Shakespeare's Tragedies

Shakespeare's Tragedies A Very Short Introduction - Very Short Introductions

First edition

Paperback (27 Apr 2017) | English

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Synopsis

Tragedy, including grief, pain and suffering, is a common theme in Shakespeare's plays, often leading to the death of at least one character, if not several. Yet such themes can also be found in Shakespearian plays which are classed as comedies, or histories. What is it which makes a Shakespearian tragedy, and what dramatic themes and conventions did the bard draw upon when writing them? In this Very Short Introduction Stanley Wells considers what is meant by the word 'tragedy', and discusses nine of Shakespeare's iconic tragic plays. He explores how the early definitions and theoretical discussions of the concept of tragedy in Shakespeare's time would have influenced these plays, along with the literary influence of Seneca. Wells also considers Shakespeare's uses of the word 'tragedy' itself, analysing whether he had any overall concept of the genre in relation to the drama, and looking at the ways in which the theatrical conventions of his time shaped his plays, such as the use of boy players in women's roles and the physical structures of the playhouses. Offering a critical analysis of each of the nine plays in turn, Wells concludes by discussing why tragedy is regarded as fit subject for entertainment, and what it is about tragic plays that audiences find so enjoyable. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

About the Publisher

Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Our products cover an extremely broad academic and educational spectrum, and we aim to make our content available to our users in whichever format suits them best.We publish for all audiences–from pre-school to secondary level schoolchildren; students to academics; general readers to researchers; individuals to institutions. Our range includes dictionaries, English language teaching materials, children's books, journals, scholarly monographs, printed music, higher education textbooks, and schoolbooks.

Book information

ISBN: 9780198785293
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Pub date:
Edition: First edition
DEWEY: 822.33
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Sales rank: 48689
Number of pages: xii, 138
Weight: 120g
Height: 173mm
Width: 113mm
Spine width: 8mm