Four Tragedies

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Penguin, 1994 - Drama - 951 pages
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The theme of the great Shakespearean tragedies is the fall from grace of a great man due to a flaw in his nature. Whether it is the ruthless ambition of Macbeth or the folly of Lear, the irresolution of Hamlet or the suspicion of Othello, the cause of the tragedy - even when it is the murder of a king - is trifling compared to the calamity that it unleashes. Despite his flawed nature, however, the tragic hero has a nobility that emphasizes the greatness of man. From this paradox the audience is brought to a greater understanding of - and sympathy with - suffering. The four tragedies in this collection are accompanied by notes and an introduction to each text, making this edition of particular value to students and theatre-goers.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Further Reading
44
An Account of the Text
47
HAMLET
73
OTHELLO
301
Introduction
303
Further Reading
337
An Account of the Text
339
Further Reading
555
An Account of the Text
559
Words for Music in King Lear
583
KING LEAR
591
MACBETH
785
Introduction
787
Further Reading
822
An Account of the Text
826

The Songs
358
OTHELLO
361
KING LEAR
513
Introduction
515
Words for the Songs in Macbeth
838
MACBETH
841
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About the author (1994)

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born to John Shakespeare and mother Mary Arden some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote about 38 plays (the precise number is uncertain), a collection of sonnets and a variety of other poems.

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