Shakespeare and Human Nature

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Shakespeare and Human Nature
by Lady Camelot

Isn't it peculiar how human nature evolves through environmental and socialogical conditions? It is evident that we, as Human beings, tend to characterize our capabilities, strengths and emotional intelligence through bonds of society. As we encounter diverse walks of life we have a bizarre and acute tendency to create new personalities. Through human nature, we unintentionally become one with our counterparts. One can travel East to West, North to South and eventually evolution of the mind and soul takes its natural course.

Although differences exist, we enable ourselves to find common bonds of life in general. In doing so, we can interrelate with each other and attain goals that apart, are seemingly impossible. In doing so, great undertakings are initiated. We revolutionize our world through interaction and coexistence.

Even the most minute action creates an affect. In human nature, we attract those that mirror ourselves in small ways. By relating to past and present circumstances, we shape our world of tomorrow. Like clay, we mold ourselves to the structures that be. Perhaps chameleons display the best sense of human nature as they cleverly and instantaneously blend with their surroundings. Not only is this an excellent manuever to avoid danger, it is also a profound way to "fit in" and become one with its immediate environment.

Human nature never ceases amazement. We nurture ourselves with spirituality, duality and even complacency at times, but throughout life , we always manage to grow from our experiences. We learn acceptance and emotional understanding through our compelling desire to "be." Shakespeare's haunting & elusive words, " be or not to be...that is the question..." is the most profound phrase in human history. All human nature revolves around this particular piece of artistry - " be or not to be..." Shakespeare querried all Mankind.

Human nature is intriquitely defined by its owner. If we wish to merely exist, then exist we do. But if we take his question to a higher state of mind, we find life's perfect answer: Mankind's nature is to evolve. Not only to simply exist but to assure nonextinction of our species. We must use our natural instincts and capabilities to overcome and conquer. That, as in all things, must mature and ripen to a state of wholeness. Human nature may fool those and lure unsuspecting travelers of time, but the higher truth of human nature is the self exploration of life and the ability to broaden horizons of the self or "alter ego" and other individuals so they, too may come to see and equally realize the unequivocal and honest meaning of life.

Yes, Shakespeare conquered literature with his defined works of human nature; but the question he asks of us still confuses even the most intelligent and collegiate individuals of our time. In this day and age, we have a choice "to be or not to be." This is no longer an inquiry but an option. We, as Humans, must choose the path of higher truth and awareness. By remaining unattached, we choose not to fully exist. A play of words can tantalize the senses, but Human nature can enrich the world in which we live. The choice is yours.

(c) Lady Camelot

About the Author

LadyCamelot currently serves as the Public Relations' Director for Holistic - Your Pathway to Discovery - A community of people interested in all things holistic. Here, you will find what you need; share what you know; discuss what you're not sure about. Create your own web site, participate in online forums (over 80 categories), peruse the Business Directory, publish your original articles, opinions, artwork, and so much more.


Jaci 23.04.2013. 18:15

What is Shakespeare's view on the self, or humankind, based on his writings? Looking at Hamlet specifically, what did Shakespeare think of human nature?
I know Shakespeare was influenced by the spirit of his time, that being The Enlightenment. Was he not also a large contributer to skepticism? Michel de Montaigne lived during that time as well, and is considered the father of skepticism, and that he and Shakespeare shared that view to some degree.


Admin 23.04.2013. 18:15

Looking at only hamlet hey would have thought very lowely about it. He constantly points out how equal and useless all humans are despite there postion and power. He is shows us the evil of man but yet he is just as evil. Shakespeare did this to show even the best of us are very bad. He had little tolerance for humans and thought that we has humans were very evil and selfish. Think about all the characters in hamlet think of the massive faults in each of them, greed suicidal, vengeance, lust, bystanders. Pick a character and I bet you can find 1, if not more then 1 major fault in him or her.


kellbell1706 04.09.2007. 14:03

What pieces of literature reveal something about human nature? I am trying to think of examples of great literature (classic or modern) that reveal something about human nature or "why people do what they do". The only thing I can think of is with Lord of the Rings. Sam and Frodo went on that terrible journey and Frodo sacrificed himself because they're so "good" and of course they truimphed over evil for the greater good, the rest of the world, but paid a terrible price. any ideas? This may be confusing but it's hard to put into words what I'm looking for.


Admin 04.09.2007. 14:03

There are so many, it would be difficult to choose just a few, but here is my shot.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck: This book delves into the actions of several characters and explains the "why" of each quite well.

Shakespeare's Othello does a great job with Iago, Othello and Desdemona. Jealousy and envy are explored beautifully.

Macbeth and the abuse of power and how unbridled ambition can destroy the ambitious is great. It reminds me of Nixon.

A Catcher in the Rye in a few pages really explores Holden Caulfield's motivation. Why does he swear so much in one environment, but tries to erase the graffiti from his sister's school. Why does he hire the prostitute and then run from her? Why does this obviously very smart young man flunk out of school after school after school? These are good questions that are answered well in so very few pages.


manith_bk 20.09.2007. 02:48

how do you account for the depth of human cruelty? and what current events reveal a similar capacity cruelty in human nature?

thank for ur answer. i really appreciate your time.


