William Shakespeare | Critical Essay by Robert F. Willson, Jr.

This literature criticism consists of approximately 14 pages of analysis & critique of William Shakespeare.
This section contains 3,955 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Robert F. Willson, Jr.

Critical Essay by Robert F. Willson, Jr.

SOURCE: “Shakespeare's Tragic Prefigures,” in Shakespeare Studies, Vol. XVI, 1983, pp. 143-51.

In the essay below, Willson asserts that the opening scenes of Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth are, in effect, prophetic interludes. Willson argues that Shakespeare raises significant symbolic or thematic issues in each of these scenes by introducing a character—specifically, Horatio, Brabantio, France, and Cawdor—whose actions at the beginning of the play foreshadow the conduct of the tragic hero in a subsequent, climactic episode.

Shakespeare's tragic openings, like those of other tragic dramatists, serve the ends of exposition. We must know of past quarrels between aged kings or of promotion decisions that have snubbed deserving fellows before we can begin to understand the motives of central characters and the courses of their actions. In King Lear...

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This section contains 3,955 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Robert F. Willson, Jr.
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