Character and Symbol in Shakespeare’s Plays: A Study of by Honor Matthews

By Honor Matthews

First released in 1962, Matthews' learn examines the symbolic components which over and over recur in Shakespeare's performs. The booklet specializes in the normal fabric from medieval and sixteenth-century drama which turns out to were found in Shakespeare's brain as he labored, and which, Matthews argues, encouraged major topics which resonate during the performs. Divided into 3 elements, the e-book addresses in flip the idea that of sin, the competition of justice and mercy and the desire of redemption. Matthews investigates those motifs and their forex in Elizabethan England, and lines their presence in Shakespeare's created worlds with specified connection with quite a lot of the performs. expertise of them offers fruitful avenues for the translation of the performs, and sheds mild on Shakespeare's reasons and techniques.

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Additional resources for Character and Symbol in Shakespeare’s Plays: A Study of Certain Christian and Pre-Christian Elements in Their Structure and Imagery

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And a brother noble' are simply fair game, and the words in which he proclaims 'I will persevere in my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore between that and my blood', 44 THE CHARACTER OF THE USURPER are to him no more than counters, false coin which will serve to defraud a man as unscrupulous as himself. Richard III vaunts a like independence and dispatches brother and nephew with equal gusto. Richard's character, drawn, of course, from the traditional Tudor orthodoxy concerning this Yorkist 'usurper', is developed consistently throughout the second and third parts ofHenry Fland the play of which he is the eponymous hero, and it is fascinating to realise how early Shakespeare had made up his mind as to the precise character of the destructive forces which later are given their supreme expression in Iago and evoke Othello's terrible cry: But yet the pity of it, Iago!

Then, window, let day in, and let life out. Romeo: Farewell, farewell! one kiss and I'll descend. Romeo and Juliet, m, v, 1, 16, 41—2 18 THE ATTACK ON THE THRONE With every several pleasure in the world, And where thou art not, desolation. 1 in, ii, 335-65 The sympathy for the lovers betrayed by some of those cadences is of course contradictory to the playwright's attitude towards them in their principal roles of disruptors of order and degree, and possibly this is the first example of Shakespeare's concern with an individual character slightly interfering with his shaping of the play as a whole.

Williams: But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in a battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place'; some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeared there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument?

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