Definition of Shakespearean tragedy
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Shakespearean tragedy Definition from Encyclopedia Dictionaries & Glossaries
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Shakespearean tragedy is the classification of drama written by William Shakespeare which has a noble protagonist, who is flawed in some way, placed in a stressful heightened situation and ends with a fatal conclusion. The plots of Shakespearean tragedy focus on the reversal of fortune of the central character(s) which leads to their ruin and ultimately, death. Shakespeare wrote several different classifications of plays throughout his career and the labeling of his plays into categories is disputed amongst different sources and scholars. There are 10 Shakespeare plays which are always classified as tragedies and several others which are disputed; there are also Shakespeare plays which fall into the classifications of comedy, history, or romance/tragicomedy that share fundamental attributes of a Shakespeare tragedy but do not wholly fit in to the category. The plays which provide the strongest fundamental examples of the genre of Shakespearean tragedy are Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.
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