Shakespearean Tragedy Author:A.C. Bradley This has for almost a century been, and continues to be today, one of the most important books on Shakespeare's best and most popular tragedies. For much of the time since around 1930, it has been severely criticised: on the grounds, chiefly, that the author is too much inclined to respect or have sympathy for the heroes (which he is), and that ... more »he treats them too much like "real" people (which he does, and which they aren't).
Yet, for all that, Bradley's approach to the heroes as though they were characters we all know has revealed a great deal about what Shakespeare has made those characters, and those who see the characters as complex and psychologically worth exploring identify a more significant aspect of Shakespeare's interest in humans and his art than do many of Bradley's opponents. Moreover, the detail of his examinations of the texts makes it possible to probe much with him, even if one continues to question or quarrel with him on the way (and he is not infrequently demonstrably wrong). Thus this remains a work of criticism which is inspirational and searching even if at times quite wrongheaded; and every serious reader of Shakespeare (including actors and directors) should read this book and own it.« less