Vinsamlegast notið þetta auðkenni þegar þið vitnið til verksins eða tengið í það: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/40318
This paper analyses four of Shakespeare's plays with the aim of examining the function of otherness and its role as a dramatic device that establishes the identities and purpose of characters. Chapter 1 examines otherness in the form of madness in Hamlet. Starting with Hamlet's original state of grief as a point of alterity, it investigates the further alienation of his character through his adopted mask of madness. Ophelia's mad alterity is then examined both through her speech and social exclusion. The combined effects of Hamlet and Ophelia's madness are then examined as a correlative alterity and as a driving force for conflict. This is followed by analysis, in Chapter II of The Tempest and Caliban´s monstrous alterity in its historical context as a representative of both Africans and Native Americans. Caliban´s existence as a metaphor for these groups is explored as a means of portraying his villainy and general antithesis to everything good in the European narrative. Finally, in Chapter III the thesis explores the subject of animality in 1 Henry IV and A Midsummer Night's Dream through the scope and how it is used as a means of conveying social status, as a means of exerting political power, and as derogatory characteristic of certain characters. In 1 Henry IV, the relationship between King Henry and Hal is examined through Henry's use of animalistic language to imply Hal´s inferiority. It also discusses the relationship between Falstaff and Hal by observing Falstaff as the animalistic and inferior father figure who stands in opposition to King Henry on the other end of the social hierarchy. Meanwhile, the analysis of A Midsummer Night's Dream focuses primarily on Oberon´s exertion of his royal authority on Titania. This is done by first examining Bottom´s inferior social status through animalistic language and Titania´s established inferiority to Oberon through her association with the animalistic Bottom.
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