Shakespeare s Hamlet by Av5DDcA



Shakespeare's Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear and Julius Caeser; Christopher
Marlowe’s Tamburlaine , Doctor Faustus and            Jew of Malta, besides a
number of other tragic plays that best illustrate the changes in the concept of
tragedy during this period. Almost all the Elizabethan tragic dramatists wrote
their plays with complete disregard to the classical rules, especially Aristotle's
unities of time and action and later on the unity of place the Renaissance
critics promulgated. They did, however, draw a lot from the Roman tragedian,
Seneca, especially the taste for heaping horror upon horror. In this respect,
Thomas kyd's, The Spanish Tragedy can be considered an example of neo -
Senecan 'Tragedy of Blood.' The chapter is rounded off with a discussion of
the state of tragedy during the intervening period between the second half of
the seventeenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. This
discussion forms the third section.
         Chapter Two tackles this concept in modern British drama. It falls
into two sections. The first section tackles the concept of tragedy in the pre-
World War II drama. The first part of this section expounds the viewpoints
of a number of modern British dramatists as to how a tragedy should be
written in modern times. The plays tackled in the second part are G.B.
Shaw's Saint Joan, G.M. Synge's Riders to the Sea, W.B. Yeats' The Herne's
Egg, and T.S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party. These plays demonstrate the
different approaches, which the dramatists adopt in tackling modern man's
       The discussion of the concept of tragedy in post-war drama is the
major concern of the second section. The major dramatic movement that
dominates post- war drama is The Theatre of Absurd. In fact, the dramatic
conventions that mark this theatre serve primarily to shatter the traditional
conventions of the naturalistic or fourth-wall drama: sequential plot,

dialogue, and realistic characters and setting. The section is concluded with
an analysis of Samuel Beckett's Endgame, which conveys the tragic sense in
modern man's experience, which emerges as a reaction to the collapse of
moral and social values in the modern western culture. The tragic sense is
also prevalent in the plays of the Angry Young Men Movement .The
discussion of this sense is the major concern of the second part of the second
section of this Chapter. An analysis of John Osborne's The Entertainer is
presented in the second part. This play emphasizes the general decay of
western culture and spiritual values and the sense of bewilderment in
modern man's life.
     Chapter Three deals with the concept of tragedy in modern American
drama. The first section of this chapter deals with the tragic vision of the
modern American dramatists and the reasons behind their tendency to write
tragic plays. The second section is devoted to the discussion of a number of
American tragic plays; namely, Eugene O'Neill's Beyond the Horizon and
Mourning Becomes Electra, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and A
View from the Bridge, and Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie and A
Streetcar Named Desire. The reason behind choosing two plays by each
dramatist lies in the fact that the concept of tragedy in the proper sense of the
word is more clearly defined in the second play.
      The study is rounded off with a Conclusion that states the main
findings of the study.

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