Shakespeare's Tragedies: A Very Short Introduction by Stanley WellsShakespeare's Tragedies: A Very Short Introduction by Stanley Wells

Shakespeare's Tragedies: A Very Short Introduction

byStanley Wells

Paperback | April 10, 2017

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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 aShakespearian 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 theuse 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 soenjoyable.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, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Stanley Wells is Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Professor Emeritus at the University of Birmingham, and the author of a number of books about Shakespeare, including Shakespeare, Sex, and Love (OUP, 2010), Shakespeare and Co (Penguin, 2007), and William Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2015). He is G...
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Title:Shakespeare's Tragedies: A Very Short IntroductionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.03 inPublished:April 10, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198785291

ISBN - 13:9780198785293

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Tragedy in Shakespeare's time2. Titus Andronicus3. Tragedies of English history4. Romeo and Juliet5. Julius Caesar6. Hamlet7. Othello8. Macbeth9. King Lear10. Timon of Athens11. Coriolanus12. Antony and Cleopatra13. Why do we enjoy tragedy?ReferencesFurther ReadingIndex