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William Shakespeare Critical Essays

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❶It is a narrative poem in six-line stanzas, mixing classical mythology with surprisingly and incongruously detailed descriptions of country life, designed to illustrate the story of the seduction of the beautiful youth Adonis by the comically desperate aging goddess Venus. It explores the issue of race, particularly in terms of the implications of interracial marriage.

William Shakespeare's Poetry




To attempt criticism of the sonnets is, to an unusual extent, to be challenged to make oneself vulnerable, to undergo a kind of creative therapy, as one goes back and forth from such textual gaps and indeterminacies to the shifting, vulnerable self, making the reader aware of the inadequacy and betrayal of words, as well as of their amazing seductiveness. Consider, for example, Sonnet When one falls in love with a much younger person, does one inevitably feel the insecurity of a generation gap?

What is more important in such a reading of the sonnets is the insistence that age or youthfulness are not important in themselves: It is the insistence itself that is important, not the mere fact of age—just as it is the anxiety with which a man or woman watches the wrinkles beneath the eyes that is important, not the wrinkles themselves.

It stands for an invitation to participate in some wider psychological revelation, to confess the vulnerability that people encounter in themselves in any relationship that is real and growing, and therefore necessarily unpredictable and risky.

Without vulnerability and contingency, without the sense of being thrown into the world, there can be no growth. Hence the poet invites the reader to accept ruefully what the fact of his age evokes—an openness to ridicule or rejection. This is especially so in the Dark Lady sonnets, where there is a savage laceration of self, particularly in the fearful exhaustion of Sonnet , in which vulnerability is evoked as paralysis.

At once logically relentless and emotionally centrifugal, Sonnet generates fears or vulnerability and self-disgust. The strategies of the poem work to make the reader reveal or recognize his or her own compulsions and revulsions. Even in the seemingly most serene sonnets, there are inevitably dark shadows of insecurity and anxiety. In Sonnet , for example, the argument is that a love that alters with time and circumstance is not a true, but a self-regarding love.

The poem purports to define true love by negatives, but if those negatives are deliberately negated, the poem that emerges may be seen as the dark, repressed underside of the apparently unassailable affirmation of a mature, self-giving, other-directed love. Such apparent affirmations may be acts of repression, an attempt to regiment the unrelenting unexpectedness and challenge of love.

There are poems in the collection that, although less assertive, show a willingness to be vulnerable, to reevaluate constantly, to swear permanence within, not despite, transience—to be, in the words of Saint Paul, deceivers yet true. Elsewhere, part of the torture of the Dark Lady sonnets is that such a consolation does not emerge through the pain. In short, what Sonnet represses is the acknowledgment that the only fulfillment worth having is one that is struggled for and that is independent of law or compulsion.

The kind of creative fragility that it tries to marginalize is that evoked in the conclusion to Sonnet 49 when the poet admits his vulnerability: Lovers can affirm the authenticity of the erotic only by admitting the possibility that it is not absolute. Love has no absolute legal, moral, or causal claims; nor, in the final analysis, can love acknowledge the bonds of law, family, or state—or if finally they are acknowledged, it is because they grow from love itself.

Love moves by its own internal dynamic; it is not motivated by a series of external compulsions. Ultimately it asks from the lover the nolo contendere of commitment: Do with me what you will. A real, that is to say, an altering, bending, never fixed and unpredictable love is always surrounded by, and at times seems to live by, battles, plots, subterfuges, quarrels, and irony.

At the root is the acknowledgment that any affirmation is made because of, not despite, time and human mortality. Just how can one affirm in the face of that degree of reality?

Under the pressure of such questioning, the affirmation of Sonnet can therefore be seen as a kind of bad faith, a false dread—false, because it freezes lovers in inactivity when they should, on the contrary, accept their finitude as possibility.

Paradoxically, it is precisely because they are indeed among the wastes of time that they are beautiful; they are not desirable because they are immortal but because they are irrevocably time-bound.

One of the first scenes in "Romeo and Juliet" was the fight between the Montagues and Capulets at a gas station in Verona. A foolish Montague bites his thumb at a Capulet and a fight is about to break out when Benvolio another Montague tries to keep the peace and orders everyone to put up their guns or swords as they are called in Act 1 Scene 1 Page Line Its impossible how fair can be foul when fair is equal or mild and foul is gross and rotten.

Its significance is that the witches delight in the confusion of good and bad, beauty and ugliness. Act 1 Scene 2 Page Line In other words nature is acting somewhat strange. There are many reasons to the tragedy of William Shakespeare"s Romeo and Juliet. However, the major person to the tragedy of these lovers was Capulet, Juliet"s own father. He brought the death of Juliet by forcing her to marry Paris, separating her from Romeo, and rejecting Juliet"s own decisions.

One reason Capulet made the situation worse was because he was making Juliet marry Paris, who she did not love and Capulet also separated her from Romeo, who she did love and it because he separated them that caused Juliet to die. Go ask his name. My grave is like to be my wedding bed. In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting two relationships.

The first is the Macbeths from the play 'Macbeth', written by William Shakespeare in England in the 's however the play is set in 11th century Scotland. In 17th century England there were many changes.

