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Book Review People like to put things into categories Movie critics do so with films slasherbuddywestern war and more You can do the same with books science fiction gothic romance and so on Shakespeares plays also have categories tragedies comedies and histories But these terms dont mean exactly what you may think they mean Shakespeares most famous plays are his tragedies such as Hamlet These plays follow the standard rules for tragedies The hero has a basic human failure that brings about his downfall and death but before he dies he learns an important lesson about his failure and how it destroyed his life and usually the lives of those he loved Shakespeare didnt write these plays to deliver a moral message butthat doesnt stop us from learning from his plays He fills his plays with ordinary people and we can see ourselves in their situations When the heroes face their tragic ends we can learn from their mistakes and ordinary problems and we can see ourselves with the same problems At the same time we can watch a play that is fun and entertaining full of action intrigue and excitement Hamlet for example is clearly an honest decent person who is wrongly cheated out of the throne of Denmark by his conniving uncle Claudius We root for Hamlet cheer his triumphs and pity his failures The protagonist is not always a hero though Sometimes he is his own worst enemy Coriolanus for example is too proud He is a great Roman general the best and he knows it His arrogance and conceit affect all around him and drive away those who would be his friends In the end you almost cheer when they
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