Characters of Shakespeare's Plays

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Standard Publications, Incorporated, 2009 - 314 strán (strany)
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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: MACBETH. Macbeth and textit{Lear, Othetto and textit{Hamlet, are usually reckoned Shakspeare's four principal tragedies. textit{Lear stands first for the profound intensity of the passion; textit{Macbeth for the wild- ness of the imagination and the rapidity of the action; textit{Othello for the progressive interest and powerful alternations of feeling; textit{Hamlet for the refined development of thought and sentiment. If the force of genius shown in each of these works is astonishing, their variety is not less so. They are like different creations of the same mind, not one of which has the slightest reference to the rest. This distinctness and originality is indeed the necessary consequence of truth and nature. Shakspeare's genius alone appeared to possess the resources of nature. He is " your only textit{tragedy-maker." His plays have the force of things upon the mind. What he represents is brought home to the bosom as a part of our experience, implanted in the memory as if we had known the places, persons, and things of which he treats. Macbeth is like a record of a preternatural and tragical event. It has the rugged severity of an old chronicle with all that the imagination of the poet can engraft upon traditional belief. The castle of Macbeth, round which " the air smells wooingly," and where " the temple-haunting martlet builds," has a real subsistence in the mind; the Weird Sisters meet us in person on " the blasted heath;" the " air-drawn dagger " moves slowly before our eyes; the " gracious Duncan," the " blood-boltered Banquo" stand before us; all that passed through the mind of Macbeth passes, without the loss of a tittle, through our's. All that could actually take place, and all that is only possible to be conceived, what was said and what was done, the workin...

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