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The Mythology in Shakespeare’s Tragedies

2020-10-22 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

     下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文 --The Mythology in Shakespeare’s Tragedies,文章讲述莎士比亚把现在的现实和伟大的文化联系在一起,这将促进他的作品的社会意义。他的悲剧作品中神话和圣经典故对人物塑造有重要影响。其中的超自然因素发挥了重要作用,也反映了莎士比亚的社会背景。根据诺顿的引言,“就像《尤利乌斯·凯撒》、《哈姆雷特》和《麦克白》中的鬼魂所证明的那样,即使生与死之间的边界也不安全,而自然死亡的原则却不断被破坏和破坏”(格林布拉特65)。

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Shakespeare has associated the present reality with great culture which will advance the social implications of his works. Mythological and biblical allusions in his tragedies have significant effects on characterization. The supernatural elements play important roles and also reflects to the social background where Shakespeare came from. Based on the Norton introduction, “Even the boundary between life and death is not secure, as the ghosts in Julius Caesar, Hamlet, and Macbeth attest, while the principle of natural death is repeatedly tainted and disrupted” (Greenblatt 65). Shakespeare considers the connection between human nature and supernatural perverse, which is under the influence of the ideology of his country in the 17th and 18th centuries. The ghost elements of Shakespeare's works in that historical period have been developed, and as the Norton introduction mentions, the Greek cultural influence and the belief of Catholicism was a part of British culture. Since the British social contradictions were increasing, the cruel reality made people catch the faith of myth. They were eager to get some kind of super power to escape reality. This phenomenon was normal among the writers in the era, including Shakespeare.

One typical example is that Hamlet uses various archetypes of gods to eulogize his father. He compares his father to three gods, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury to illustrate that his father is kind, gentle, and graceful and a combination of all kinds of good qualities. “With his curly hair and his forehead like a Greek god. His eye could command like the god of war. His body is as agile as Mercury just landing on a high hill. A figure and a combination of good qualities that seemed like every god had set his stamp on this man” (Shakespeare 3.4) Besides, Hamlet’s father is also a responsible and patriotic king. Though bearing the purgatory in the hell, he comes to warn his people of the invasion of their enemies through wearing arms. This is also an imaginary perfect king in Shakespeare’s mind and his historical plays.

Hamlet compares his farther with several gods to convince that his father is noble, kind and graceful. However, he evaluates himself to be lack of the qualities on Hercules, just as he says in his soliloquy “My father's brother, but no more like my father, than I to Hercules”. Hercules is the son of Zeus and Alcmene and a titian with unparalleled strength and boundless courage in the classic mythology. By comparison, Hamlet concludes that he and the hero have totally opposite characters. This archetype also suggests Hamlet’s psychological activities. On one hand, he wishes himself to be firm and brave and could shoulder the responsibility as Hercules. On the other hand, he is troubled by his own weakness and hesitation. He lacks Hercules’ power, courage and determination. The fact that Hamlet sees himself as weak and indecisiveness is emphasized by the speech about Priam’s slaughter. In this speech we see how Pyrrhus kills Priam with considerable determination. “The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms,black as his purpose, did the night resemble/when he lay couched in the‟ominous horse” (Shakespeare 2.2). Though encouraged by the stirring stories of this hero, Hamlet does not have the courage and determinations as Pyrrhus or Hercules.

From Hamlet’s natural and massive quotations of the classics we may conclude that his has an extensive knowledge on history and classic literature and no more persons in this play are educated and erudite as him. Moreover, Hamlet is also a humanist, a scholar and a philosopher who is deeply influenced by humanistic sprit in the classic Greek mythology for he has received a systematic humanistic education in Wittenberg. Myth is essential, the sensational portrayal of our most profound instinctual life, of an essential familiarity with man in the universe, fit for some setups, whereupon every single specific conclusion. His philosophical thoughts on the universe and human-self reflect his positive attitude towards life. “What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how like an angel in apprehension, how like a god: the beauty of the world; the paragon of animals” (Shakespeare 2.2).

As a humanist and idealist in the Renaissance, Hamlet speaks highly of human’s existence. In his mind, human being is noble, graceful and marvelous. His romantic thoughts may be influenced by classic Greek mythology in which humanistic spirit is vividly described. With the characteristics similar to that of humans, those gods in the mythology have been secularized. And the heroes in the legends are all brave, powerful and they dare to challenge nature. Therefore they are the symbol of collective wisdom and strength. The modern rising bourgeois has found the spiritual weapon to fight against the corrupt feudal nobility. Shakespeare’s comedies are the best examples. Those humanists advocate the liberation of human nature from the divine nature and the value of human’s existence. But the over stress of human’s liberation leads to the unlimited desires and the decaying of morality. Thus the world is not perfect as Hamlet once considers. It is the social reality or the rotten phenomenon breaks up his idealistic dream and this optimistic prince turns into a pessimistic one.

In conclusion, Ghosts often appear when descendants are suffering, or when being wronged, or trying to take revenge. Therefore, the ghost is the symbol of revenge, suffering, and injustice. It reveals the deep theme of evil, but also reflects Shakespeare’s thought of humanity and the social environment. Shakespeare provides each ghost their own body, language and personality so that they look more natural and reasonable. The presence of the ghost images promote the sublimation of the theme of the plays. His original intention is not to characterize those illusory characters, but to reflect the social reality and his dissatisfaction to the status quo.

People use supernatural appearances to explain something they can not control, such as love, life and death. The supernatural factors can also reveals the confusion of something unknown. Therefore, the use of mythology in Shakespeare is like the extension of human nature, with both bright side and dark side.

 

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