Shakespeare Essay Examples

Essays on Shakespeare

Feminism in a Patriarchal Society: How Ophelia and Cleopatra Broke the Norm
Words • 1833
Pages • 8
Shakespeare, it is claimed by many modern critics, was a feminist. James Shapiro, for example, goes so far as to claim that Shakespeare was “the noblest feminist of them all” in 1599: A Year in the Life William Shakespeare. While many of Shakespeare’s works contain countless female characters of all different standings in society, very few of these characters are strong-willed, well-rounded women. Often times forced into boxes by the overwhelming patriarchal system of society at the time, I argue…...
Summary of Play “Antony and Cleopatra”
Words • 3201
Pages • 13
The play that I chose to read and study is Antony and Cleopatra. It was written in “1606”(Antony). There are no traces as to where Shakespeare was living with while writing this play. Antony and Cleopatra was first published in “1623 from an authorial draft”(Antony). There is no evidence to show when Antony and Cleopatra took place. The mood of the play is suspenseful because throughout the play the is constantly wondering what going to happen next. Like, will Antony…...
Romeo and Juliet: Love’s Fools
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Pages • 5
“Love is not blind, but it leads to blindness” a quote by Auliq Ice, whose meaning comes to make sense in William Shakespeare’s famous play Romeo and Juliet where two star-crossed lovers take their lives away when their hearts only desire is rebuffed by fate. Young and foolish, these lovers often find themselves making reckless decisions triggered by their emotions- particularly by their passionate and senseless love. The aim of this essay is to prove how young love affects both…...
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Patriarchal Society in Play “Romeo and Juliet”
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Pages • 4
Do you think toxic masculinity is helping or hurting the patriarchal levels in society today? Yep just what I assumed, hurting. The words “stand by your man” and, “a woman is less than a man” are so prevalent in today’s generations and need to be stopped. There is much talk about brutality, violations and cruelty in the public discussion of war, but very little talk about men. Yet, factually speaking, it is mainly men who are the practitioners of organized…...
Power of Teenage Love in “Romeo and Juliet”
Words • 821
Pages • 4
Shakespeare’s use of oxymorons and similies emphasizes the theme of love and the power of teenage love in Romeo and Juliet and in result, makes the play relevant today. Carrying over the fact that young lovers will do unpredictable and crazy things for love, Romeo and Juliet holds several oxymorons that teaches us the dangers of being in love. In I.i.142-44, Montague uses imagery to describe Romeo as a ‘bud bit with an envious worm’, because he won’t open up…...
Life Lessons in Play “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare
Words • 660
Pages • 3
Shakespeare’s play, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is regarded as one of the most significant and widely read playwrights. Matter of fact, according to scholar Harold Bloom, it is “the most persuasive celebration of romantic love in Western literature.” The contribution with diverse events has portrayed a twisted romance, although the timeless play presents the viewers with tragic themes governing human existence revealing life lessons that are still applicable in our lives today. The use of antithetical language between the characters shows…...
Destructive and Deadly Power of Free in “Romeo and Juliet”
Words • 978
Pages • 4
God has gifted mankind with free will, the ability to choose among different courses of action and act without the restraint of fate. This blessing, however, can easily turn into a curse for those who abuse it. In the play, Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare reveals just how destructive and deadly the power of free will can be. Fate presents several of the characters with various challenges and opportunities, but it their free will that determines how they act on…...
Comparison of Speech of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth
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Pages • 4
In the story Lady Macbeth’s and Macbeth’s speech both seem to have some differences and similarities involving the killings that Macbeth and the murderers committed. Some of the differences in their speeches are how Lady Macbeth’s speech took more convincing to kill Duncan vs Macbeth convincing the murders right away to kill Banquo. Although Macbeth only had it easy because he had his wife as an example to get help with into persuading the murderers, otherwise he might not have…...
My Opinion About Play “Macbeth” by Shakespeare
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Pages • 2
Have you ever read a good book that was really interesting but the language was hard to understand? I have. For instance, when I’m reading a Shakespeare play, the language is ancient, and you have to annotate and take notes so you could understand it. Despite this fact, it's easier to follow a Shakespeare play by watching it rather than reading it so students can have an understanding of what the play is about. Apart from the fact that watching…...
Macbeth Vs McQueen Characters Comparison
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Pages • 4
The character of Macbeth, from the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, is comparable to the character of McQueen from our short film McQueen. In both instances, the characters are portrayed as impressionable, ambitious, and ruthless. Both characters are shown to possess these traits and build upon them throughout the play or movie. To begin, Macbeth is portrayed as a very impressionable person. He tends to be easily convinced or mislead by others inevitably leading to his demise. He receives advice…...
