Download e-book for kindle: A new chapter in the history of Greek tragedy by Denys Lionel Page

By Denys Lionel Page

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Sample text

But that he must do it against his will, because the partisan relations through which he had arisen, and his participation in the execution of the king, had stirred the hearts of the conservative against him; that the great hero from the pressure which his earlier life had laid upon him, could not wrest himself free from his office, this makes the shadow which fell upon his life through his unlawful reign, tragic for us. That Conradin, child of the Hohenstaufens, gathered a horde, and was slain in Italy by his adversary, this is not in itself dramatic, and in no sense of the word tragic.

Of course, Clavigo is not opened with the rattle of the drum, nor William Tell with the quarrelling of children in the quiet life of the household; a brief excited movement, adapted to the piece, conducts without violence to the more quiet exposition. Occasionally this first exciting strain in Shakespeare, to whom his stage allowed greater liberty, is separated from the succeeding exposition by a scenic passage. Thus in Hamlet, a court scene follows it; in Macbeth, the entrance of Duncan and the news of the battle.

But that he must do it against his will, because the partisan relations through which he had arisen, and his participation in the execution of the king, had stirred the hearts of the conservative against him; that the great hero from the pressure which his earlier life had laid upon him, could not wrest himself free from his office, this makes the shadow which fell upon his life through his unlawful reign, tragic for us. That Conradin, child of the Hohenstaufens, gathered a horde, and was slain in Italy by his adversary, this is not in itself dramatic, and in no sense of the word tragic.

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A new chapter in the history of Greek tragedy by Denys Lionel Page


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