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Shakespearean Tragedy Tragedies defined as a story in which a bloodline, or inheritance line, is ended (through death). Comedies, conversely, end in creation of heirs. Comedy Chaos ---> Order Tragedy Order --> Chaos Either way, we end up with a steamy pile of bodies at the end, sometimes it moves more than others though.
Over time, dehumanization and continued oppression leads to internalization , the process by which the victims begin taking on the traits forced on them by the oppressors.
*Research suggests that internalization of oppression leads to withdrawal, depression and substance abuse in victims We see this is alcoholism in Native Americans, crack addiction in inner-city black communities and methamphetamine abuse in gays and lesbians.
Dramatic irony, a favorite of Shakespeare and most other dramatists, is the difference between what a character experiences and what we as an audience experience.
As outside observers, we a privy to the lies and deceit of the villain, while the protagonist is in the dark When Romeo kills himself in grief, thinking Juliet is dead, while we all know that she is just comatose/asleep, we are experiencing dramatic irony.
This is not the only possible social commentary in Shakespeare’s works.
The Merchant of Venice, often misconstrued as anti-Semitic, is actually a commentary on discrimination against Jews.
In addition to the “Dark Lady” Shakespeare wrote a number of sonnets possibly targeted at a male lover/romantic interest/patron of his.
Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and (possibly) Romeo & Juliet all contain allusions to, or commentary on, the ending of same-sex unions in favor of heteronormative coupling.