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

By Honor Matthews

First released in 1962, Matthews' research examines the symbolic parts which many times recur in Shakespeare's performs. The booklet makes a speciality of the conventional 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 subject matters which resonate in the course of the performs. Divided into 3 components, the ebook 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 particular connection with a variety of the performs. wisdom of them offers fruitful avenues for the translation of the performs, and sheds mild on Shakespeare's causes and strategies.

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

Sample text

In any case Caesar desired it, and Shakespeare certainly must have noticed that when Caesar had refused it a third time he 'commanded the crown to be carried unto Jupiter in the Capitol' (Life of Julius Caesar), presumably because such a symbol properly belonged there. Nevertheless, the throne Caesar desired was empty. He is an image of ambition certainly, but not of rebellion or disloyalty in any obvious way; he is also courageous, publicspirited and nowhere shown as tyrannical or cruel; he is certainly no Richard of Gloucester.

V, 51-5 The extreme vividness and superficial incongruity of the images of the peepholes in the blanket and the curtain hanging limply from its rings show that for Shakespeare the association of hanging drapery with secret evil must have been very strong and reinforces the suggestion that in Worcester's words the rebels themselves are made to suggest the wrongness of their action. Facing the Northern lords, Prince John voices the claims of the reigning family with force and dignity: You have ta'en up, Under the counterfeited zeal of God, The subjects of his substitute, my father, And both against the peace of heaven and him Have here up-swarm'd them.

Finally, Margaret not only fights but kills, and she herself inaugurates the terrible pattern of murder for vengeance which makes the end of her story so horrific. She has already instigated the murder of Humphrey, but in his case there was at least the hypocritical decency of concealment. The murder of York is openly gang vengeance in lieu of justice, and she takes part in it herself: Margaret: What, weeping-ripe, my Lord Northumberland? Think but upon the wrong he did us a l l . . Clifford: Here's for my oath, here's for my father's death.

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