'two crowns of the egg' (1, iv, 152-6) 159
General Conclusions to Part 1 168
Pt. 2 The Context and the Critics 169
8 The Tragedies in Shakespeare's Works 171
9 The Context of the Tragedies 181
The Tragedies and their Audience 181
The Renaissance and Far-reaching Changes 187
The Malcontent or 'Machiavel' 191
Shakespeare and Tragedy 192
10 Sample of Critical Views 200
A. C. Bradley 201
Helen Gardner 208
G. Wilson Knight 212
Terry Eagleton 218
Further Reading 227
Index 230
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