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Shakespearean Tragedy

Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth

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Author: A. C. Bradley
Published: 1904
Language: English
Wordcount: 171,046 / 499 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 60.1
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 4,078
Added to site: 2005.10.31
mnybks.net#: 82
Genre: Drama
Excerpt

curring by 'accident' in the midst of prosperity would not suffice for it. It is, in fact, essentially a tale of suffering and calamity conducting to death.

The suffering and calamity are, moreover, exceptional. They befall a conspicuous person. They are themselves of some striking kind. They are also, as a rule, unexpected, and contrasted with previous happiness or glory. A tale, for example, of a man slowly worn to death by disease, poverty, little cares, sordid vices, petty persecutions, however piteous or dreadful it might be, would not be tragic in the Shakespearean sense.

Such exceptional suffering and calamity, then, affecting the hero, and--we must now add--generally extending far and wide beyond him, so as to make the whole scene a scene of woe, are an essential ingredient in tragedy and a chief source of the tragic emotions, and especially of pity. But the proportions of this ingredient, and the direction taken by tragic pity, will naturally vary greatly. Pity, for example, has a much larger p

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