Characters of Shakespeare's Plays
Independently Published, Jan 9, 2020 - 173 pages
Excerpt from Introduction--"Thus he says of Shakespeare's characters, in contradiction to what Pope had observed, and to what every one else feels, that each character is a species, instead of being an individual. He in fact found the general species or DIDACTIC form in Shakespeare's characters, which was all he sought or cared for; he did not find the individual traits, or the DRAMATIC distinctions which Shakespeare has engrafted on this general nature, because he felt no interest in them.Nothing is easier to prove than that in this world nobody ever invented anything. So it may be proved that, Johnson having written 'Great thoughts are always general', Blake had countered him by affirming (long before Hazlitt) that 'To generalize is to be an idiot. To particularize is the great distinction of merit': even as it may be demonstrable that Charles Lamb, in his charming personal chat about the Elizabethan dramatists and his predilections among them, was already putting into practice what he did not trouble to theorize. But when it comes to setting out the theory, grasping the worth of the principle, stating it and fighting for it, I think Hazlitt may fairly claim first share in the credit."
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