Absolutism In Shakespeare’s Heroes – Othelo, King Lear and Macbeth

Absolutism as a characteristic trait in protagonist was not an unknown concept in English grammar before Shakespeare used it very effectively for character-portrayal. It was none other than Marlowe who made it an important plank for his hero – study in Edward II (written in late 1591 or early 1592).

Steeped in Renaissance culture, Shakespeare saw the vast potentialities of this concept, broadened the scope of its application and projected it as a major component of character-concept in tragedy. We shall make here a study of three great tragic heroes of Shakespeare-Othello, King Lear and Macbeth-to measure the extent of their absolutism and relate it to their tragedy.

Shakespeare’s treats the theme of division of kingdom in King Lear because the ‘horror of a divided kingdom was very great in Elizabethan England and the centring of a tragic hero’s weakness in such a division of England was a common device … Read More