The Discourse of Power in Hamlet and The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Sana Ayed Chebil

Abstract


Shakespeare is widely known for his tragedies such as Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, and of course the well-known Romeo and Juliette. In his plays, there is the presence of a tragic hero who suffers from a continuous web of struggles, conflicts, and sufferings. The main events of his plays are built upon main events such as revenge and justice. However, Shakespeare’s tragedies are also dominated by power and domination that his tragic heroes enjoy to manipulate and control others, the fact that constructs a new definition for tragedy. Accordingly, his plays are known for the power of discourse that tragic heroes enjoy. A constant theme in Shakespeare’s plays is the strength and flexibility of language. Words are used to communicate ideas but can also be used to distort or conceal the truth and manipulate people to achieve power. In this article, the focus is on how Shakespearean plays, Hamlet and The Tempest, are formed in line with the discourse of power. Furthermore, the research question that is to be explored throughout the article is how the discourse of power can construct stereotypes of otherness.

 


Keywords


Discourse of power, colonial discourse, ‘Otherness’.

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