Nature's Mirror: Theme and Structure in Ten Plays by Shakespeare
The ten plays by Shakespeare I have looked at closely, The Merchant of Venice, Henry IV Part 1, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear have a similar structure which underlies and organizes the often bewildering blizzard of characters and plot. In each of these plays almost every character, even most of the minor ones, is struggling, in his own idiosyncratic way and circumstances, with the same facet of character - for instance, autonomy, the power to make choices - or with the same aspect of the human condition - for instance, that the world, which includes the self, is essentially unknowable, incomprehensible and uncontrollable. Thus each character functions on the thematic level as a different example of the problem or subject of the play. THOMAS ROCKWELL graduated from Bard College. He has had poems in The Massachusetts Review, The New York Quarterly Review, and The Antioch Review. He has also written a number of books for children.
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