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, explaining 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, humour, imagery and the tragic universe guide the student 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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NICHOLAS MARSH is the author of the popular How to Begin Studying English Literature, now in its second edition, and the Master Guide, The Wife of Bath's Tale. He teaches English at Francis Holland School, Regent's Park, London.
Table of Contents
General Editor's Preface.- PART 1: ANALYSING SHAKESPEARE'S TRAGEDIES Openings; Endings; The Hero; Women; Society in the Tragedies; Humour in the Tragedies; Imagery and the Tragic Universe.- PART 2: THE CONTEXT AND THE CRITICS The Tragedies in Shakespeare's Works; Sample of Critical Views.- Further Reading.- Index.
Shakespeare: The Tragedies by Nicholas Marsh
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