In Act V, scene 5 of Shakespeare's Macbeth we encounter Macbeth's famous nihilistic soliloquy: "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow." The speech comes at a critical juncture for Macbeth in the play. All his Thanes have left him, and a united army of English and Scottish forces are advancing on his castle at Dunsinane. The English … Continue reading “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” Considered
The standard reading of Macbeth is that it is a tribute to King James I, Shakespeare's patron. As a relatively new king to the throne of England, James was fascinated with two chief themes found in Macbeth: witchcraft and regicide. James was a prolific writer and he wrote a book on the subject of witchcraft … Continue reading A Classical Hero in the Modern World: A Reading of Macbeth
We know remarkably little about the life of William Shakespeare, the greatest English playwright and incomparable Renaissance writer. He was baptized on April 26, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, which is located approximately 100 miles northwest of London. He was, therefore, likely born several days prior to his baptism (his birth date is traditionally given as April … Continue reading Who Is William Shakespeare?
In all likelihood The Tragedie of Macbeth was first performed in 1606 at the court of King James I. Its first public performance likely occurred at the Globe Theatre in 1611 (a review of this performance was given by the sometimes misleading astrologer, Simon Forman). Macbeth was first published in Shakespeare's First Folio of 1623, … Continue reading Introduction to Macbeth
The Wife of Bath is the most famous albeit the most troubling character in Chaucerian literature. As with other storytellers in The Canterbury Tales, we are given only her title at first: the "Wife of Bath." Later, we learn her name is Alysoun, and sometimes goes by "Aly" (recall that she shares a name with … Continue reading The Wife of Bath’s Tale: Autobiography and Arthurian Parody
There has been a longstanding debate, dating back to Aristotle, regarding the purpose, or telos, of a tragedy, and whether or not the "tragic" element is the result of is the result of a unique or particular character flaw stemming from the central protagonist. In other words, is Oedipus, indeed, a flawed human being who has brought about … Continue reading Aristotle, Oedipus, and Greek Tragedy