Front cover image for Shakespeare's tragic skepticism

Shakespeare's tragic skepticism

"Readers of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies have long noted the absence of readily explainable motivations for some of Shakespeare's greatest characters: Why does Hamlet delay his revenge for so long? Why does King Lear choose to renounce his power? Why is Othello so vulnerable to Iago's malice? But while many critics have chosen to overlook these omissions or explain them away, Millicent Bell demonstrates that they are essential elements of Shakespeare's philosophy of doubt. Examining Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra, Millicent Bell reveals the persistent strain of philosophical skepticism that runs throughout Shakespeare's plays. Like his contemporary Montaigne, Shakespeare repeatedly calls attention to the essential unknowability of our world."--Jacket
Print Book, English, ©2002
Yale University Press, New Haven, ©2002
xvii, 283 pages ; 22 cm
9780300092554, 0300092555
Introduction: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth
Hamlet, revenge!
Othello's jealousy
"Unaccommodated" Lear
Macbeth's deeds
The Roman frame