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But the traditional critical response, with which I will chiefly be concerned in this chapter, has been keener to surrender to the sway of the awesome and ineffable: What do we touch in these passages? Sometimes we know that all human pain holds beauty, that no tear falls but it dews some flower we cannot see. Perhaps humour, too, is inwoven in the universal pain, and the enigmatic silence holds not only an unutterable sympathy, but also the ripples of an impossible laughter whose flight is not for the wing of human understanding.

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Download preview PDF. Skip to main content. In he was appointed secretary to the Royal Commission on the British Museum. Collier used these opportunities to effect a series of literary fabrications. Over the next several years he claimed to find a number of new documents relating to Shakespeare's life and business. After New Facts, New Particulars and Further Particulars respecting Shakespeare had appeared and passed muster, Collier produced the famous Perkins Folio, a copy of the Second Folio , so called from a name written on the title-page.

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In this book were numerous manuscript emendations of Shakespeare, said by Collier to be from the hand of "an old corrector. Their authenticity was disputed by S. Brae in Literary Cookery on internal evidence. In the folio was submitted by its owner, the Duke of Devonshire, to experts at the British Museum. Collier was exposed by Nicholas Hamilton in his Inquiry. The point whether he was deceiver or deceived was left undecided, but the falsifications of which he was unquestionably guilty among the manuscripts at Dulwich College have left little doubt respecting it, he had produced the Memoirs of Edward Alleyn for the Shakespeare Society in He followed up the Diary of Philip Henslowe , he interpolated the name of Shakespeare in a genuine letter at Dulwich , the spurious entries in Alleyn's Diary were proved to be by Collier's hand when the sale of his library in gave access to a transcript he had made of the Diary with interlineations corresponding with the Dulwich forgeries.

No statement of his can be accepted without verification, no manuscript he has handled without careful examination, but he did much useful work, he compiled a valuable Bibliographical and Critical Account of the Rarest Books in the English Language.

His Old Man's Diary is an interesting record, though here the taint of fabrication is not absent. What he did amiss is more striking to the imagination than what he did aright, he will be chiefly remembered by it. He died at Maidenhead , where he had long resided, on 17 September For an account of the discussion raised by Collier's emendations, see C. Ingleby, Complete View of the Shakespeare Controversy.

In the 20th century, some scholars attempted a re-evaluation of Collier, defending him against the charge of forgery; the main effort was in his study Fortune and Men's Eyes. In Ganzel's view, Collier's accusers, led by Frederic Madden , were motivated by envy and class bias; the case for Collier has relied on the fact that not all of the accusations of forgery against Collier have stood up to critical examination.

The consensus of scholarly opinion has remained convinced of Collier's guilt. Samuel Schoenbaum , in his discussion of the Collier case, mentions a damning incident omitted by Ganzel. In his old age in , more than thirty years after the Perkins folio, Collier claimed in a letter to possess a John Milton folio "full of Milton's brief notes and references. By this time his reputation was so tarnished that he was not able to launch another campaign of forgery, while the "Milton" folio indeed exists, the annotations are not by Milton.

A two-volume study by Arthur Freeman and Janet Ing Freeman, published in , re-examines the evidence and concludes yet again that Collier was a forger. Ganzel has written in response to the Freemans' study, "He assumes Collier's guilt and that leads to looking at Collier's work with the expectation of finding fraud Freeman star. Tragedy Tragedy is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in audiences.

While many cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, the term tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role in the self-definition of Western civilisation; that tradition has been multiple and discontinuous, yet the term has been used to invoke a powerful effect of cultural identity and historical continuity—"the Greeks and the Elizabethans, in one cultural form. From its origins in the theatre of ancient Greece years ago, from which there survives only a fraction of the work of Aeschylus and Euripides , as well as a large number of fragments from other poets.

Shakespeare's First Folio: ‘The Greatest Work in English Literature’

A long line of philosophers—which includes Plato , Saint Augustine , Hume, Hegel , Kierkegaard, Freud, Camus and Deleuze—have analysed, speculated upon, criticised the genre. In the wake of Aristotle's Poetics, tragedy has been used to make genre distinctions, whether at the scale of poetry in general or at the scale of the drama.

