William Shakespeare's tragedies
In the years between 1602 and 1608 the great tragedies of William Shakespeare were written. They share the same, basic struggle between good and evil, and are marked by a sombre atmosphere, violence, the loss of humanity in a soul dominated by passion, ambition or pride, the agony deriving from inability to tackle events beyond ones' powers, and finally the pursuit of evil for its owns sake.
The heroes of these plays are unforgettable. Hamlet's agony, old King Lear's foolish inability to recognise good from evil, Iago's relish for evil which leads him to take over Othello's mind and totally destroy him, Macbeth's awareness of the monstrosity or his crime and inability to repent, are just the most famous achievements is Shakespeare's creative genius and will always stir the emotions of people.
The comedies written in this period are tinged with bitterness and pessimism; these "problem" comedies, as they are called, hardly arouse any laughter. It is not hazardous to suppose that in this moment of his life, Shakespeare experienced the evil of which human nature can be capable.