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Literary Classics Essay Examples

Hamlet Commentary

Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, is one of his greatest tragedy. It is the story of the prince of Denmark, Hamlet, whose father has been murdered by his uncle who now wears the crown. However in Act I, scene iii, there is an interesting contradiction presented by the author. This is the scene where Laertes…

How does Zeffirelli portray the characters of Gertrude and Ophelia?

Franco Zeffirelli’s 1990 production of Hamlet has Glenn Close and Helena Bonham Carter cast as Queen Gertrude and Ophelia respectively. He has the luxury over a stage production of being able to add scenery, mood and vibrant close up of character to his film. These added advantages allow us to examine the players in a…

Examine how Shakespeare explores the role of women in Hamlet

“Frailty, thy name is woman” Hamlet famously exclaims in the first act of William Shakespeare’s longest drama, and one of the most probing plays ever to be performed on stage. It was written around the year 1600 in the final years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, an era of real uncertainty and confusion;…

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Explore how Shakespeare examines the theme of revenge in Hamlet

A revenge tragedy is a drama in which the dominant motive is revenge for a real or imagined injury; it was a favourite form of English tragedy in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras and found its highest expression in William Shakespeare’s: ‘Hamlet’. It was written and performed during the first part of the seventeenth century…

Explore Shakespeare’s presentation of Claudius

Claudius is not presented as a typical villain. As always, Shakespeare’s characters are complex with many facets to their personality. Claudius is not a conventional villain as he has redeeming qualities, which make it impossible to categorise him as merely a “damned, smiling villain”. However, he certainly has been condemned to hell according to a…

Laertes and Hamlet

Hamlet does not have the character to be a revenger, he can say he words, make promises to himself and others but when faced with the situation he cannot do it. Laertes has similarities with Fortinbras in the way he conducts his revenge – he too is a man of action, and unlike Hamlet ready…

Polonius is an interesting

The characters play important roles in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Each character is unique in his of her contribution to the entire play. Without certain characters, the play would not have the same effect. Polonius is an interesting and complicated character who plays an important part in Hamlet. Although he is not one of the main characters,…

Crucial Scene in Macbeth: The Dagger Soliloquy Essay

So far. the drama has hurdled through seven scenes of mounting tenseness and now tithers on the threshold of regicide. At this point. Shakespeare freezes the action. In the tenseness of silence. both character and drama develop on new degrees. For Macbeth. this monologue. in A. C. Bradley’s words: “is where the powerful workings of…

Compare the Different Attitudes to War Shown in the Poetry of Tennyson and Owen

I have studied two poems ‘The Charge of The Light Brigade’, by Alfred Lord Tennyson, a poet laureate, and ‘Dulce et Decorum est’, which was written by Wilfred Owen, who served as a soldier in world war one. There is a very large difference between the attitude to war in the different poems, ‘The Charge…

Wilfred Owen’s The Send-off and Erno Muller’s Assault

Both Owen’s and Muller’s poems were written about World War 1 and so the two poems are especially similar in some respects, even though different poets wrote them. There are still a large number of differences between the two poems. Some similarities and differences are naturally easier to spot than others; some only become apparent…

The Soldier by Rupert Brooke

Even though seems like one, ‘The Soldier’ by Rupert Brooke is not a war poem which stresses the hideousness of the war. Instead it is a patriotic poem, written on the way to the battle, which is a time when patriotism usually reaches the peak. The speaker, presumably the soldier, shows his eternal love to…

In what way is Hamlet a play that teaches the reader valuable lessons of life?

Q) In what way is Hamlet a play that teaches the reader valuable lessons of life? “Hamlet”, one of the most inspiring and interesting plays of Shakespeare. Shakespeare with his genius and ability to understand man and human physiology has given us a deep insight into human nature and a broader view of the characters….

In the play Hamlet, Ophelia and Gerturde

Ophelia and Gertrude are the most prominent female characters in “Hamlet” and as a result they do seem quite susceptible and vulnerable in the patriarchal society of Denmark that the play is set in. Many of the ideas and suggestions presented in the play are put forward by the dominant male characters. Since both women…

Hamlet is better at talking about delay than he is at doing it

The essay title refers to the delay between Hamlet discovering the murder of his father and the avenging of him. Hamlet learns of the murder from his father’s ghost in Act 1 Scene 4, and he is enraged and swears immediate revenge. When he calms down he decides that it is unwise to take action…

How does Tennyson use poetic methods in Ulysses?

