New answers tagged

8

There are sonnets in several of Shakespeare's plays, especially, though not exclusively, in his earlier ones. Best know among these may be the one that Romeo and Juliet share in Act 1, scene 5: ROMEO [To JULIET] If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough ...


3

The first writers to propose, using an argument based partly on Antigonus’ dream, that there was an earlier version of the play in which Hermione did not come back to life, and in which the climax was instead the recognition of Perdita, were J. E. Bullard and W. M. Fox in a 1952 letter to the Times Literary Supplement, quoted in full below. I’ve also quoted ...


5

In addition to the two excellent answers by Tsundoku and Gareth Rees, it's worth adding a note about the nature of the play: Macbeth is a tragedy and, in classical theatre, a tragedy is the story of a great person (usually a man) who is brought down and destroyed by a flaw in his otherwise estimable character. Shakespeare's tragedies are classical tragedies, ...


11

It is indeed true that the prophecy of the three Weyard Sisters does not imply that Macbeth would need to murder king Duncan. In fact, in Holinshed's Chronicles, Shakespeare's source for the play, Macbeth had a genuine claim to the throne, but Shakespeare doesn't really use that in the play. What we have instead is that king Duncan designates his successor ...


24

You are quite right that the witches did not prophecy that Macbeth would murder Duncan, and so the option was available to him to “play it safe”: that is, to wait and see how the prophecy transpired, and so, perhaps, ascend the throne of Scotland “holily”. When you spot a case like this, in which a character behaves in a way that you would never do, that’s a ...


19

“Holp” is the archaic past tense of “help”, which was formerly a strong verb (a verb that inflects by changing its vowel) like freeze/froze or ride/rode. The old form was obsolete in ordinary language by Shakespeare’s day, but it was kept alive through its use in biblical and liturgical texts, and it appears several times in the works of Shakespeare. Here ...


Top 50 recent answers are included