Appearance Versus Reality in “Macbeth”
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Pages • 4
Appearances are physical attributes that are perceived through outward aspects visible to the senses. However, appearances may be deceiving qualities because of their inability to divulge the hidden intentions and traits of the entity. What may seem to be innocuous and wholesome will reveal a malicious characteristic that cannot be visually perceived. The theme of appearance versus reality is integrated into William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, deemed through the paradoxical motif of “fair is foul, and foul is fair.” Two characters…...
Macbeth: Appearance vs Reality as an Deception
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Pages • 5
One's perception of others plays a role in how they see reality. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, various characters interact with others. The perception those characters have is mistaken for reality. Firstly, both Macbeth and Banquo are mistaking the witch’s appearance into what they think reality is going to look like while feeling impatient. Secondly, Macbeth thinks Lady Macbeth is encouraging him instead of realizing his manhood is being questioned when he is confused. Lastly, Duncan is feeling emotional towards Macbeth's…...
“Macbeth” One of Shakespeare’s Greatest Tragedies
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Shakespeare is easily recognized as one of the greatest playwrights and one of the finest poets in the English language. He was known for his tragedies, most namely his play, Macbeth. The famous Macbeth is a play about the main character, Macbeth and his pathway through being a king, encountering drama and loss of loved ones. The main character, Macbeth, is portrayed as someone who is prominently ambitious and powerful whereas Lady Macbeth is portrayed as energetic and affectionate to…...
Macbeth and How He Makes Decisions
Words • 1481
Pages • 6
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility”-Eleanor Roosevelt. In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare the protagonist Macbeth makes decisions with greedy and malicious intent that shape who he is as a person by making him selfish and violent. Furthermore, these new character traits affect Macbeth's future decisions and actions that he makes for the rest of his…...
Macbeth and Gatsby Characters Comparison
Words • 1481
Pages • 6
A Tragic hero is an exceptional being who posses hartmartia, a tragic flaw, which leads the herp to make fatal mistakes causing the hero to suffer and ultimately lead to their own downfall. Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, predominantly examines the wealthy young man, Jay Gatsby, and his obsession for Daisy Buchanan, the golden girl of his dreams. Fitzgerald illustrates the Roaring Twenties which encompases the American dream. The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare takes place in…...
Corruption in Play “Hamlet” by Shakespeare
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Corruption is usually understood as the misuse of public power for private gain. It can be found in a variety of forms, presented by different authors and exhibited by various characters. The central premise of William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, is that corruption permeates the lives of people who are closest to it. It can be easily seen in the play as it unfolds scene by scene and can be witnessed even until the end of the play wherein the corruption…...
Comparison of Characters of Hamlet vs. Agamemnon
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Pages • 2
Hamlet and Agamemnon are two classic plays that both include all the common elements of Greek tragedy. They also share similar themes related to the abuse of power, revenge, deceit, loyalty, love and loss. The protagonists in both stories are characters of high status that suffer an inevitable downfall caused by their own character flaws and a fatal error of judgment. However, I believe Hamlet is more tragic than Agamemnon. Although both their misfortunes arouse pity, Hamlet’s story offers the…...
Search for Identity in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
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Pages • 4
Identity is the fact of being who or what a person or thing is. Throughout the play Hamlet suffers from an Identity Crisis and attempts to fix this problem throughout the play. Hamlet experiences being betrayed by someone who he thought he could trust which has sparked Hamlet to want revenge. Hamlet loses his identity because of his father's death and is mothers secretive marriage. Hamlet finds himself puzzled about his identity because he is forced to play different roles…...
Freudian Psychoanalysis of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
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Pages • 4
I have chosen to talk about the psychoanalytical approach on “Hamlet” because this is the exemplification of the Oedipus complex that Sigmund Freud defined and also this is one of the best exemplifications of what is Id, Superego and Ego. Hamlet is just a projection of Shakespeare. The play is inspired by the author’s life, by the people around him. “In fact, literature offered unique insight into the mind that regular people do not.” (Radhika Gangadhar, Literary Theory and Criticism).…...
The Inescapable Mind in “Hamlet” and “Death of a Salesman”
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The mind is a complex structure, and many people tend to get lost in its vast area. Through Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Hamlet and Willy show how the mind is inescapable through their tragic flaw, and also through their failure to act when needed. Hamlet’s and Will’s inability to escape their mind is caused by their tragic flaw. Hamlet’s tragic flaw is his tendency to doubt everything, and throughout the play, it is shown that…...
Femenism in Play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare
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Pages • 6
As seen through literary works, male authors such as William Shakespeare wrote women to be submissive, which places blame and consequence on their character, as seen throughout societal norms of patriarchal standards for female conduct. Firstly, exemplified through the relationship between siblings, Laertes believes his sister Ophelia is naive and unable to make her own decisions, making him feel responsible for her own actions, removing her autonomy as a woman. Secondly, King Polonius uses his own daughter as a pawn…...
