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|Title:||Idealists, Realists and Cynics in Timon of Athens and Troilus and Cressida|
|Advisor:||Brennan, A. S.|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>It is suggested that Shakespeare reveals in his work a continuing interest in the variety of human responses to societies whose members no longer adhere to traditional social and moral values. It is maintained that in certain plays the emphasis lies more on these responses and their implications than on the unique personalities of the characters themselves. In such plays the primary interest of the poet is seen to be in a triadic division of attitudes towards and responses to the same social conditions. The characters exhibiting these attitudes are here referred to as idealists, realists and cynics. It is argued that idealists are presented as being admirable in some respects but inadequate as leaders of their respective societies and often ultimately dangerous both to themselves and to their fellow citizens. It is further argued that cynics are portrayed as fulfilling no positive function in their societies and are even destructive insofar as they foster their own negative attitudes in others. The point is made that the realists can be seen to serve both their own interests and the interests of their societies and may therefore be best fitted for leadership under the prevailing social conditions. It is acknowledged that Shakespeare's realists are on occasion to be found in situations where no moderate; realistic solutions are possible. These general hypotheses are first briefly examined in relation to King John, The First Part of King Henry IV, King, Henry V and Coriolanus. They are then examined more thoroughly in Timon of Athens and Troilus and Cressida in which, it is maintained, the triadic division of attitudes involving idealism, realism and cynicism may be most clearly perceived.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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