Essay One - Question 1 Personal response to Hamlet and its enduring power of Shakespeare's Characterization Shakespeare's characterization of the characters allows the exploration of ideals that are relevant to all human beings regards of context. In "Hamlet" Shakespeare uses the characterization of Hamlet to examine the human quest for answers about death, duty and the opposing forces of moral integrity and the need to avenge his father. This essay will bring characterization to the forefront in response to how it has shaped the play of "Hamlet". A great deal of characterization of Hamlet is presented through the use of soliloquies. In his soliloquies, Hamlet shows his true feelings of dejection and disillusionment. The soliloquy starts with a supposition, "O that this too too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew". Hamlet is clearly seen as an escapist as he wants to run away from his duties and responsibilities. Here, he again gives the audience the impression that he is aware of his flaw. His wish to commit suicide is expressed clearly, but he knows he can't do so as it goes against the laws of God. "That the Everlasting had not fixed his cannon 'gainst self-slaughter." Life has become a very futile exercise for him, where nothing seems to be holding his interest anymore. It has becomes very colorless and meaningless. We notice all this when he
How does Shakespeare challenge the conventional role of women within the patriarchal society of Much Ado About Nothing.
How does Shakespeare challenge the conventional role of women within the patriarchal society of 'Much Ado About Nothing'. 'Much Ado About Nothing' is set in a patriarchal society in the late 16th century. In a patriarchal society, men are the dominating sex and women are the oppressed ones. The title of the play also plays a part in showing how things are overly based on sexual relationships between men and women. The play takes place over a course of three days. As so much happens during these three days, the events take place rapidly and can create confusion and misunderstanding. 'Much Ado About Nothing' is a play of wit, deception and slander. It is full of darkness just as much as it is full of light. For Beatrice, a pre-occupation with death arises from her entrapment within a court whose practices she does not admire. She constantly tries to oppose the views of her society with which she doesn't agree. The treatment of gender issues in 'Much Ado About Nothing' would have been central to its impact on Elizabethan audiences. Women, stereotypically, were expected to be silent, gentle, passive and submissive. Independent women were regarded with suspicion and interest. In the first three scenes, the male characters continually criticise the females. Benedick voices the traditional patriarchal ideology through his constant criticism of women's actions and sexual
Act Three, Scene Three - Othello Choose a scene which you consider to be a turning point and explain in detail and with some reference to the rest of the play why it is dramatic and significant. Refer to language, themes and characterisation. A turning point is a time in a plot where actions cause a character to develop from their prior persona. A classic example of this is Act Three, Scene Three of Shakespeare's 'Othello'. This scene is crucial to the play, as it conveys the change in the moor, Othello's personality as a result of Iago's manipulation. In this essay I will describe this scene's dramatic nature and significance with reference to language, themes and characterisation. I will begin by describing Othello before Iago had interfered with his relationship. I will then give an overview of the structure and state why it is effective. I shall explore the key moments in manipulation and discuss how a climax is created. In conclusion, I shall relate the scene to the rest of the play, whilst discussing why it is dramatic with reference to the main themes portrayed, and its overall significance. Othello is a man of many complexities. Having being cast into a world of civilised Venetians, he is seen as an outsider; a 'black ram', 'The Moor'. His ethnicity is foreign to the people, and so it can be seen in his simple dialect. Yet, referred to as "noble Othello",
From the study of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ is shylock presented as a villain or victim? To what extent will this view have changed from that of the original audience?
From the study of 'The Merchant of Venice' is shylock presented as a villain or victim? To what extent will this view have changed from that of the original audience? The play is set in the late 15th century and is mainly about the character of shylock a money lending Jew; he is trying to live a simplistic life as a simplistic character in Venice a country that would have despised and alienated Jewish people. Christians very much believed in their religion/faith and would have disliked any Jewish person. Therefore the original audience would have hated shylock because of his religious beliefs and his job of money lending, as Christians wouldn't have been able to this job, as it would disagree with their belief. Shakespeare captured the way Jews were portrayed in this play well and managed to display it in a certain way, which wouldn't offend, but captured both sympathy and understanding from the audience at the time. Shakespeare play would be looked at in a very different way in a modern performance as the audience wouldn't discriminate towards Jews/ shylock as Christians are taught differently to when the play was originally written and children would have learnt about different religions and cultures and could cope with a Jewish character. Shylock's first appearance in the play is in act 1 scene 3 and his first line is; " Three thousand ducats", this could be taken by
The Gender Transformation of Caesar Shakespeare's Julius Caesar opens with the concurrent celebrations of Caesar's defeat of Pompey and the annual fertility festival of Lupercal. The coupling of the two historically separate events each celebrating distinct gender roles dramatically highlights the importance of gender characterization. Rome's patriarchal society demands a leader who embodies the virile spirit of the state with leadership marked by strength, courage, and constancy. Caesar quite fittingly assumes this role as he returns valiant and victorious from the battlefields; thus, in order to remove him the strong ruler of Rome, Caesar's enemies must retrench his masculinity. Roman society considers women as the embodiment of weaknesses, thinking that their physical, mental, and political inferiority make them of little use beyond reproductive purposes, explaining why aspirants to the throne feminize the identity of the masculine warrior figure to position him as unfit for the crown. The portrayal of the two female characters of the novel, Portia and Calphurnia, captures the prevailing stereotypical perceptions of women. Caesar's wife, Calphurnia, demonstrates women's predisposition towards fearfulness and superstition when she pleads with Caesar to remain at home after dreaming that a statue made in the likeness was Cesar pouring forth blood. Calphurnia establishes