Tennyson sets the narrative as king Ulysses from the beginning of the poem. This means the reliability of the narrator is considerably greater than if it were for example a third person narrative. Tennyson may have used this method of telling the story to expel any sense of doubt tin the reader about the events…

How does Robert Browning tell the story in ‘The Patriot’

‘The Patriot’ by Robert Browning is a dramatic monologue about one man’s downfall from being loved to being hated. The title is a definite article which specifically indicates that The Patriot is one person; however the subtitle is an indefinite article ‘An Old Story’ which suggests that this is something that can happen to anyone…

How is Othellos and Desdemonas relationship portrayed in Act 2, scene 1 from line 171- 205

Act 2, Scene 1 starts off with a harsh storm indicating a symbol of unrest and of discord to come. It has destroyed the Turkish fleet and separated the Venetian ships. Cassio’s ship arrives in Cyprus first, then Iago and Desdemona join him. They wait for Othello. Finally, his ship arrives and Desdemona is very…

A hero of tragedy must evoke the audiences with a sense of pity and fear

Othello fulfils the criteria of a domestic tragedy as it focus on the marital relationship between Othello and his wife, Desdemona. Shakespeare follows patterns of Aristotle’s theory of tragedy which enables him to elicit “pity” and “fear”. For example the tragic hero is a man of noble rank, he reaches pinnacle of happiness and worldly…

Othello

The audience, having been introduced to Othello by Iago’s ‘motiveless malignity,’1 expects this man to be professionally ‘bombast’ and animalistic. In fact Othello is not named until the third scene, thus dramatising his blackness and bestiality. However this preconception of Othello is immediately undone when he successfully calms the angry Brabantio and satisfies the suspicious…

How does Shakespeare present Iago as a tragic villain in Act 1

Shakespeare’s Iago is the antagonist of Othello but what makes him tragic is an enigma as he is reticent and seems motiveless. However, Shakespeare prints three possible motives into the play that present him as tragic. Iago is a Machiavellian villain as was Macbeth in Macbeth, written two years after Othello, and A.C. Bradley notes…

Is Iago the real hero in Shakespeares Othello

Contrary to the mainstream belief of Othello being the tragic hero, I think Iago is the real hero in Shakespeare’s Othello the moor of Venice. A traditional hero defined as a “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. ” This definition however does not apply to Iago,…

To what extent is Othello a Hegelian tragedy

A Hegelian tragedy must have; a society in conflict and a series of opposing social forces that ultimately destroy themselves. It is argued that a Hegelian tragedy is not about the individual characters but rather what they represent. The beginning of the play Othello is set in Venice and the Venetian society is definitely portrayed…

What kinds of power are explored in Othello

Whilst there are many types of power one can hold in society, these all vary in influence. Such is the case in Othello for the most part, since we see examples of authorial, military, sexual and oratory power to different degrees. However, although many of us would consider the former to be the most important…

Othello

In Othello, Shakespeare portrays the effect of power on many of the characters. In the play Iago is seen to be the dominant character that uses his power to manipulate fellow characters by his effective use of language and actions. In the play officially Othello has more power than Iago due to the rankings of…

Explore the presentation of Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello

Iago is one of the most central and many-layered of Shakespeare’s villains, though he is also the subject of some controversy. Has Shakespeare created a “motiveless malignity,” as Coleridge suggested (Shakespearean Criticism, 1960), or is Iago deeper and more destructively sharp and vindictive? Shakespeare presents a deep-rooted paradox within Iago – his single-minded conviction and…

Different Interpretations of Key speeches from Othello and Iago in Act 1, scene 3

From just one set of words many different interpretations can be made, whether you look at it contextually or whether you look at those words in a different mood. Every different person will come up with a different interpretation, just as Burge, Nunn and Miller have done and produced film versions of Othello, playing particular…

In Othello Shakespeare explores the nature of social prejudice

Although Shakespeare does display the unusual trait of empathy towards society’s ‘outcasts’; most of society at that time was plagued by ‘social prejudice’. However, prejudice in itself is a loose term for it simply refers to bigotry. Thus, it provides a rather extensive category to examine, for instance, in ‘Othello’ racism is the most prevalent…

Othello Act 4 Scene 3

At the beginning of this scene Othello does not engage in conversation with Desdemona, he simply tells her to go to bed. “Get to bed on th’instant; I will be returned forthwith. Dismiss your attendant there. Look’t be done. ” Here we can notice Othello’s use of imperatives; this implies that he has lost all…

How Shakespeare presents Iago as an evil villain

Shakespeare’s villain Iago, within the play Othello is created as one of the most malicious, devilish characters within his works; possibly the worst as his machinations exceed those of many other Shakespearean villains. Iago appears to have very little reason to perform his notoriously villainous acts. His motive and reasoning is his joy of destruction,…

How Does Iago Manipulate Cassio

“I am not what I am”. Despite Iago’s confession to Roderigo that he is not what he appears to be, this puppeteer of a character is still enabled to pull the strings of those around him, all the while preserving his reputation as the ‘honest Iago’. This could be attributed to Iago’s use of language…

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