Shakespeare?S 10 Things Essay

1185 words - 5 pages

1. Betrayal and revenge
2. Metaphors of death-King Lear, Merchant of Venice, Othello
3. Humor- A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It
4. Pastoral settings- Ling Lear, A midnight Summer's Dream
5. Madness and insanity- Othello, Midnight Summer?s Dream, King Lear
6. Reversal- the main character falls from a high place
7. Letters- King Lear, Merchant of Venice
8. Things are not as they appear- King Lear, Merchant of Venice,
Midsummer Night?s Dream
9. The Father/Daughter Conflict-Midsummer, King Lear, Merchant of
10. Justice- King Lear, Merchant of Venice

The Father/Daughter Conflict-
In Midnight Summers Dream, Egeus commands Hermia, his daughter, to wed
Demetrius, whom she does not love. Against the advisement of the Duke
Theseus, who recommends that, ''To you your father should be as a god",
(Act I, Scene I, Line 48). Hermia wishes to marry Lysander. Egeus
threatens his daughter with the penalty of death or exile. In The
Merchant of Venice, Shylock?s daughter, Jessica, denies her faith and
steals from her father in order to marry Lorenzo, a man of whom she is
unequally yoked.

In King Lear, the title character, ruler of Britain, attempts to divide
his kingdom according to the profession of love by his three daughters:
Goneril, Regan and Cordelia. Goneril and Regan profess undying love
choosing the most melodic words, while Cordelia is speechless at the
task, stating:..........Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
.....................My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
.....................According to my bond; nor more nor less. (Lines
King Lear becomes angry with Cordelia and banishes her. The other
daughters begin to treat him viciously, Goneril slapping him at one

Shakespeare uses letters as characters in the plays that serve to tie
key factors together for cohesion and clarity. In the Merchant of
Venice, Shakespeare uses a letter from Antonio to bring the culmination
of events to a head at the end of the play, setting the stage for the
courtroom scene. Antonio writes, "my ships have all miscarried"(314) He
tells his friend of his troubles and beckons him to come see him one
last time as he ultimately gives his life for his friend?s debt. If
Bassanio does not go to the court proceedings, then his wife Portia has
no cause to be in the court scene, which leads to Antonio?s
The letter also serves as a vehicle to let the audience know once again
that Shylock, ?The Jew? is the villain in the play. It is not by
accident that he is mentioned in the letter in this way.
In King Lear, Goneril plots to kill her husband through a letter to
Edmund delivered by Oswald. Edmund frames his brother Edgar with a
letter that appears to conspire to kill Gloucester, their father. It is
here that the audience sees how conniving and calculated Edmund really
is and there is no room for sympathy of the character.

Things are not as they appear-


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