How does Lady Macbeth change throughout the Play? "Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be What thou art promised;" These are the powerful opening lines of Lady Macbeth - the most infamous and indomitable female character in all of Shakespeare's many works, who defies the position of order and gender of her time and used power and ambition to achieve her dreams. Her opening scene in I.v where she is reading the letter from her husband, which proclaims the witches' prophecy, and the following soliloquy are the first exposure to her character, as it allows us an insight into her most intimate thoughts and feelings. At the idea of her husband being possibly made King she jumps straight to the conclusion that he will be, "and shalt be what thou art promised". This is shocking to the audience as her superstition shows her underlying hunger for power by the fact she takes three deranged, women on a moor as the literal truth - any excuse for her to rise in authority. Shakespeare's use of the witches adds drama because at the time the play was written, during the reign of James I, witchcraft and heresy were deemed punishable by death and to "consult with any evil sprit" was illegal under the 1604 Witchcraft Act, so they would have seen it as a scandal that Lady Macbeth believed the witches. She seems even more ruthless by the fact that automatically she presumes that they will
How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in act 2 scene 2 of Macbeth? Act 2 Scene 2 of Macbeth is a decisive scene in the play as it creates dramatic tension, conflict and controversy. There are many themes in this play: tragedy, the supernatural, love, dishonesty, betrayal and greed. Macbeth murdered Duncan to prove his masculinity for his wife and also his hunger for more power. Lady Macbeth wanted Duncan dead because of her greed and the witches' prophecies influence her. At the beginning of the play Macbeth is brave, content and loyal in contrast to his dark and sinister persona he adapts later on in the play. Whilst the main theme of Macbeth is one of tragic loss (in terms of the death of the King and indeed the loss of Macbeth's mental state), greed also proves to be an influential factor in the downfall of both Macbeth and his wife. It, ultimately, changed their actions and cost them their lives. At the beginning of the scene, Lady Macbeth is feeling confident. She says " What hath quench'd them hath given me fire", this indicating that she is feeling so powerful and inspired that nothing can stand in her way. Despite feeling confident, she feels agitated and remarks "Hark! Peace!" which demonstrates that she is concerned someone has been alerted to the couple's plans and will discover their wretched methods; this sudden feeling of concern contrasts with her prior
Othello Essay 'Is Iago the perfect villain?' Few Shakespearian villains radiate evilness and jealously quite as much as Iago, the unbeknown nemesis of the play's title character, Othello. In other plays written by the bard of Avon the villains can come across as one-dimensional- weak, personified by a flaw in their genetic make-up or unattainable ambition yet Iago is a far more complex and compelling character. True, he has the power to both betray and murder those he once worked alongside, but Iago isn't the complete cold-blooded murderer in the same sense of Macbeth or King Claudius from Hamlet. True, he meticulously plans the death of Cassio but he plans it to be by hands of Rodrigo, his puppet. In the end opportunity presents itself to Iago and he seizes the moment to stab Cassio in the back but the blow fails to kill him. Iago also reveals a moral conscience through his three soliloquy's which I will explore in more detail later. In short Iago is like no other of Shakespeare's villains which makes him an utterly compelling and absorbing character. And like the other characters in the play, Iago delights in absorbing us, the viewer... The tragedy of Othello was believed to have been first performed in the early 1600's and is one of Shakespeare's more famous plays. The play is also rich in historical context and features the Moorish race heavily, leading many to believe
Throughout the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth together demonstrate how ambition can turn a loyal soldier into a bloodthirsty murderer
Throughout the play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth together demonstrate how ambition can turn a loyal soldier into a bloodthirsty murderer with his scheming and devious wife turning weak and disturbed as ambition slowly destroys her. Macbeth’s ambition to become king of Scotland turn’s him independent and ruthless. “The dead butcher and fiend-like queen”, is an accurate description as this is all they amount to. At the start of the play Macbeth is a loyal soldier returning from the civil war. The witches tell Macbeth that he will become Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland. The witch’s prophecies make Macbeth ambitious and tap into pre-existing ambition. Macbeth believes these prophecies as the first of his prophecies has been fulfilled. Afterwards the second prophecy is carried out. Immediately Macbeth thinks of murdering King Duncan so the third of his prophecies will be fulfilled even though he is horrified by the idea. Lady Macbeth’s greed makes her determined the third prophecy will come true. But believes Macbeth is not capable of murdering Duncan but will provoke him. When Lady Macbeth hears the news that that Duncan is coming to visit she believes it is the ideal opportunity to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth calls on the spirits of darkness and evil to replace her nurturing and feminine qualities with remorseless cruelty. Macbeth is appalled of the
The Title In Much Ado About Nothing Much Ado About Nothing exemplifies a kind of deliberately puzzling title that seems to have been popular in the late 1590s. Indeed, the play is about nothing; it merely follows the relationships of Claudio and Hero, and in the end, the play culminates in the two other main characters falling in love, which, because it was an event that was quite predictable, proves to be much ado about nothing. The pronunciation of the word "nothing" would, in the late 16th Century, have been "noting," and so the title also apparently suggests a pun on the word, "noting," and on the use of the word "note" as an expression of music. In II.2 (l.54), Balthasar is encouraged to sing, but declines, saying, "note this before my notes; there's not a note of mine that's worth the noting." However, Don Pedro retorts, "<sum>Note notes, forsooth, and nothing," playing on Balthasar's words, and also demanding that he pay attention to his music and nothing else. In addition, much of the play is dedicated to people "noting" (or observing) the actions of others (such as the trick played on Beatrice and Benedick by Leonato, Hero and Claudio); they often observe and overhear one another, and consequently make a great deal out of very little. At the beginning of the play, Claudio and Hero eventually come to admire one another, and Benedick and Beatrice play off each