Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Maybe a Better Icebreaker?

In the Duchess of Malfi, the reader can see many examples of literary techniques. One example of this is that Webster uses the form of foreshadowing. An interesting example of this is in the scene where Antonio and The Duchess are married. The Duchess calls Antonio into her bedchamber with the intent of marrying him, but at first tells him that she will be dictating to him. The reader soon discovers that The Duchess is going to be dictating to Antonio her will for when she passes away.

It is interesting to recognize the fact that it is a will that the Duchess wants Antonio to write, in some ways this seems rather morbid, when one considers she is about to ask a man to marry her. The fact that it is a will makes the reader realize that in the same hour when Antonio and the Duchess create their bonds of marriage they are also inadvertently point to the end of their love in death. Another interesting point to note is the fact that while the Duchess is talking to Antonio she jokes with him about who will get her inheritance. This also foreshadows (or really just hints to Antonio) about her upcoming proposal of marriage.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hamlet: Your Stereotypical Prince

When one thinks of a prince certain images are conjured to mind. Usually those pictures consist of a pampered, playboy who has been given privileges his entire life. When I looks at the Prince of Denmark in the form of Hamlet all of these perceptions can be seen in his character. He had been educated at an elite school, he had the erotic love of a woman, he had the promise of power, but then his world was flipped upside down.

I think that the reason Hamlet so easily pursued a path of destruction was because he had lived such a pampered life up to that point. It makes sense that at the first sign of real tragedy in Hamlet’s life that he would go crazy (figuratively and literally) with revenge and anger. All he needed was a spark to turn his depression into vengeful wrath, and when that spark came in the form of his father’s ghost Hamlet’s downward spiral began.

In many ways his Hamlet’s mollycoddled character was the prime target for Shakesperare to mold his tragedy around. Hamlet had the promise of greatness but when his world was destroyed (by the breaking of his family, by the possible loss of kingship, by school friends that were working for the man he hated, and a girlfriend who was used by everyone) his personage exploded killing all around him.