Metamorphosis in Shakespeare's Plays: A Pageant of Heroes, Gods, Maids, and Monsters
Images of metamorphosis characterize Shakespeare's drama on every level. Once the image is established by simile, metaphor, or direct allusion, it is then transformed into the stuff of theatre. The images are charged with tension, excitement, and sometimes humour. The protagonists assume the posture of the pagan gods, heroes and others, depicted in literature and the visual arts and attempt to play roles for which they are often ill-suited or unprepared. After trial and learning they undergo genuine transformations as a result of actions for which they are responsible, and learn valuable lessons. This is an approach to Shakespeare's use of metamorphosis, using The Taming of the Shrew, Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, A Winter's Tale, and others to demonstrate transformations on several levels.
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The Metamorphosis of Heroes and Monsters
The Frivolous Charades of Maids and Heroes
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