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In the modern era, tragedy has been defined against drama, the tragicomic , epic theatre. Drama, in the narrow sense, cuts across the traditional division between comedy and tragedy in an anti- or a-generic deterritorialisation from the midth century onwards. Both Bertolt Brecht and Augusto Boal define their epic theatre projects against models of tragedy. Taxidou, reads epic theatre as an incorporation of tragic functions and its treatments of mourning and speculation; the word "tragedy" appears to have been used to describe different phenomena at different times.

Scholars suspect this may be traced to a time when a goat was either the prize in a competition of choral dancing or was that around which a chorus danced prior to the animal's ritual sacrifice. In another view on the etymology, Athenaeus of Naucratis says that the original form of the word was trygodia from trygos and ode, because those events were first introduced during grape harvest.

Writing in BCE, Aristotle provides the earliest-surviving explanation for the origin of the dramatic art form in his Poetics, in which he argues that tragedy developed from the improvisations of the leader of choral dithyrambs: Anyway, arising from an improvisatory beginning, grew little by little, as developed whatever of it had appeared. In the same work, Aristotle attempts to provide a scholastic definition of what tragedy is: Tragedy is an enactment of a deed, important and complete, of magnitude, by means of language enriched, each used separately in the different parts: it is enacted, not recited, through pity and fear it effects relief to such emotions.

There is some dissent to the dithyrambic origins of tragedy based on the differences between the shapes of their choruses and styles of dancing. A common descent from pre-Hellenic fertility and burial rites has been suggested. Here, he suggests the name originates in the use of a chorus of goat-like satyrs in the original dithyrambs from which the tragic genre developed. Scott Scullion writes: There is abundant evidence for tragoidia understood as "song for the prize goat".

Chapter 1 - What is a Shakespearean tragedy?

The best-known evidence is Horace, Ars poetica Athenian tragedy—the oldest surviving form of tragedy—is a type of dance-drama that formed an important part of the theatrical culture of the city-state. Having emerged sometime during the 6th century BCE, it flowered during the 5th century BCE, continued to be popular until the beginning of the Hellenistic period. No tragedies from the 6th century and only 32 of the more than a thousand that were performed in the 5th century have survived. We have complete texts extant by Aeschylus and Euripides. Athenian tragedies.

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Marlowe was the foremost Elizabethan tragedian of his day, he influenced William Shakespeare , born in the same year as Marlowe and who rose to become the pre-eminent Elizabethan playwright after Marlowe's mysterious early death. Marlowe's plays are known for the use of their overreaching protagonists; some scholars believe that a warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May No reason was given for it, though it was thought to be connected to allegations of blasphemy—a manuscript believed to have been written by Marlowe was said to contain "vile heretical conceipts".

On 20 May, he was brought to the court to attend upon the Privy Council for questioning. There is no record of their having met that day, he was commanded to attend upon them each day thereafter until "licensed to the contrary".


Ten days he was stabbed to death by Ingram Frizer. Whether or not the stabbing was connected to his arrest remains unknown. Marlowe was born in Canterbury to his wife Catherine. His date of birth is not known, but he was baptised on 26 February , is to have been born a few days before.

Thus, he was just two months older than his contemporary William Shakespeare, baptised on 26 April in Stratford-upon-Avon. In , the university hesitated to award him his Master of Arts degree because of a rumour that he intended to go to the English college at Rheims to prepare for ordination as a Roman Catholic priest. However, his degree was awarded on schedule when the Privy Council intervened on his behalf, commending him for his "faithful dealing" and "good service" to the Queen; the nature of Marlowe's service was not specified by the Council, but its letter to the Cambridge authorities has provoked much speculation, notably the theory that Marlowe was operating as a secret agent working for Sir Francis Walsingham's intelligence service.

No direct evidence supports this theory, although the Council's letter is evidence that Marlowe had served the government in some secret capacity. Of the dramas attributed to Marlowe, Queen of Carthage is believed to have been his first, it was performed by the Children of the Chapel , a company of boy actors, between and The play was first published in Marlowe's first play performed on the regular stage in London , in , was Tamburlaine the Great , about the conqueror Timur , who rises from shepherd to warlord , it is among the first English plays in blank verse, with Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy is considered the beginning of the mature phase of the Elizabethan theatre.