Expired Love in Play “Hamlet”
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Pages • 6
Underneath all the drama, revenge, and back-stabbing plots in the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, a love story, between Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, and Ophelia, a member of the court, is gently described. The love, however, is a complicated one. Many questions have been raised to understand whether or not Hamlet was truly in love with Ophelia. Although there is a lot of evidence in the text for the reader to be easily convinced that Hamlet loves her with…...
“Hamlet”: Gertrude’s Emotional and Sensational Destruction
Words • 1333
Pages • 6
In the play Hamlet, Hamlet’s mother Gertrude, brings no physical harm but instead has poor judgement. She is not assertive in situations and would rather depend on her emotions and sexual desires instead. Eventually, due to her poor choices, it will lead to her demise along with others as well. When Gertrude’s emotions and sensations are involved, they outweigh her other two personality elements such as intellect and intuition. She is unable to control her feelings and lust which leads…...
Fate in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Words • 820
Pages • 4
Fate is something that is destined to happen or turn out in a specific way. It is one aspect of our lives that sets the path for our lifetime. It cannot be altered or edited no matter what happens, it is just how we are destined to live our lives. It can lead to either destruction and accident or a lifetime full of happiness. Fate plays a major role in the play, Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare. The leading…...
How Does Shakespeare Portray Lady Macbeth?
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Pages • 6
Lady Macbeth plays the important role in the play of encouraging Macbeth to carry out the regicide. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have a strong bond at the beginning of the play, which would have been incredibly unusual to audiences in the Elizabethan Era. She is presented as more and more evil as the play goes on, which eventually leads to her own demise. At the beginning of Act 1 Scene 5, Lady Macbeth is reading a letter from her husband,…...
How does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth?
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Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth begins as a strong, ruthless, manipulative character and dies as a vulnerable, guilt-ridden, weeping woman. This was more typical of the view of women prevalent in the 17th century, which was that they were not the dominant gender. Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth in Act 1 scene 5 as wanting to be more manly and stronger. Lady Macbeth wants to be brutal, cruel and non-feminine, calling on the spirits to “unsex me here” because she doesn’t believe that,…...
Why Hamlet Delays His Revenge
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Pages • 6
In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the theme of revenge is very palpable as the reader examines the characters of Hamlet himself, as well as Laertes, son of Polonius, and Fortinbras, Prince of Norway and son of the late King Fortinbras. Each of these young characters felt the need to avenge the deaths of their fathers who they felt were untimely killed at the bloody hands of their murderers. However, the way each chose to go about this varies…...
The Methods of Revenge in Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Words • 1868
Pages • 8
Hamlet by William Shakespeare has been known to be one of the greatest literary works of all time. Shakespeare does a great job showing us the problems of human nature and the analysis of human action. When reading the famous literary drama one of the main questions one asks is “Why does Hamlet hesitate?” “Why does he wait so long to take action and avenge his father’s death and kill Claudius the one who murdered him?” Though one might think…...
The Idea Of Hamlet’s Revenge
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Pages • 4
Hamlet is a revenge tragedy, typical of many plays written during the late Elizabethan era, such as Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and John Marston’s Antonio’s Revenge. We thus expect the plot to follow a predetermined route, and although Hamlet initially appears to be the Typical hero of an Aristotelian revenge tragedy, there are a variety of most unpredictable factors which deviate the play from the norm in revenge tragedies, and consequently augment the sympathy which we have for the tragic hero…...
Revenge and Vengeance in Shakespeare’s Hamlet
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Pages • 4
Throughout the play, Hamlet is seen as both brilliant and a coward. He is seen by the readers as an intellectual and unsure person, he plans but takes to long to go through with the plan or anything as he overthinks. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet's character is aroused by the ghost (the king/Hamlet's father) who informs him that Claudius is the one who murdered his father. This confession has triggered Hamlet into wanting to avenge his fathers’…...
Ambitious For Power in Shakespeare’s Macbeth
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Pages • 4
In the play, Macbeth, ambition, strength, and insanity play major roles in how the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth behave and react. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth present all 3 of these behaviors at one time or another during the play. However, their behaviors progress in very different ways. While Macbeth gets stronger and more ambitious, Lady Macbeth does the opposite. She starts out strong and ambitious but becomes weaker and more reserved. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth…...
The Concept of Love in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Words • 517
Pages • 3
A Midsummer Night's Dream is the first William Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece. He wrote the comedy in 1596. The play is about the love between four couples, they all represent different types of love: mature love, youthful love, and renewed love. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is classified as a romantic comedy, however, from my point of view, the play is strong enough to demonstrate that assessment as a dark romantic comedy using the powerful love appears with strong darkness and cruelty…...
