Tag Archives: W.H. Auden

“The Tempest ends, like the other plays in Shakespeare’s last period, in reconciliation and forgiveness. But the ending in The Tempest is grimmer, and the sky is darker…”

The Tempest Act Four, Part Two By Dennis Abrams —————————- From Auden: “Falstaff’s kingdom is made up of Stephano, Trinculo, and Caliban. Trinculo recalls all of Shakespeare’s earlier clowns, Stephano resembles Sir Toby Belch, and Caliban recollects both Bottom and … Continue reading

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“This island’s mine, by Sycorax my mother,/Which thou tak’st from me.”

The Tempest Act One, Part One By Dennis Abrams ————- MAJOR CHARACTERS Prospero, the deposed Duke of Milan, living in banishment on an island Miranda, Prospero’s daughter Antonio, Prospero’s brother, the usurping Duke of Milan Alonso, King of Naples Sebastian, … Continue reading

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“I saw her once/Hop forty paces through the public street;/And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted/That she did make defect perfection,/And, breathless, power breathe forth”

Antony and Cleopatra Act Two, Part Three By Dennis Abrams —————————————— From Mark Van Doren: “Once [Cleopatra] fails to see through [Antony], but that is when he is acting for men only and she does not catch the style. As … Continue reading

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“Take, but good note, and you shall see in him/The Triple pillar of the world transform’d/Into a strumpet’s fool: behold and see.”

Antony and Cleopatra Act One, Part Two By Dennis Abrams  ————————– A couple of observations: 1.  G. Wilson Knight called Antony and Cleopatra “probably the subtlest and great play in Shakespeare,” adding “This is the high metaphysic of love which … Continue reading

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“I had rather be set quick i’th’earth,/And bowled to death with turnips.”

The Merry Wives of Windsor Act Three By Dennis Abrams —————————- Act Three:  the duel between Caius and Evans fails to occur when the Host of the Garter sends them to different places; reconciled, the two men agree to be … Continue reading

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You define who you are by your reaction to Falstaff…Those who do not care for Falstaff are in love with time, death, the state, and the censor.”

Introduction to Henry IV, Part Two By Dennis Abrams Is it possible for a sequel (other than The Godfather, Part Two of course) equal the original?  In the case of Henry IV, Part Two, the answer is a resounding yes. … Continue reading

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“It is difficult to imagine that a historical play as good as Henry IV will ever again be written.”

An Introduction to Henry IV, Part One By Dennis Abrams “No play of Shakespeare’s is better than Henry IV…History as a dramatic form ripens here to a point past which no further growth is possible.” If Richard II is a … Continue reading

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