Page 1 of 12

Explore the presentation of heroism in a Shakespeare play (e.g. p...

Continues for 11 more pages »
Read full document

Explore the presentation of heroism in a Shakespeare play (e.g. portrayals of heroic behavior in one of Shakespeare’s Histories) and in Literary Heritage poems about World War 1.

Page 1 of 12
Task Title: Explore the presentation of heroism in a Shakespeare play (e.g. portrayals of heroic behavior in one of Shakespeare’s Histories) and in Literary Heritage poems about World War 1.

Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet; focusing on Romeo as the ‘tragic hero’. Poems: Dulce et decorum est by Wilfred Owen and For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon

Introduction
Personal experiences and political/historical perspectives heavily influenced the presentation of heroism in Shakespeare plays and in Literary Heritage poems about World War 1. The authors often developed the concept of heroism in prose, drama and poetry, which is subliminally connected to political/historical contexts. The term ‘hero’ initially evolved from Greek mythology. ‘A being possessing god like powers and beneficence who often came to be honoured as divinity.’ ‘(In later antiquity) an immortal being; a demigod.’ The essay will reconnoitre the essence behind the meaning of ‘heroism’ and more specifically ‘tragic heroism’. The influence the Greek myths had on Shakespeare dramas and how the classical mythology of ‘heroism’ evolved into Shakespeare’s ‘tragic heroism’ will also be analysed. The literal dictionary meaning of ‘tragic hero’ is ‘a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy that is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat.’ Many people have different interpretations and viewpoints on this particular term and various interpretations tie in together to create the modern meaning of ‘heroism’. Shakespeare was accustomed to writing tragic novellas/plays, as the Elizabethan era was partial to this particular genre. I will be focusing on how Shakespeare portrays Romeo as the ‘tragic hero’ and the language and structure Shakespeare uses to elaborate and emphasize on this particular point. The other playwright that I will be scrutinizing is poems; these particular poems will be regarding WW1. Many poems were written at the time of the war, some based on personal experiences and some...