Macbeth clutches an imaginary dagger; Hamlet holds up Yorick's
skull; Lear enters with Cordelia in his arms. Do these memorable
and iconic moments have anything to tell us about the definition of
Shakespearean tragedy? Is it in fact helpful to talk about
'Shakespearean tragedy' as a concept, or are there only
Shakespearean tragedies? What kind of figure is the tragic hero? Is
there always such a figure? What makes some plays more tragic than
others? Beginning with a discussion of tragedy before Shakespeare
and considering Shakespeare's tragedies chronologically one by one,
this 2007 book seeks to investigate such questions in a way that
highlights both the distinctiveness and shared concerns of each
play within the broad trajectory of Shakespeare's developing
exploration of tragic form.
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