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Every time Shakespeare is read or taught one faces a challenge: how to make him comprehensible to the eager student. This is what the present work daringly sets out to do. It provides the reader with biographical, socio-political and the literary background of Shakespeare.
Within his three genres of plays tragedies, comedies and histories Shakespeare showed great variety. Taking up tragedy only, all four of the prevailing types are to be found in him. Macbeth is a conqueror tragedy, Othello, a villain tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, domestic tragedy and Hamlet, the play under discussion, exemplifies the highly popular contemporary mode, a revenge tragedy; yet these labels are but superficial tags, utterly unable to express the complexity and richness of his plays.
Hamlet is unarguably Shakespeares most popular tragedy. In characterisation, theme and poetic beauty as exhibited in the famous soliloquies, the play excels all other plays and playwrights. It is a remarkable example of a typical Shakespearean tragedy in which the protagonist is not betrayed by what is false within, but becomes a victim of tragic circumstances which lead to tragic consequences.
This book in The Atlantic Critical Studies series focuses on the major elements of the play. A scene-wise critical summary of the text is given in order to familiarise the reader with the play. Numerous quotations from the text have also been given. Different elements of drama have been analysed along with the views of renowned critics. Classical theories as well as more recent critical views have been given, which makes the book useful to the teachers as well as students of English literature, especially Shakespeare. Select Bibliography has been provided to stimulate further reading and Index is given for easy location of terms.
About the Author
Ratri Ray is a retired University Professor and Head of the Deptt. of English, Patna University. As a student she had a unique career for she had been awarded three gold medals for her B.A. results and two more for M.A. She obtained the D. Litt. degree on a comparative study of Francis Thompson and Nishikanto. She has published two books in Bengali on Sri Aurobindos poetry and drama, both serialized in the cultural monthly Shrimantu published from Kolkata. Her studies of Shakespearean plays according to Rasavda had been serialized in the 80s in Mother India published from Pondicherry. Her English books published by Atlantic Publishers and Distributors (P) Ltd. include The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, A Midsummer Nights Dream, King Lear and As You Like It.