Shakespeare's Early Tragedies
First published in 1968.
Shakespeare's Early Tragedies contains studies of six plays: Titus Andronicus, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, Julius Caesar and Hamlet. The emphasis is on the variety of the plays, and the themes, a variety which has been too often obscured by the belief in a single 'tragic experience'. The kind of experience the plays create and their quality as dramatic works for the stage are also examined.
These essays develop an understanding of Shakespeare's use of the stage picture in relation to the emblematic imagery of Elizabethan poetry.
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Aaron action Antony audience beast becomes blank verse blood Bolingbroke Brutus Caesar Cassius character choric Clarence’s Claudius climax comedy comic conﬁdence conﬂict conscience contrast course critical curse death divine doth Dover Wilson dramatic dream earlier plays echoes Edward’s emblem emblematic emerges established fact Faerie Queene ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst ﬁt ﬂesh formal fulﬁl ghost Hamlet hath heaven and hell heroic Horatio human irony julius Caesar kind king Laertes later Lavinia Lucius magniﬁcent Marcus Margaret Mercutio murder night nobility noble obvious Ophelia pattern play’s poetic poetry political Polonius prose Queen Queen Mab question reﬂection revenge rhetorical Richard Richard II ritual Roman Rome Romeo and Juliet Saturninus scene seems sense sequence Shakespeare signiﬁcance simple soliloquy speciﬁc speech stage stress structure suggested T. S. Eliot Tamora thee theme thou tion Titer Titus Titus Andronicus tone tragedy tragic utterance verse words