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Essay example - The function of context in literary studies

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Pages 2 (502 words)
Some key-point ideas of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" have historical context. First of all it is a Hamlet's idea of revenge presented by him in his soliloquy Act 4. He wanted to revenge Claudius for his father's death. Revenge was rather often used in both Denmark and England throughout history, especially in the period described in "Hamlet"…

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The lifestyle of the main characters of the novel, their manner of speech and behaviour turn us back to those times. Psychological context of "Sense and Sensibility" is attitude to life of two women of different psychological types. Their behaviour, their ways of achieving their life goals and values draw us a good picture and examples of women psychology.
"The Chrysanthemums" by John Steinbeck shows a distinct snapshot of the first half century American society. The novel has a real historical context as it reflects the attitude to women in that time, but there were women who try to dominate - it was the time of the first female cabinet member. So wanted Elisa that is shown in her relations with men. The male-dominated society is represented on the pages of the novel. So, reading "The Chrysanthemums" a reader can better understand historical context of the novel, and knowing the historical context it becomes easier to follow the characters' behaviour.
In "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell geographical and psychological contexts are seen. The action plays in Iowa - a reader can know it by reading about local speech and customs and other exact details. In addition it is better to understand the plot of the play knowing the psychological features of relations between women and men, especially between Minnie and her husband.
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