Essay On Middle Ages
1. In sonnet 29, Shakespeare describes the state of true despair and misery. The envy to others’ pleasures and well-being is also present in this sonnet. However, everything changes when Shakespeare (1990) turns his thoughts to his muse: “Haply I think on thee, and then my state, / Like to the lark at break of day arising / From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate”. This experience is familiar to me as well as emotions put in the sonnet by the author. Grief and despair become replaced with joy and hope, and vice versa.
2. The story of Guinevere and Lancelot is a demonstrative example of the “shame culture” where the main hero lives in a society that sets honor and shame as the highest values (Malory & Vinaver, 1953). In other words, a reputation of a good man is the highest possession in such society, and shame represents the life fool of bad choices. The theme of the “shame society” can be traced in numerous chivalric romances and epic novels. However, there is a difference between chivalric hero and epic hero. Chivalric hero often lives in the ideal world where the only choice is between right and wrong, justice and injustice. On the contrast, epic hero encounters with a variety of grey areas where the right decision is not always the most fair or moral. This often makes epic stories more dramatic and realistic.
3. Hamlet is undoubtedly a tragic figure who gets into series of dramatic events that change his life entirely and lead him to tragic end. In Shakespeare’s play, he is represented as a noble man whose motives are determining and dramatic in their nature. One of Hamlet’s major features is his faith in the power of words and language that he believes would help him to get the edge on his foes. However, this belief eventually leads Hamlet to death as the world is a cruel place where words often mean nothing compared to the power of money, connections, and status. The same thing often happens with modern romantics who face the ruthless reality.
Shakespeare, W. (1990). The Sonnets. Champaign, Ill: Project Gutenberg.
Malory, T., & Vinaver, E. (1953). Lancelot & Guinevere. London: Folio Society.