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Shakespeare Notes

Shakespeare Notes

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Shakespeare Notes

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  1. Shakespeare Notes Hamlet

  2. The Five Parts of a Shakespearean Play • exposition = background (basic situation) • complication/rising action = cause/escalation of conflict • climax = leads to the demise of the tragic hero • falling action = things fall apart • resolution = final explanation; order restored

  3. Literary Devices in a Shakespearean Play • pun = play on words with multiple meanings or similar words with different meanings Example: • Simile= comparison of two or more things using Like and/or as • rhetorical question = question stated without needing an answer Example: • metaphor = compares two things without using like or as • parallel structure = sentence structure alike in form and function Example:

  4. Literary Devices in a Shakespearean Play (cont.) • aside = short statement to audience or other characters but not overheard by others on stage • soliloquy = speaks directly to audience; alone of stage; reveals character's thoughts to the audience Example: • verbal irony = saying the opposite of what you mean in order to produce an effect • dramatic irony = audience or other characters know something that the main character does not • theme = the message of the play

  5. Characters in a Shakespearean play • protagonist = central character in the play • antagonist = works against the protagonist • stock characters = typical characters reused in multiple Shakespearean plays * ghost, cruel tyrant, loyalservant, female confidante • foils = characters contrast other characters in order to emphasize particular Traits

  6. Tragic Hero • Definition: A tragic hero is the central character in a tragedy for whom events end disastrously. • A tragic hero has all of the following characteristics: • Tragic flaw = a fatal error in judgment that leads to the tragic hero's demise. This flaw is traditionally considered an admirable quality carried to excess. • Goodness = to arouse pity in the reader

  7. Tragic Hero (cont.) • Superiority = makes his fall seem that much more tragic, his destruction that much greater (but he does represent the common lot) • Tragic realization = tragic hero understands what he must endure and how he has helped to bring about own destruction. • Internal struggle- beyond normal • Power of expression- equal to power to endure (questions struggle while on the brink of chaos) • Strength to match the violence pitted against him; can endure everything but the thing that ultimately destroys him

  8. Tragic Hero (cont.) • Strength serves as an inspiration to the readers and other characters and helps to restore order • Faces destiny with courage and nobility of spirit • Falls from happiness to misery (chaos) to death • Becomes increasingly isolated and left to place his problems alone

  9. Characteristics of a Shakespearean Tragedy • Focuses on a tragic hero who goes astray by committing some fatal mistake • Recounts an important series of events in the life of a person of significance, ending in an unhappy catastrophe • Must be violence (wicked people, treason, etc.) • Presence of the supernatural • Deals with an instance of human evil • Deals with revenge and retribution

  10. Characteristics of a Roman Tragedy • Political struggle and disillusionment in society • Poses questions: What is a good leader? What is a good follower? • Followers are fickle • Unlike many of Shakespeare's plays, there's no Christian God for divine support

  11. The End! • Thank you!