Othello is Shakespeares most complete tragedy. It is filled, in my opinion, with some of the strongest characters in all of Shakespeares plays. Othello, the plays main character, is a cultured Moor, nevertheless insecure and hiding behind a facade of Venetian values and customs. He manages to assimilate into Western European society by denying his background and winning the hearts of the masses and their daughters with his tales of victory and strife.
The Stage and the State: Elizabeth Tudor began her reign as Queen inand died on March 23, Thus, two of the most prominent individuals from sixteenth and seventeenth century English history lived as contemporaries. They interacted with each other at Court. Both walked the streets of London.
Shakespeare does give female protagonists power within many of his plays. In his comedies, the female protagonists act in authoritative ways with success. Yet, these plays do not address the role of women royalty. Indeed, the popular and politic writer can hardly divorce himself from societal concerns.
Undoubtedly the playwright considered current issues in his writing. Scholars debate, however, the degree to which his plays should be interpreted as contemporary political writing versus universal philosophical statement.
Jaffa criticize the limitations of interpreting Shakespeare within historical terms. Nonetheless, they concede that his writing produced an accurate thematic picture of the current social concerns: Other scholars also contend that the historical depiction cannot be overlooked in significance.
Leonard Tennenhouse, author of Power on Display: Where the literary figure is presumed to have written truths that obtain over time and across cultures, the man Shakespeare is situated in a Renaissance context.
His writing is largely topical and allegorical as he comments on the figures and policies of his time in relation to which, then, one can fix his political identity. Shakespeare opens a window on the nature of the Elizabethan world. Not only does Shakespeare capture some of the cultural currents of the day, his writing has a decidedly political bent.
He knows that the happiness of the common man is very much bound up with the question of who has power at the top. Female rule lacked stability and thus contained an inherent danger. This danger resulted in an undefined anxiety among the English people who questioned whether Elizabeth provided fit rule.
In some ways, her gender itself suggested that she did not. Many of the English reacted with ambivalence to the idea of a woman ruler. The ambivalence centered directly on the conflict between her rule and her femininity.
If a queen were confidently to demonstrate the attributes of power, she would nor be acting in a womanly manner; yet womanly behavior would ill-fit a queen for the rigors of rule. Could a womanly queen lead the state through war?
Could a womanly queen rule over male subjects? Could a womanly queen provide an heir without transferring power to her husband and possibly to his family? And at a core gender relations level, was a woman fit to represent the great English nation? Or did the inferiority of her gender debase the state itself?
Ultimately, the anxieties produced by these concerns led the culture to yearn for the stability represented by a king, not a queen. This desire for stability manifests itself in the themes of both Macbeth and Hamlet. In Macbeth, a fantastical suggestion of future kingship leads Lady Macbeth to convince and help her husband to commit treason by killing the king and claiming an offered crown.
The play Hamlet depicts the murder of a monarch by his brother and the subsequent marriage of this brother Claudius to Queen Gertrude.
Although neither play is a direct commentary on Elizabeth, each drama reflects social anxieties from decades of female monarchical rule.The undeniable power of unbridled ambition and its ramifications are extensively portrayed within William Shakespeare’s tragedy; Macbeth.
Within this play, ambition is portrayed as a corrupting and unquenchable force through the main concepts of mental imbalance, supernatural behaviors and. Thus, Lady Macbeth exemplifies a negative anode of female ambition and power within a Renaissance context.
In considering Lady Macbeth’s characterization, one must remember, first and foremost, that feminine desires for power were seen as unnatural. Power Essay Even though Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Ridley Scott’s Gladiator are portrayed in completely different worlds, they both share the theme of power Macbeth, a story written in for King James, follows the path of Macbeth as he seeks to gain power through the hamartia of regicide.
In each case, ambition—helped, of course, by the malign prophecies of the witches—is what drives the couple to ever more terrible atrocities. The problem, the play suggests, is that once one decides to use violence to further one’s quest for power, it is difficult to stop. The thematic importance of ambition is revealed throughout MacBeth in a manner that is not always instantly visually evident to a conscientious reader.
Although it is responsible for MacBeth s rise to power, his vaulting ambition is also to blame for MacBeth s tragic downfall.
MacBeth wou. - The thematic importance of ambition is revealed throughout MacBeth in a manner that is not always instantly visually evident to a conscientious reader.
Although it is responsible for MacBeth’s rise to power, his “vaulting ambition” is also to blame for MacBeth’s tragic downfall.