Shakespeare and Man's Mistakes Analytical Essay by Nicky

A look at how man repeats his mistakes as seen in Shakespeare's plays.
# 151579 | 1,612 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on Jun 26, 2012 in Shakespeare (Midsummer Night's Dream) , Shakespeare (Henry IV, V)

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This paper examines man's patterns of mistakes and his inability to accept, grow and not repeat them as seen in several of Shakespeare's plays. The paper cites some of these works which further support this thesis. First, the paper explores this concept in some of Shakespeare's historical plays, such as in "Henry IV" and "Henry V." The paper then analyzes why in both works, the monarchical protagonists cannot accept the mistakes they have made. Next, the paper examines "A Midsummer Night's Dream", further considering the motivation of mistakes and the way the characters decide not to assume these. The paper concludes by stating that in Shakespeare's works, both male and female characters make and do not take responsibility for their mistakes.

From the Paper:

"As one can see from this, one of the fundamental reasons for which Shakespeare depicts his manly characters as individuals who make mistakes and do not recognize them is that, while being copies of the real life characters, they face the same type of challenges which create the premises for them to be making mistakes. The monarchic character needs to be able to make the appropriate decisions in a very challenging environment and, occasionally (it is really difficult to establish that he makes mistakes as an overall rule), he is not able to make these, thus resulting in mistakes.
"The same pattern is followed in "Henry V", where the king occasionally appears more and more as an individual bound to make mistakes. However, the king has deeply changed from his characterization in some of the earlier plays, most notably from "Henry IV", and his mistakes are now overshadowed by the grandiose figure that Shakespeare creates for him and which he passes on towards the audience. Because of his numerous qualities as an exceptional leader, these mistakes tend to be overlooked. Tacitly, however, one would question the spending and challenges that such a war would produce."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Shakespeare, William. Henry IV. The Oxford Shakespeare. Oxford University Press. 1987.
  • Shakespeare, William. Henry V. Oxford School Shakespeare. Oxford University Press. 1995.
  • Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night's Dream. Acclaim Books. 1997
  • Rabkin, Norman. Shakespeare and the Problem of Meaning. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981
  • F. E. Halliday, A Shakespeare Companion 1564-1964, Baltimore, Penguin, 1964.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Shakespeare and Man's Mistakes (2012, June 26) Retrieved September 29, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Shakespeare and Man's Mistakes" 26 June 2012. Web. 29 September. 2023. <>