Shakespearean critical anthology quotes

Kastan Quote 1
"If any theoretical pressures existed to shape Shakespeare's understanding of tragedy they came more from medieval articulations of the genre than classical ones."
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Kastan Quote 2
"Chaucer's definitional reserve finds its most powerful analogue in the agonizing silences of Shakespeare's tragedies. "Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life/and thou no breath at all" King Lear cries, holding his broken child
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Kastan Quote 3
"The incalculable murderousness of the world, yet questioning that world produces no more satisfying responses."
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Kastan Quote 4
"Are there reasons for the intolerable suffering? Is the tragic motor human error or capricious fate? Is the catastrophe a just, if appalling, retribution, or an arbitrary destiny reflecting the indifference, or worse, the malignity of the heavens?"
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Kastan Quote 5
"The characters struggle unsuccessfully to reconstruct a coherent worldview of the ruins of the old."
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Kastan Quote 6
"And it is the emotional truth of the struggle, rather than the metaphysical truth of the worldview that is at the centre of these plays."
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Kastan Quote 7
"Shakespeare's tragedies provoke the questions about the cause of the pain and loss the plays portray... and in the refusal of any answers starkly prevent any confident attribution of meaning or value to human suffering."
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Kastan Quote 8
"Kenneth Muir's oft-quoted comment that 'there is no such thing as Shakespearian tragedy: there are only Shakespearian tragedies" merely begs the question of how 'Shakespearian' modifies 'tragedy' either as an individual exemplar or a group."
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Kastan Quote 9
"If Muir is only saying that Shakespeare does not seem to have written tragedy driven by a fully developed theoretical conception we can easily assent"
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Kastan Quote 9 (cont'd)
But a coherent and powerfully compelling sense of tragedy can be seen to develop through the plays
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Kastan Quote 10
"Tragedy, for Shakespeare, is the genre of uncompensated suffering"
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Kastan Quote 10 (cont'd)
"And as he writes in that mode the successive plays reveal an ever more profound formal acknowledgement of their desolating controlling logic."
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Nutall Quote 1
"A cruel or sadistic pleasure in the blinding of Oedipus is immediately distinguishable from what Aristotle called the oikeia hedone (proper pleasure)
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Nutall Quote 2
"I fancy that the same is true, though less obviously true, for the gloating, envious spectator
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Nutall Quote 3
"In the tragic theatre suffering and death are perceived as matter for grief and fear, after which it seems that grief and fear become in their turn matter for enjoyment."
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Nutall Quote 4
"The pleasure of tragedy is an immediately uncomfortable phrase"
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Nutall Quote 5
"There is an awkardness, somehow, in the very mildness of the term 'pleasure' - seems puny beside the thunderous 'tragedy'"
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Nutall Quote 6
"The Nietzschean oxymoron, 'tragic joy' is, oddly, easier to accept, because it fights fire with fire."
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Nutall Quote 7
"For moral Dr Johnson it was self-evident that poetry and drama must please."
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Nutall Quote 8
"A later kind of moralism taught a new generation of readers and theatre-goers to despise the pleasurable and value the disturbing, jagged, painful"
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Nutall Quote 9
"Ancient Stoics and Epicureans argued about most things but they would be united in their bewilderment at this."
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Nutall Quote 10
"This shift in taste does not resolve the problem of tragic pleasure"
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Nutall Quote 10 (cont'd)
"Rather it sets an allied, similarly challenging problem - that of enjoyed discomfort - alongside it."
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Nutall Quote 11
"Quantity of pleasure being equal, push-pin is as good as poetry' said Jeremy Bentham, robustly"
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Nutall Quote 12
"While it may seem essential to the idea of pleasure that it be felt, pleasure need not occupy the foreground of consciousness."
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Bradley Quote 1
"Brings before us many persons, but it is pre-eminently the story of one person, the 'hero'"
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Bradley Quote 2
"The story, next, leads up to, and includes, the death of the hero"
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Bradley Quote 3
"On the other hand, the story also depicts the troubled part of the hero's life which precedes and leads up to his death."
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Bradley Quote 4
"It is, in fact, a tale of suffering and calamity conducting to death... The suffering and calamity are, moreover, exceptional"
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Bradley Quote 5
"They befall a conspicuous person. They are themselves of some striking kind. They are also, as a rule, unexpected."
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Bradley Quote 6
"Such exceptional suffering and calamity, then, and extending far and wide beyond him are an essential ingredient of tragedy"
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"A chief source of tragic emotions"
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Bradley Quote 7
