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Character Flaws In Shakespeare’s Plays Essay

1491 words - 6 pages

The main purpose of this paper is to examine Shakespeare’s characters and their flaws, comparing them with the modern characters written by Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter. For that purpose, comparative analysis will be used in this paper. The results will show that nothing has truly changed since the Shakespearean era. People live in a corrupted society, influenced by poisonous doctrines. However, the paper shows that there are still hope for mankind, but only if people restore the moral compass. In addition, the paper is based on pedagogical and psychoanalytical approach, since the topic of the paper is about the character flaws. Harold Bloom (1998) suggests that Shakespeare is the most influential literary figure, whose works has had a major impact on many contemporary authors.

Literature Review

All Shakespeare’s dramas deal with love, death and life, hence, these universal themes get beautiful touch by him. His dramas reflect that he had insightful knowledge of human psychology. Therefore, his characters have become memorable in the field of literature and inexhaustible sources of inspiration for many modern authors. Bloom et al (1998) suggests that Shakespeare not only created the characters, he gave them life. Even though, all characters have flaws, they also have virtues. Bearing in mind that Shakespeare created these characters four centuries ago, the problem this paper addresses is how much the characters have prospered through due course of time. Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” is one of the most famous, and according to critics, one of the most complex Shakespeare’s plays, that aims to show the truth about the world and people inhabiting it, their guilt or innocence, their feelings and motivations, through the deeds and destinies of multiple characters: Gertrude, Ophelia, Claudius, Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and finally, Hamlet himself. Hamlet is trapped in the world of lies, false ideologies, and poisonous pedagogies, but remains sane and rational, although he is pretending to be mad. He is able to see through these ideologies and realize that madness is his only salvation. Hamlet cannot accept mother’s marriage to his uncle, shortly after his father’s death, especially not while knowing that it was exactly his uncle who killed him. Nevertheless, even though he is well aware of the trickery of his uncle Claudius, he does not choose to confront him, or to find a way to prove his villainy but starts to plot his revenge. This is probably the worst mistake that many of the Shakespeare’s characters commit. They do not try to do better things in the world, to right someone’s wrongs; instead, they are lead by the ideology: “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth!” Hamlet’s preoccupation thus, is to avenge his father’s death by killing his murderer, Claudius, who in turn tries to the same to Hamlet. Along the way, before the two of them die, everybody else dies: Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Gertrude,...

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