Shakespearean Rom-Com
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Pages • 4
Many people have categorized A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a romantic comedy. But how accurate is this assessment? A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies and it is generally thought of as a sparkling romantic comedy. However, while the play is lovely and comedic, it also has a strong trace of darkness and cruelty, a sinister underside that is inextricable from its amorous themes. Midsummer may end with a series of happy weddings, but along the…...
The Controversial Character of Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth
Words • 464
Pages • 2
In most literary works, there is often an accomplice assisting the protagonist. Sometimes the helper is the mastermind. Such is the case in Macbeth, a play written by William Shakespeare. Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and frightening female characters. She is a more evil character than her husband. This is portrayed through her ambition and determination, manipulation and ruthlessness. From the start and throughout the play, the reaction to the witches’ prophecies about Macbeth becoming king meant…...
Women and Power in Shakespeare’s Macbeth
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Pages • 4
Lady Macbeth throughout the play Macbeth changes from an influential wife of Macbeth to an uninvolved accessory. After the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth’s mental state deteriorates and she becomes paranoid. Lady Macbeth changes from a powerful female role into a weak character with little to no influence on her own actions and those of Macbeth. Changing from a malevolent and power-hungry to a character that is pitied for there shortcomings becomes as a person. She becomes so overwhelmed with…...
An Analysis Of Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth
Words • 1093
Pages • 5
Lady Macbeth has been called, “the fourth witch” and “the fiend-like Queen”. Do you agree with these estimates? The form of Macbeth is a dramatic play. All the more explicitly, it is a disaster. The most straight forward meaning of a disaster would be "a play with an unhappy ending". While this is true, it is probably just a bit too simple. Macbeth is one of the great tragedies of Shakespeare. It is also a difficult play. Its hero does…...
Analysis of “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare
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Pages • 5
Romeo and Juliet is a play created by William Shakespeare, an English playwright or poet. It was first written in 1594 – 1596 and was published unauthorized in 1597. Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare’s most famous play and is most likely the most famous play ever written. The play is two star crossed lovers who fall in love, get married in secret while their families are sworn, enemies. On stage Romeo and Juliet has always been one of the most…...
Jealousy Theme in “Othello” by William Shakespeare
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Pages • 6
“O, beware, my lord of jealousy! (3.3.170). William Shakespeare was the third child of John and Mary Shakespeare (Shumaker). There is no evidence that Shakespeare’s parents could write, but it is assumed from the age of five to seven he went to school where he learned to read (Shumaker). At a young age like others this is when Shakespeare started to gain his talented ways. Shakespeare was an extremely talented person. He is known back then and today for his…...
The Insecurities and Jealousy of Man: Shakespeare’s “Othello”
Words • 1347
Pages • 6
There are many individuals who have insecurities but do not let jealousy prevail over their good sense’s. In William Shakespeare’s play Othello, Othello Shakespeare’s strong, powerful, and dignified Moor lets a cynical and egotistic man like Iago manipulate him into believing rumors of infidelity. This character then goes on acting upon these very same character defects in a way that brings the end to him and others. Individuals are faced with many character defects, but it is how they chose…...
Jealousy: An Intriguing Aspect of Shakespeare’s Othello
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Pages • 4
Jealousy takes many forms and sometimes it is harmless while at other times it can be destructive. In the play Othello written by William Shakespeare, Iago and Othello’s actions and dialogue clearly demonstrate that jealousy can cause individuals to marginalize others, as illustrated by racial and sexist prejudices depicted in the text. With Roderigo’s help, Iago is able to plot a series of events which eventually leads to convincing Othello that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio, and this…...
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FAQ about Shakespeare

Feminism in a Patriarchal Society: How Ophelia and Cleopatra Broke the Norm
...Ophelia, the dominated daughter, is left to follow the beck-and-call of others. While there was a glimmer of her own desires at the begining of the play when she was seeing Hamlet without her family’s knowledge, it is quickly snubbed out by the dem...
Macbeth and How He Makes Decisions
...Macbeth's decisions are his own as he has free will therefore he is responsible for their consequences. Macbeth’s first malevolent act is killing Duncan although external forces including but not limited to the withces and his wife inspired him to ...
How Does Shakespeare Portray Lady Macbeth?
...Banquo is killed, and Macbeth sees his ghost appear while hosting a banquet. He becomes afraid and begins to shout at the ghost, in front of all the guests. Lady Macbeth is quick to tell the guests “my lord is often thus, And hath been from his you...
How does Shakespeare present Lady Macbeth?
...To conclude, Shakespeare has presented Lady Macbeth very differently from the expectation of how women should have acted in the Jacobean era, having the men rule over them: he has shown her to be more brutal and manly. I feel like everything that eve...
Why Hamlet Delays His Revenge
...In today’s society, it would be considered most rational to act under the law to seek revenge upon the murderer of a family member. But how can one say that they would be willing not to take out personal revenge and trust the system if they were no...
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