A Short Analysis of Virginia Woolf’s ‘The String Quartet’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘The String Quartet’ was published in Virginia Woolf’s short-story collection Monday or Tuesday in 1921. As we remarked in our summary of the story on Tuesday, it’s one of Woolf’s strongest evocations of music and its links to memory and imagination. You can read ‘The String Quartet’ here before proceeding to our analysis of the story below.

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A Short Analysis of Virginia Woolf’s ‘Blue and Green’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘Blue and Green’ is the collective title of two very short sketches Virginia Woolf included in her 1921 collection of short fiction, Monday or Tuesday. On Tuesday (oddly enough), we offered a short summary of these two sketches; now it’s time to attempt some words of analysis. You can read ‘Blue and Green’ in full by clicking on the link to our summary above.

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A Summary and Analysis of Hamlet’s ‘O that this too too solid flesh would melt’ soliloquy

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Hamlet’s first soliloquy in Shakespeare’s play, the speech beginning ‘O, that this too too solid flesh would melt’ (in some editions, ‘O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt’ while, in some others, ‘O, that this too too sallied flesh would melt’) is one of the most famous speeches in the play, and as with all of Hamlet’s soliloquies, the language requires some unpacking.

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A Short Analysis of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth

By Dr Oliver Tearle

Macbeth is, along with the character of Iago in Othello and his earlier portrayal of Richard III, William Shakespeare’s most powerful exploration and analysis of evil. Although we can find precursors to Macbeth in the murderer-turned-conscience-stricken-men of Shakespeare’s earlier plays – notably the conspirator Brutus in Julius Caesar and Claudius in Hamlet Macbeth provides us with a closer and more complex examination of how a brave man with everything going for him might be corrupted by ambition and goading into committing an act of murder.

It’s worth examining how Shakespeare creates such a powerful depiction of one man persuaded to do evil and then wracked by his conscience for doing so. What follows is a short analysis, but one which attempts to address some of the key – not to mention the most interesting – aspects of Macbeth. You can read our summary of Macbeth here.

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A Short Analysis of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

George Bernard Shaw held All’s Well That Ends Well in high regard, having what Frank Kermode described as a ‘perverse’ admiration for it. Samuel Taylor Coleridge called Helena, the heroine of All’s Well That Ends Well, Shakespeare’s ‘loveliest character’ while the Victorian actress Ellen Terry called her ‘despicable’ and a ‘doormat’. Samuel Johnson went so far as to compare Parolles, the play’s chief comic character, with the mighty Falstaff.

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