StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Shakespearean tragedy - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Shakespearean tragedy

Portia is not only wealthy and beautiful, she has a razor -sharp wit, which tells the audience at the very outset that she is not meant for a merely decorative role. Though Bassnio only as "In Belmont is a lady richly left,/And she is fair and, fairer than that word,/ Of wondrous virtues, (I,1) we see her ready wit and her scorn for lack of learning when she comments on her various suitors, Falconbridge for instance, remarking: "He is a proper man's picture, but alas, who can converse with a dumb-show".
This shows that not only is she herself intelligent, she is also looking for a savvy life partner, who could meaningfully engage her in proper conversation. Her sarcastic remarks about her suitors and others stem from her confidence in herself, she is secure in the knowledge of her own superiority. This confidence usually marks the hero of a story or play, and overtaking Bassanio and Antonio in shrewdness, wisdom and initiative, Portia almost becomes the hero of the play.
Once she hears of Antonio's plight, she is brisk and matter-of-fact and knows exactly what is to be done, and in what order: "First go with me to church and call me wife, And then away to Venice to your friend; For never shall you lie by Portia's side With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold To pay the petty debt twenty times over"(III, 2). She is more like an action-hero in her manner, than a delicately feminine heroine. She decides to go to Antonio's aid of her own volition, not only showing initiative, but also a large heart, another requirement for the character of a hero.

Her supreme confidence never leaves her as she dresses the part of a man, and she knows she will be taken at a face value despite her constructed masculinity: "...they shall think we are accomplished/ With that we lack". Once in male garb, Portia comes into her own, because people take her more seriously in this guise than they had when she appeared in her true nature as a woman. She is heroic indeed in stepping into the court at Venice, posing as a learned lawyer, in front of the Duke and her husband in the guise of a man, risking discovery and its possible attendant consequences.

In a patriarchal set up, Portia goes against the norm by pretending to be a man; and the fact that she is able to pass of as a learned lawyer goes to show that the accepted limitations on a Renaissance woman were not all necessarily true. Given the right kind of education and opportunity a woman like Portia could well become the main protagonist. A hero is an example to all, and Portia makes a worthy example for all the women of her age.

Not only does she step in, she is able to argue the case very well indeed, and Shakespeare gives her importance by giving her one of the best-known speeches of all his body of work. She appeals to Shylock to be more considerate: "The quality of mercy is not strained./ It dropeth as the gentle rain from heaven/ Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:/It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes/ The throned monarch better than his crown".

But then she comes up with the clause of not shedding blood while carving out the pound of flesh. And here, she does not show the sort of mercy to Shylock that she had begged ...Show more

Summary

In Shakespearean tragedy, the hero reigns supreme, so much so, that some of the most memorable heroic characters in English literature have been the "tragic heroes" like Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth and so on. But when it came to comedies, Shakespeare created quite a few strong and witty characters for his heroines, in keeping with an age and country ruled by the extremely intelligent and powerful Queen Elizabeth.
Author : mona60
Shakespearean tragedy essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Shakespearean tragedy"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Macbeth as Tragedy
Thesis statement: A response work to unearth the characteristics of tragedy and tragic qualities of the play Macbeth (special references to the play Macbeth). I. Response A. Characteristics of tragedy in the play Macbeth: subject matter, themes, form and literary elements One can easily identify that the subject matter of the play is closely related to the conventional tragedy.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Macbeth
Shakespeare played an immensely important role in the literature by his contributions in terms of romantic, tragedy and comedy masterpieces. Macbeth is one of the novels which are widely known for the completeness and accuracy of the themes used. It revolves around Macbeth, the brave soldier who knows the important place of violence in keeping things stable and in order.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
A history of the play and the playwright plus a list of works referenced
In the year 1582, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway and had three kids with her, Susannah, and Hamnet and Judith, the twins (Honigmann 1-12). So far, he had lived a mediocre life. Up till the nineteenth century, no one realized the true extent of the remarkable talents this boy possessed.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Shakespeare's tragic vision
In order, therefore, to understand his works, it is essential to have a clear idea of his age. Shakespeare's plays Hamlet, Othello, Julius Caesar, Macbeth and King Lear are considered to be Universal because Shakespeare was not only a poet, a dramatic poet, working for stage, actors, and audience as he know them.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Shakespearean Tragedies
Tragedy is based of the deep ideological conflict and conflict of interests. A hero today is seen as a person who is idolized. Nowadays, a hero does not have to have wealth or certain political beliefs, but instead can be regarded as a hero for
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Othello - debating the rationale of why Iago betrayed him and try to argue a justification for it
“Othello commits more than one crime but is not initially motivated by vengeance. This represents a shift from Shakespeares first tragedy, Titus Andronicus, which plainly operates on the tribal level of blood
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Literature Assg 2 A
Despite the fact that the playwright has taken a very specific and limited subject as a matter of treatment in the drama, consequently, within such limited scope of interpretation he
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Four books
As each individual makes every effort to find happiness, wealth and power is oftentimes misinterpreted to be the achievement of that dream. People become blinded by the fun these things bring; only to realize that these exciting moments are only
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Play Critique Assignment
Romeo is one of the most significant characters and remains crucial to the plot of the play. Romeo is introduced as a handsome, young man who is enamored with a woman named Rosaline, but his affections are quick to transfer to Juliet
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Reflection on Othello
Ribner’s acknowledgement that Othello elicits morality and virtue concerns in the way he relates to other characters renders the book relevant for the essay on reflection of
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation