A Shakespearean tragedy usually involves the following:
- A seemingly admirable protagonist who falls from grace and into doom due to a fatal flaw in his/her character.
- A fair majority of the main characters dying.
It was between 1601 and 1608 that the world first beheld Shakespeare's tragic magna opera, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth,and Antony & Cleopatra. It is in these plays that we see Shakespeare at the zenith of his tragic sensibilities. Each of his central protagonists are, he makes clear, as capable of astounding good as they are of ineffable evil. The playwright insists always on the operation of the doctrine of free will; always, the (anti)hero is able to back out, to redeem himself. But, the author dictates, they must move unheedingly to their doom.
List of tragedies by William Shakespeare:
- Romeo and Juliet
- King Lear
- Titus Andronicus
- The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
- Antony and Cleopatra
- The History of Troilus and Cressida
- The Life of Timon of Athens
N.B. The publication dates given are not exact. They are estimates based on recent scholarship.