This volume reflects changing critical perceptions of Shakespeare's works from Renaissance to modern times and celebrates the power of Shakespearean tragedy. The selection of critical reaction covers both the general concept of Shakespearean tragedy and its expression in the major plays, illustrating the main directions of critical approaches to Shakespearean tragedy and enabling the reader to develop an informed response to Shakespeare's dramatic works.
An introductory chapter traces the development of the concept of tragedy from classical times, and its dramatic expression in the time of Shakespeare. Each of Shakespeare's great tragedies - Hamlet, Macbeth, Lear, and Othello - is considered in turn, and a final chapter summarizes contemporary critical approaches so that the reader can link the best of the critical past with the present critical scene.
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