Shakespeare as a Tragedy Writer or Tragedian

Question: Evaluate William Shakespeare as a Tragedy Writer or Tragedian.


William Shakespeare is one of the most famous writers in English literature who is known for writing tragedies. Some consider Shakespeare’s play Hamlet to be the best play of all time. Some of the popular tragedies written by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and King Lear. All these tragedies are widely studied and performed. Here Shakespeare will be evaluated as a tragedian.

Elements of Shakespeare’s tragedy

As a tragedian, Shakespeare showed his skill in writing tragedies. Some common elements of Shakespearean tragedy are:

  • Fatal Error – All the heroes of Shakespeare’s tragedy have personality weaknesses that eventually lead to their downfall.
  • The Fall of Nobility – Many men in Shakespeare’s Tragedy have the ultimate wealth and power, which makes their downfall even more tragic.
  • External Pressure – Shakespeare’s tragic heroes are often subjected to external pressures from others, such as evil spirits and manipulative characters who play a role in their downfall.
  • Heroes – Heroes have a chance to be released but do not take advantage of them in time, which leads to death.

Versatile feature of Shakespeare’s tragedy

On the planet of literature, Shakespeare is none other than a versatile genius. His tragedies usually share several features, including:

  • Shakespeare’s tragedies begin in an orderly society but end in chaos. Change is often reflected by changes in the environment, storms, or other phenomena in the natural world.
  • The audience often builds sympathy for the protagonist.
  • The protagonist is usually a person of good character who is destroyed by his own ego or desire for self-improvement.

Two types of Shakespeare’s tragedy

Shakespeare’s tragedies were written throughout his career, starting with Titus Andronicus and Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare’s tragedies can be divided into two parts. Some of his tragedies centered on love, such as Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, and Othello. Each of these tragedies involves lovers who are separated for some reason. These tragedies involve characters who have no control over their fate and are isolated by things beyond their control. These are unofficially known as the ‘Heart’ tragedy. Shakespeare’s ‘Head’ tragedies are reminiscent of the Greek philosopher Aristotle’s theory of dramatic tragedy. In a ‘head’ tragedy, the fatally flawed protagonist, or main character, is capable of free will but often his positive traits are overcome by ego. Othello and Troilus and Cressida are considered by some experts to be the tragedy of the heart or head of the borderline because they combine elements of love and drama.

Art of characterization

Shakespeare’s tragedies and his plays generally have different types of female characters. They affect other characters but are underestimated. Women have always played an important role in Shakespearean plays, sometimes leading roles. In respect of male characters, it just can be said that Shakespeare’s plays including tragedies completely depend on the protagonist. In a nutshell, the plot of the tragedy revolves around the characters.

The universal appeal

Shakespeare is unique and unforgettable not only as a tragedian but also as a writer. In all of his writings, Shakespeare has focused on the philosophy of human nature that leads him to the pinnacle of success. Macbeth’s high ambition adopting illegal ways, Hamlet’s delay in action, King Lear’s fondness for flattery, Caesar’s jingoism, and so on have scattered the message that a normal way of life brings about richness and happiness.


William Shakespeare is one of the most popular writers in English literature. Many of Shakespeare’s plays are considered tragedies because they are structured in a way that ultimately leads to the death of the central character. The protagonists of Shakespeare’s plays usually go through character changes due to their own fatal flaws, external pressures, and lust for power. Some of Shakespeare’s tragedies are popular and widely recognized, such as Hamlet, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet, others less popular, such as Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus, and Timon of Athens. Despite their various levels of popularity, Shakespeare’s tragedies are considered classics in English literature.

SR Sarker
SR Sarker
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