6. Return to tragedy
- Stanley Wells
‘Return to tragedy’ begins by looking at the plays Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. It is a tribute to the Globe playgoers that Shakespeare’s longest play—Hamlet—one of the most complex and intellectually ambitious ever written, was also one of his most popular. When the Lord Chamberlain’s Men became the King’s Men in 1603, Shakespeare’s comedies, and his work in general, took on darker tones and a new seriousness. Both Measure for Measure and All’s Well That Ends Well place their heroines in far more painful situations than those in which the central characters of the earlier comedies find themselves.