Tamburlaine was a success, was followed with Tamburlaine the Great, Part II; the two parts of Tamburlaine were published in The sequence of the writing of his other four plays is unknown; the Jew of Malta , about the Jew Barabas' barbarous revenge against the city authorities, has a prologue delivered by a character representing Machiavelli.

It was written in or , was first performed in It was a success, remained popular for the next fifty years; the play was entered in the Stationers' Register on 17 May , but the earliest surviving printed edition is from Edward the Second is an English history play about the deposition of King Edward II by his barons and the Queen, who resent the undue influence the king's favourites have in court and state affairs; the play was entered into the Stationers' Register on 6 July five weeks after Marlowe's death.

The full title of the earliest extant edition, of , is The troublesome reigne and lamentable death of Edward the second, King of England , with the tragicall fall of proud Mortimer; the Massacre at Paris is a short and luridly written work, the only surviving text of, a reconstruction from memory of the original performance text, portraying the events of the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre in , which English Protestants invoked as the blackest example of Catholic treachery.

It features the silent "English Agent", whom subsequent tradition has identified with Marlowe himself and his connections to the secret service. The Massacre at Paris is considered his most dangerous play, as agitators in London seized on its theme to advocate the murders of refugees from the low countries and, indeed, it warns Elizabeth I of this possibility in its last scene, its full title was The Massacre at Paris: With the Death of the Duke of Guise. Doctor Faustus , based on the German Faustbuch , was the first dramatised version of the Faust legend of a scholar's dealing with the devil.

While versions of "The Devil's Pact" can be traced back to the 4th century, Marlowe deviates by having his hero unable to "burn his books" or repent to a merciful God in order to have his contract annulled at the end of the play. Marlowe's protagonist is instead carried off by demons, in the quarto his mangled corpse is found by several scholars. Doctor Faustus is a textual problem for scholars as two versions of the play exist: the quarto known as the A text, the quarto or B text. Henry Chettle Henry Chettle was an English dramatist and miscellaneous writer of the Elizabethan era, best known for his pamphleteering.

The son of Robert Chettle, a London dyer, he was apprenticed in and became a member of the Stationer's Company in , traveling to Cambridge on their behalf in , his career as a printer and author is shadowy.

Chapter 1 - What is a Shakespearean tragedy?

He may have set up some of the tracts printed in response to Martin Marprelate. In , he entered into partnership with two stationers, they published a good many ballads, some plays, including a surreptitious and botched first quarto of Romeo and Juliet , to which it is suggested Chettle added lines and stage directions. In Greene's Groats-Worth of Wit the work of the deceased, popular, Robert Greene , was published, having been entered in the register of the Stationer's Company "at the peril of Henry Chettle"; this contained a passage criticising various playwrights, which offended at least two contemporary writers, one the alleged " atheist " Christopher Marlowe and the other William Shakespeare.

Chettle was accused of writing the work under Greene's name. He denied the charge in the preface to his Kind Heart's Dream, published that year: About three months since died M. Robert Greene, leaving many papers in sundry booksellers' hands, among other his Groatsworth of Wit, in which a letter written to divers play-makers is offensively by one or two of them taken, because on the dead they cannot be avenged, they willfully forge in their conceits a living author With neither of them that take offence was I acquainted, with one of them I care not if I never be; the other, whom at that time I did not so much spare as since I wish I had, for that, as I have moderated the heat of living writers and might have used my own discretion, that I did not I am as sorry as if the original fault had been my fault, because myself have seen his demeanor no less civil than he excellent in the quality he professes.

Besides, divers of worship have reported his uprightness of dealing, which argues his honesty, his facetious grace in writing that approves his art. The theory that Greene's Groatsworth is a forgery by Chettle has been both supported and challenged by scholars. In Harold Jenkins attributed the work to Greene, not Chettle.

However, a pioneering computer-aided stylometric analysis by Warren B. Austin attributed it to Chettle.