English Literature Notes

English Literature

Honour/Jealousy Themes

Honour/Jealousy Themes Notes

He resents Don Pedro and will do anything to get his own back after he lost the war. Other characters are jealous, too. Benedick does not like Hero, and does not want Claudio to marry...

Read More

Marriage, Shame and Freedom Theme

Marriage, Shame And Freedom Theme Notes

Ironically, Much Ado About Nothing suggests that the characters fear of shame in love is more likely to lead to embarrassment than love itself will.

Read More

Language, Perception and Reality

Language, Perception And Reality Notes

The idea that we live in a world of language and appearances, beyond which we cannot see, is common throughout Shakespeare. The famous quote that “All the world’s a stage,” is another example.

Read More

Courtship, Wit, and Warfare Theme

Courtship, Wit, And Warfare Theme Notes

Don John and Don Pedro, enemies in the war before the play begins, face off again on the field of social life: one schemes to ruin a marriage, another to create one. Benedick and Beatrice are “ambushed"...

Read More

Men and women Theme

Men And Women Theme Notes

The men themselves have very different standards. They might look for sex with a prostitute when they are young, but then expect to marry later in life (and insist on marrying a virgin).

Read More

Violence Theme

Violence Theme Notes

The action is bookended by a pair of bloody battles: in the first, Macbeth defeats the invaders; in the second, he is slain and beheaded by Macduff.

Read More

Hallucinations Theme

Hallucinations Theme Notes

Later, he sees Banquo's ghost sitting in a chair at a feast, pricking his conscience by mutely reminding him that he murdered his former friend.

Read More

The Difference Between Kingship and Tyranny Theme

The Difference Between Kingship And Tyranny Theme Notes

"The king-becoming graces / [are] justice, verity, temp'rance, stableness, / Bounty, perseverance, mercy, [and] lowliness" (4.3.92 - 93).

Read More

The Relationship Between Cruelty and Masculinity Theme

The Relationship Between Cruelty And Masculinity Theme Notes

To Malcolm's suggestion, "Dispute it like a man," Macduff replies, "I shall do so. But I must also feel it as a man" (4.3.221 - 223).

Read More

The Corrupting Power of Unchecked Ambition Theme

The Corrupting Power Of Unchecked Ambition Theme Notes

Macbeth is a courageous Scottish general who is not naturally inclined to commit evil deeds, yet he deeply desires power and advancement.

Read More