The characteristics of Shakespeare and Greek tragedies

Topics: Character, Performance, Romeo and Juliet Pages: 1 (425 words) Published: October 24, 2014

The characteristics of Shakespeare’s plays were very similar to the tragedies of Ancient Greece as both of them provided the audience with entertainment and a moral. This was achieved by using techniques such as giving the protagonist a fatal flaw and using dramatic irony in all of the plays. In Shakespeare’s plays, the main character, often in a royal family, has a fatal flaw which is usually exaggerated weaknesses of every human. This helps the audience realise that no one is free from flaws and they should not ignore it. Macbeth, who becomes too ambitious even when he is Thane of Cawdor, completes the witches’ prediction and is killed. In Ancient Greek plays, the main character has excessive pride or ‘hubris’. Oedipus demonstrates this pride when he tries to deny his fate after being told by an oracle. He attempted to avoid this fate by leaving the people he thought were his parents however it because of this action that led him to kill his real father and marry his mother. The Greek plays were meant to get rid of the fear in the audience by watching another person Dramatic irony is also used in Shakespeare’s and Ancient Greek plays which allows the audience to watch the protagonist fall into their fate while the character is unaware of the situation. This tells the audience that they should be careful as they can be overthrown unexpectedly. An example is in Romeo and Juliet, when the audience know that Juliet is still alive however Romeo doesn’t and both die as Romeo predicted by himself earlier in the play. Similarly with the Greeks, plays such as Oedipus Rex, show the audience that he has killed his father and married his mother but does not find out himself until the end of the play and blinds himself. Shakespeare’s theatre was in an enclosed circle with a stage on one side. The audience would be seated by the other walls of the theatre to view the stage. Many male actors were allowed to perform in the play there was no need for a chorus which the...
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