"A total reverse of fortune, coming unawares upon 'a man who stood in high degree'"
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Bradley Quote 8
"It startled another feeling: that of fear, it frightened men and it awed them. It made them feel that man is blind and helpless, the plaything of an inscrutable power"
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Bradley Quote 9
"Tragedy with Shakespeare is concerned always with persons of 'high degree'"
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Bradley Quote 10
"Othello himself is no mere private person; he is the General of the Republic...The consciousness of his high position never "
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Bradley Quote 11
"The pangs of despised love are the same in a peasant and a prince, not to insist that they cannot be so when the prince is really a prince"
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Bradley Quote 12
"His fall produces a sense of contrast, of the powerlessness of man, and of the omnipotence- perhaps even the caprice - of Fortune or Fate"
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Mack Quote 1
"A sort of explanation can be found in Elizabethan psychological lore, which held that any excess of passion approached madness."
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Mack Quote 2
"Furthermore, madness, when actually exhibited, was dramatically useful, as Kyd had shown"
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Mack Quote 3
"In both Hamlet and King Lear, madness is to some degree a punishment or doom"
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Mack Quote 4
"It is equally obvious that in both instances the madness has a further dimension, as insight"
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Mack Quote 5
"(King Lear) about the corruption of the Jacobean social system, which Shakespeare could hardly have risked apart from this licence."
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Mack Quote 6
"She (Cassandra) makes an ideal emblem of the predicament of the Shakespearean tragic hero, caught as he is between the absolute and the expedient."
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Honigmann Quote 1
"If Iago were a straightforward villain he would arouse little fellow feeling in audiences, yet of course he is anything but straightforward and and audiences have responded to him in different ways"
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Honigmann Quote 2
" 'The character of Iago is so conducted, that he is from the first scene to the last hated and despised' Dr Johnson's verdict was echoed by Bradley, who reacted with 'burning hatred and burning tears'"
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Honigmann Quote 3
"In the theatre our reactions are unlikely to remain the same 'from the first scene to the last'; they fluctuate, and we may even come close to sympathising with a villain."
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Honigmann Quote 4
"Dramatic perspective can make us the villain's accomplices; he confides in us, so we watch his plot unfolding from his point of view"
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Honigmann Quote 5
"Iago enjoys another important advantage, in that he is the play's chief humourist"
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Honigmann Quote 6
"W.H. Auden called him 'A practical joker of a peculiarly appalling kind'"
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Honigmann Quote 7
"Auden's loose label really identifies one of Iago's convenient masks, not the inner man, and may blind readers to Iago's essential ******."
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Honigmann Quote 8
"His humour either intends to give pain or allows him to bask in his own sense of superiority."
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Honigmann Quote 9
"Nevertheless, since his victims lack humour, Iago appeals to us as more amusing: dramatic perspective compels us to see it with his eyes and share in his jokes"
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Honigmann Quote 10
"This might be Iago's opinion (that he's really smart), but it's hardly Shakespeare's."
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Honigmann Quote 11
"He has neither felt nor understood the spiritual impulses that bind ordinary human beings together, loyalty, friendship, respect, compassion."
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Honigmann Quote 12
"Emilia's love of Desdemona is Iago's undoing"
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Leavis Quote 1
"But he remains the same Othello; he has discovered his mistake, but there is no tragic self-discovery."
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Leavis Quote 2
"The noble Othello is now tragically pathetic, and he sees himself as pathetic too"
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Leavis Quote 3
"The tragedy doesn't involve the idea of the hero's learning through suffering."
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Leavis Quote 4
"Othello really is, we cannot doubt, the stoic-captain whose few words know their full sufficiency"
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Leavis Quote 5
"Up until this point we cannot say he dramatises himself, he simply is."
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Leavis Quote 6
"That he should do acting his ideal part is all in the part: manifested here in its rightness and solidity."
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Leavis Quote 7
"The histrionic intent symbolically affirms the reality: Othello dies belonging to the world of action in which his true part lay."
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Card 2


Kastan Quote 2


"Chaucer's definitional reserve finds its most powerful analogue in the agonizing silences of Shakespeare's tragedies. "Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life/and thou no breath at all" King Lear cries, holding his broken child

Card 3


Kastan Quote 3


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Card 4


Kastan Quote 4


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Kastan Quote 5


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