Queen Elizabeth 1st had died leaving no heir and was succeeded by James 1st. He was a Scottish king who sought the return of traditional gender roles. Had proved wrong by the ambitious and unmarried Queen Elizabeth. The second relationship is the Bumbles from the novel 'Oliver Twist', written by Charles Dickens in Victorian times and was published in a serialized form.

In these two texts I will be commenting on love in the relationship In the event of examining the nature of Hamlet"s madness,we will need to probe into Hamlet"s state of mind at different periods and circumstances in the play.

Hamlet can be seen to be and not to be mad by different people at different stages. From one perspective, Hamlet can be seen to be mad when Ophelia goes to her father and gives a description of Hamlet"s disposition when he goes to see her, also when he goes to see his mother in her closet as can be seen in his tone of voice and his murder of Polonius and his lack of repentance for his death.

Hamlet one of Shakespeare"s greatest plays, where the young prince of Denmark must uncover the truth about his fathers death. Hamlet a play that tells the story of a young prince who"s father recently died.

Hamlets uncle Claudius marries his mother the queen and takes the throne. As the play is told Hamlet finds out his father was murdered by the recently crowned king. The theme that remains constant throughout the play is appearance versus reality. Things within the play appear to be true and honest but in reality are infested with evil. Many of the characters within the play hide behind a mask of falseness.

Four of the main characters that hid behind this mask are Polonius, Rosencrantz Guildenstern, the In William Shakespeare"s masterpiece Macbeth, he uses many motifs.

Two of these motifs are blood and water. The play is full of images of blood and water, to show the characters" attitudes toward their own guilt at each stage. Both motifs mature and change in their meaning along with the setting and mood of the play. The functions of both are important if the subtleties of the play are to be understood.

Blood symbolizes honor, treachery, and guilt. Water symbolizes cleanliness of the soul, as though all it takes is water to wash guilt away. While reading the play, it is noticed that blood comes up repeatedly. This is important to the overall effect of the different usages in the play. Their members formed a real and very lively community, dwelt in the Inns, dined habitually in their halls, and regarded them much as University men still regard their colleges.

They were the intellectual as well as the geographical centre of London. Revenge is a constant theme throughout the play Othello. It is portrayed through the character Iago. Iago is determined to destroy Othello and his loved ones.

This retribution is a result of Othello promoting Cassio to the position of lieutenant. The theme of revenge is the motivation of Iago's hatred toward Othello. In the beginning of the play, Iago feels betrayed by his good friend, Othello. Through many years of loyalty and service Iago is "[i]n personal suit to make [himself] [Othello's] lieutenant" When Othello has to choose his lieutenant, he appoints Cassio. Iago feels hurt and betrayed, and realizes "there [is] no remedy"40 except for revenge.

A tragedy without meaning 'Othello' is not, as the very genre of tragedy seeks to imitate action and life, both of which have an inherit meaning.

In some ways, Shakespeare's work can be considered didactic as in the case in classical tragedy, the hero's falls arises as fault of a hamartia on his part, a fault which plagues humanity. In fact, throughout the work, Othello is revealed to have many more faults and weaknesses than a man of his stature should posses, providing a reason for his downfall.

The work's main protagonist, the scheming Iago, ultimately has his own reasons for his actions; actions, which on surface value, might appear to be inherently evil and motiveless. A third variable here, William Shakespeare is customary regarded to be the finest dramatist the world has ever seen and the greatest poet who has created his plays in the English language. Besides, Shakespeare has been the world's most famous author.

No other writer's works have been published so many times or read so broadly in so many places. Shakespeare knew human nature as few other writers have.

He could notice in a particular dramatic case the qualities that refer to all human beings. He could thus produce characters that have notion beyond the time and place of his works. Yet, his characters are not symbolic people. They are prominent individual human beings.

They strive just as people do in real situations, sometimes fruitfully and There is evidence that he was a member of a traveling theatre group. In , he became a part owner of the prosperous Globe Theatre. He also was a part owner of the Black friars Theatre as of Shakespeare retired to Stratford in where he wrote many of his excellent plays.

There are many reasons as to why William Shakespeare is so famous. He was able to find universal human qualities and put them in a dramatic situation creating characters that are timeless. Yet he had the ability to create characters that are highly individual human beings. Their struggles in life are universal.


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One of William Shakespeare’s great advantages as a writer was that, as a dramatist working in the public theater, he was afforded a degree of autonomy from the cultural dominance of the court, his age’s most powerful institution.

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Essay on The Unaccounted for Period of William Shakespeare's Life - The Unaccounted for Period of William Shakespeare's Life William Shakespeare was born on April 26th [1] in Stratford on-Avon to parents John and Mary.

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William Shakespeare Essay Words | 5 Pages. William Shakespeare On April 26, , John Shakespeare's son, William, was baptized at the Stratford Parish Church. No one knows for certain when his birthday was. (Brown 22) It was thought that young Shakespeare began attending school at the age 7, in Stratford. Free william shakespeare papers, essays, and research papers.

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William Shakespeare was great English playwright, dramatist and poet who lived during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest playwright of all time. in William Shakespeare, William Shakespeare essays 0 Part One - Introduction to The Law in Shakespeare SHAKESPEARE"S persistent and correct use of law terms was long ago noticed and caused the conjecture that he must have studied in an attorney"s office.