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Shakespeare Is Hard, But So Is Life:
A Radical Guide to Shakespearean Tragedy

by Fintan O'Toole

ISBN 186207528X / 9781862075283 / 1-86207-528-X
Publisher Granta UK
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

Is Hamlet really mad or is the world mad? Is Othello merely gullible or is there something about his place in society that makes him vulnerable? Why can there be no happy ending to King Lear? In this radical approach to Shakespearean tragedy, Fintan O'Toole, Ireland's foremost theater critic, shows how Shakespeare's plays have been made unintelligible to modern students. O'Toole explains that the plays have been filtered through a series of ideas that have less to do with what Shakespeare actually wrote than with Victorian interpretations of the plots and characters. O'Toole challenges the traditional approach to the study of four key tragediesHamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbethand provides an entertaining appreciation of the dramatic qualities of each. This is a provocative and accessible guide for students, teachers, and anyone interested in gaining a fresh insight into the world's greatest playwright.