Widely thought of as Shakespeare's most powerful works, this book takes extracts and examines the four great tragedies, "Hamlet", "King Lear", "Othello" and "Macbeth", explaining how the critic can use particular techniques to bring out complexities of meaning, understand the patterns of metaphor and the rhythms of the poetry and appreciate the drama. Chapters on the openings and endings of plays, heroes and heroines, society, humour, imagery and the tragic universe guide the student on a journey of inquiry into the nature of Shakespeare's tragic vision. The book is for A Level and undergraduate students of English Literature; and courses in Shakespeare, Tragedy, Renaissance Literature and Drama.
NICHOLAS MARSH is the author of the popular How to Begin Studying English Literature, now in its second edition, and the Master Guide, The Wife of Bath's Tale. He teaches English at Francis Holland School, Regent's Park, London.