Shakespearean Tragedy by A.C. Bradley

What can one say about A.C. Bradley’s ( Shakespearean Tragedy? This is a masterpiece of literary criticism that has enriched and influenced generations of students and lovers of Shakespeare since its publication in 1904. There is a beautiful lyrical poise and scholarly self-assurance in the work which makes one go back to read again (I first read it in 1978 and it’s extremely dog-earred now).

The volume comprises lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth. The lasting achievement, though, is that it gives the reader a sense of vitalty and relevance to their own lives. Shakespeare is smack in the centre of the canon for the very reason he was able to articulate universal truths about human life in the most sublime poetry. Bradley makes you feel these truths very close up and personally.

Andrew Cecil Bradley in Liverpool in 1891

480 pages in Penguin Classics paperback edition.

ISBN 978-0140530193

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