Literature - Part 4
Measure for Measure is one of the most unusual plays of Shakespeare. It was originally considered to be a comedy. However, the text is so cynical and gloomy that it is often referred to as a problem play or a “black comedy”.
Macbeth is considered to be one of the most unusual and mysterious tragedies of Shakespeare. Being one of the very few plays, which was never performed while Shakespeare was alive, and the shortest of his plays, it is notorious among actors as the most unlucky theatrical works. Another peculiarity of Macbeth is that it focuses on the theme of the evil, but with a peculiar difference.
King Lear is one of the world’s most brilliant insights into the weaknesses of a human being. The main theme of Shakespeare’s tragedy is the corruption of the human soul by the unlimited power and authority and self-destruction, which results from it.
Creative heritage of William Shakespeare in the sphere of theatrical plays can be roughly divided into three main genres, each of which correlate to a certain period of his development as a writer, namely: early historical dramas, comedies and tragedies. One of the most vivid examples of his early works is “King John”.
Julius Caesar is one of several plays that William Shakespeare wrote using true events of the Roman history as a basis. Thematically it focuses on the conspiracy against Julius Caesar in 44 BC and his assassination, but its idea elaborates the issues of betrayal and the conflict of friendship and civil duty.
The story of Hamlet, a prince whose father was killed by his uncle and then called upon his son to avenge on him, was known to the reader long before William Shakespeare used to create his best-known tragedy. However, he was definitely the author who managed to shift the key attention of the audience from the tragedy of circumstances to the tragedy of true human feelings. But what makes Hamlet a truly tragic character?
As You Like It is a play by William Shakespeare, which belongs to once popular genre of a pastoral comedy and was based upon a prose romance Rosalynde by Thomas Lodge. The plot describes the adventures of main heroine Rosalind, who, being oppressed by her uncle, tries to find safety in the Forest of Arden, but eventually finds love.
The story of Antony and Cleopatra and their fatal love gained massive popularity in the Renaissance period and was used for both theatrical plays and poems. Most of them exploited the plot described in Plutarch’s Life of Marcus Antonius. And William Shakespeare is not an exception here. However, having taken the same story line, he managed to create a play full of vivid characters. One of them is Cleopatra, who is considered to be one of the most complex female characters in Shakespearean plays.
There is no doubt that the Harry Potter series has made a huge impact on the minds of children. The debate is on whether that impact has been positive or negative. On one side there is a group that says the book promotes good behavior through the main characters in the story. They go through tough situations but yet stand up for the truth and do things that are morally right. They say that this has a very positive influence on children. The other group states that the inclusion of witchcraft and dark elements in the book can expose young minds to the world of the occult, which could be a serious problem. They feel that there are better ways to teach morals to children than by dabbling with witchcraft.
Beowulf is one of the most significant epics written in the period when people were on their way from Paganism to Christianity. The Anglo-Saxon epic story was created in the 8th century. It is one of the brightest examples of the Old English epics. Unfortunately, the name of the author who wrote Beowulf is still unknown, but the majority of literature experts believe that it was originally written by the poet who was Christian and the story was some sort of reflection of this religion’s tradition. Still, some of the literature experts believe that Beowulf was the creation of pagan folklorists with some Christian elements. Through the whole epic, just like in the final between Beowulf and the dragon, it is possible to notice different parallels that the author builds up between the Christian and pagan beliefs.