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Romeo and Juliet

The plot, set in Verona, is characterized by lot of unexpected coincidences, and that’s not the most mature tragedy. What happens come from man’s decision and in this sense Shakespeare is a real renaissance author. It’s not faith, destinity, something over the people, like god and goddess that decides. The heroes (not the minor characters) and heroines decides what they can make, they choose and the consequences are reflected on themselves.
Romeo is a much more conventional character, that declare his love in a courts way but Juliet is modern as she refuses to get married with Paris.

Richard III

The plot is based on famous English characters and refers to events not so far, about whom people have heard, something quite recent.
Richard is a violent character, a murder and this is a reason of the popularity of this play, as people loved bloody plots. He had the great ability to manipulate people and the reality. In the line for the throne there was 6 people before him and he eliminated them all.

Shakespeare isn’t a historic writer, but a playwright, his character is just based on the real one, as the author wanted to beat people sensibility with R.’s deformity and cruelty. Moreover Shakespeare needed to please the monarch, for obtain money patronage and protection. when S. wrote this drama, Elizabeth was the queen and it’s clear why he emphasizes the dark side of this historical enemy of the Tudor family.
The main theme is the extreme longing for power, but also the difference between reality and appearance. At that time in England here was the common belief that the monarch ruled for divine will, for a god design and so their decisions couldn’t be questioned.


Set in Denmark, is the longest and most famous tragedy.
Written between two periods, uses elements of both: heroes always decides their fortune but the presence of witch and ghosts is a medieval element. The plays begins outside the castle: Hamlet is called by sentinels that have seen an apparition. The spirit asks for revenge, and the protagonist decide to pretend to be mad for hide himself.
Hamlet don’t believe in humanity anymore and he knows that the story won’t have a happy ending.
He compares Clodius to his father and is tormented by doubt of his mother’s role in the murder. Refuses Ophelia a character very naïf, daughter of a courtier, Polonius. He tells to this very young girl that he loved before that she’d better to go in a monastery.
It could look like the standard revenge plot but Shakespeare goes beyond, adding the theme of appearance: although Clodius is a villain, he seems to have restored the power in the country

Moreover, there is a story in the story, a play in the play, as a company of actors arrive at Clodius’ court and Hamlet, that is the typical intellectual prince of the renaissance, decides to use them to push the murderer to confess. He writes some extra lines for a scene very similar to his father murder hoping to induce Clodius to reveal himself, and this gives Shakespeare the opportunity to say something about the aim (the function) of the theatre. In this sense is much more than a tragedy.
In the development we can watch characters under more perspective, learning something more about their appearance. The theme of madness is represented in the pretended one of Hamlet and the real one of Ophelia.
Hamlet problem is that he always thinks too much before act.

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