Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Where tragedy resides in Shakespeare

"That it should come to this." (Hamlet 1.2.137) That, in other words, a young idealistic student should become, even against his will, an intriguer and killer, as Hamlet does. Or that a great king should be reduced to beggary and madness, and by his own daughters, as Lear is. Or that a man gifted with a moral imagination so intense that even the anticipation of murder can make his hair stand on end should reach a condition so benumbed, so supped full with horrors, that to go back is as tedious as "go o'er," as happens to Macbeth. Or that the greatest soldier of the ancient world, once the king of courtesy, should be reduced to having his rival's emissary whipped, as in the case of Antony. Or that an earlier famous soldier should be so mastered by self-will and pride as to defect to the national enemy and war against his kin - the story of Coriolanus. Here is where tragedy normally resides in Shakespeare's mature work. - Maynard Mack

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I love Shakespeare. And I loved these words of Maynard Mack. MD, with your initiative, I come across some brilliant excerpts... It is heartening. Keep the good work up.