Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

Table of ContentsPrevious PageNext Page

Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 443

position of Othello, the less likely would be the recurrence of ideas or words used in that play.




     That these two plays are near akin in character, and probably in date, is recognized by many critics now; and I will merely add here a few references to the points of resemblance mentioned in the text (p. 246), and a few notes on other points.

     (1) The likeness between Timon's curses and some of the speeches of Lear in his madness is, in one respect, curious. It is natural that Timon, speaking to Alcibiades and two courtesans, should inveigh in particular against sexual vices and corruption, as he does in the terrific passage IV. vi. 82-166; but why should Lear refer at length, and with the same loathing, to this particular subject (IV. vi. 112-132)? It almost looks as if Shakespeare were expressing feelings which oppressed him at this period of his life.

     The idea may be a mere fancy, but it has seemed to me that this preoccupation, and sometimes this oppression, are traceable in other plays of the period from about 1602 to 1605 (Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida, All's Well, Othello); while in earlier plays the subject is handled less, and without disgust, and in later plays (e.g. Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter's Tale, Cymbeline) it is also handled, however freely, without this air of repulsion (I omit Pericles because the authorship of the brothel-scenes is doubtful).

     (2) For references to the lower animals, similar to those in King Lear, see especially Timon, I. i. 259; II. ii. 180; III. vi. 103 f.; IV. i. 2, 36; IV. iii. 49 f., 177 ff., 325 ff. (surely a passage written or, at the least, re-written by Shakespeare), 392, 426 f. I ignore the constant abuse of the dog in the conversations where Apemantus appears.

     (3) Further points of resemblance are noted in the text at pp. 246, 247, 310, 326, 327, and many likenesses in word, phrase and idea might be added, of the type of the parallel

Table of ContentsPrevious PageNext Page