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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.

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Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 89
HAMLET

Do draw the inward quality after them,
To suffer all alike. That he should dream,
Knowing all measures, the full Caesar will
Answer his emptiness! Caesar, thou hast subdued
His judgement too,

they will admit that, in traversing the impatient throng of thoughts not always completely embodied, their minds move through an astonishing variety of ideas and experiences, and that a style less generally poetic than that of Hamlet is also a style more invariably dramatic. It may be that, for the purposes of tragedy, the highest point was reached during the progress of these changes, in the most critical passages of Othello, King Lear and Macbeth.

2

Suppose you were to describe the plot of Hamlet to a person quite ignorant of the play, and suppose you were careful to tell your hearer nothing about Hamlet's character, what impression would your sketch make on him? Would he not exclaim: 'What a sensational story! Why, here are some eight violent deaths, not to speak of adultery, a ghost, a mad woman, and a fight in a grave! If I did not know that the play was Shakespeare's, I should have thought it must have been one of those early tragedies of blood and horror from which he is said to have redeemed the stage'? And would he not then go on to ask: 'But why in the world did not Hamlet obey the Ghost at once, and so save seven of those eight lives?'

     This exclamation and this question both show the same thing, that the whole story turns upon the peculiar character of the hero. For without this

   1 The first, at any rate, of these three plays is, of course, much nearer to Hamlet, especially in versification, than to Antony and Cleopatra, in which Shakespeare's final style first shows itself practically complete. It has been impossible, in the brief treatment of this subject, to say what is required of the individual plays.

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