Romeo and Juliet: Triumph of Love, not Tragedy

Regarding Shakespeare, playwright Ben Jonson once wrote, “He was not of an age, but for all time!” Continue reading

Advertisements

Plato’s Tripartite Soul in Shakespeare

Plato’s Tripartite Soul in Shakespeare

In the Republic, Plato divides the human soul into three parts: the Appetite, the Rational, and the Spirited. The Appetite part of the soul desires bodily pleasures such as food, drink, sex, etc; the Rational part desires to exercise reason and make rational decisions; and the Spirited part desires honor above all else.

Throughout his works, William Shakespeare presents numerous characters who are dominated by one aspect of their soul. For example, the Appetite part of the soul dominates Tarquin in The Rape of Lucrece, the Rational part of the soul dominates Hamlet, and the Spirited part of the soul dominates Coriolanus. Continue reading

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 75

Sonnet 75

            In Sonnet 75, William Shakespeare writes about his love for the Fair Youth, an unknown young man who is the object of Shakespeare’s affection. Through simile, hyperbole, and antithesis, Shakespeare examines his contrasting feelings for the Youth.

Continue reading

Happiness

Happiness

Sometimes the tedium of daily life can overwhelm us and plunge us into depression. We feel like the proverbial hamster on a wheel. Is this what I really want to do with my life? Is this fulfilling? Is it all meaningless? Or perhaps we are struck by tragedy. A loved one may die, and we feel as if the world becomes a “sterile promontory.” But then an incident occurs which reminds us of the happiness and joy which we can experience in life.

“All you need is love” is more than just a great Beatles song. In your darkest moments, if you think about those you love and those who love you, then you can endure anything. That indefinable emotion, Love, is the key to happiness.

Continue reading

Thoughts on the “Undiscovered Country”

Thoughts on the “Undiscovered Country”

The body’s decomposition is an evident truth, accepted by scientists and theologians alike, “dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” But if man is not merely composed of a physical body, but also a soul, then what is the fate of this spiritual essence after death? Some of humanity’ greatest thinkers have pondered over this question, and formed remarkably diverse answers. Religious zealotry, atheism, and utter indifference are just a few responses.

Continue reading

Man’s Brutish Nature in King Lear

            King Lear is a tragedy about a man’s fall from Kingship to madness. King Lear mistreats his youngest daughter, Cordelia, and is then betrayed by his two other daughters, Goneril and Regan. Realizing his mistake too late, he agonizes over his folly until he becomes crazy.

After reconciling with Cordelia near the end of the play, he regains his sanity, but she is tragically killed soon afterwards. In one of the most heartrending scenes in the history of drama, Lear weeps over the dead body of Cordelia, crying, “Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, and thou no breath at all?” The animal imagery present in this lamentation is prevalent throughout the play. Shakespeare uses this motif to explore man’s animalistic nature.

Continue reading

Love in Othello

In Othello, William Shakespeare presents the tragic story of a Moorish general of Venice. Iago, Othello’s ensign, is indignant about Othello promoting Cassio to lieutenant instead of him. To avenge this perceived offense, Iago deceives Othello, convincing him that Cassio slept with Othello’s wife, Desdemona. Consumed with jealousy, Othello kills Desdemona. Throughout this narrative, Shakespeare uses diction and metaphor to portray the dark and dangerous facet of love.

Continue reading