Admin 20.09.2007. 02:48

We are animals. All of us. By our standards, animals are cruel. By animals' standards, they are just doing what comes naturally. Unlike other animals, humans have had the capacity to establish standards of behaviour - ethics, morals, codes of conduct, etc.. A cynic might say that this development was possible because the potential victims were more numerous than potential predators, and mere numbers are also a strength.
Civilization, for all its magnificent accomplishments, is, through this vision, a fascade. When events are sufficient to pull down the scenery, the play is over and the long-waiting fangs are bared.
Current events are a mere tick of the clock in human history. 400 years ago, Shakespeare spoke of "letting slip the dogs of war". There is, as Shakespeare also said, "nothing new under the sun".


Mel D 19.08.2008. 08:08

How would you set out an essay on Shakespeare's tragedy Othello? For a Tragedy to be Effective, the Audience must recognize in the Hero, the Vulnerable Qualities of Human Nature. Discuss how this has been achieved in Othello.

Im so stuckk ><"

Mel D

Admin 19.08.2008. 08:08

I think part of why you're stuck is because your prompt is incredibly general. Concentrate on something more specific that still kind of relates to the more general question you're trying to answer (hopefully something that you find interesting). DON'T write an essay that's as general as the prompt. DON'T say something like "This play is tragic because Othello is jealous, and you can see it the whole time, and this is what eventually leads to his downfall." This is obvious, and won't make and interesting paper. Focus on a specific scene, or maybe Othello's interactions with another character, and discuss the tragic qualities of these moments. To attempt anything more general is to bite off more than you can chew if you want to do a thorough job.


Kevin 17.11.2012. 14:32

How does absolute power corrupt in Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Coriolanus? I have to write an essay with this quote, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." I need to discuss how those three characters provide evidence of the quote. I am not really good with essays at all so if you already wrote this, could you please share it with me or something as a reference to get help!? I am looking for at least 4-5 reasons why each character is corrupt except Coriolanus because he wanted the power for honor not corruption. Heres my essay:

It is in human nature that the more power one desires the more corrupt actions one must do to attain it. In Shakespeare?s tragedy of Macbeth, a Scottish noble whose craving for power leads him to do terrible deeds that leads to his demise. Shakespeare shows that power corrupts by using Macbeth who corrupts under the thought of have power over others. Macbeth becomes corrupt under the thought of becoming king and gaining almost complete control over the people that he rules. Macbeth wants the power badly enough to do horrible deeds such as commit regicide. Lady Macbeth becomes very ambitious and allows herself to become seduced to the idea of becoming Queen. Her ruthlessness urges Macbeth to commit regicide by questioning his love for her and his own manhood. ?Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.? (John Acton) In most cases, power tends to corrupt, but in Coriolanus?


Admin 17.11.2012. 14:32

When Macbeth becomes Thane of Cawdor he realizes all the power he could have. For example, Macbeth says, ?My murderous thought is still only imaginary but it shakes my entire manhood so deeply that my power to act is smothered by expectation, and nothing seems real to be except what I imagine.?(Act 1 scene 3 lines 149-151). Although at first Macbeth wants to kill King Duncan but he is scared to. He does it anyway. He kills King Duncan so he can get his place of power.

Lady Macbeth
She is the one who encourages Macbeth to kill King Duncan. The reason she does this is because she wants more power and wants to become queen. Lady Macbeth encourages him by saying things like ??look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under it?(act 1 scene 5 lines 72-73). By saying this, she is encouraging him to kill people in order to become king. Macbeth has some fears about killing the king but Lady Macbeth questions his manliness by telling him that if he was a real man, he would kill him.

Not sure about Coriolanus though.


saraheliz 07.06.2009. 02:22

What shakespeare quote do you think has the biggest impact on the world today? I'm doing a project on him and I need a quote...
I think it would be better not to use one of his biggest ones like "To be or not to be" or "Romeo, o, romeo."

thanks & i appreciate your time.

my report is on why he's had a big impact on our world from...
-human nature
-new ideas.

thanks so much again! <3


Admin 07.06.2009. 02:22

Oh to be a glove upon that hand
that I may touch that face. R+J

I look to like if looking liking move. R+J

I love thy majesty according to my bond. No more nor less. King Lear


Anonymous 13.12.2008. 23:44

What is Shakespeare trying to say? I have to write an essay about what I think Shakespeare is trying to express about honesty in Othello, and how that relates to human nature. I've thought about it for awhile and I cannot come up with anything insightful.

Help would be greatly appreciated.
I have tried looking at essays, but they are mostly summaries, nothing that I can write a persuasive essay on.


Admin 13.12.2008. 23:44

Honesty means nothing against a hard heart

Why did Iago's words carry more weight than desdimona's? Because Othello believed, in his own heart of hearts, that desdimona could NEVER be trusted


sunil 08.04.2013. 09:43

If there is nothing in name than why people prefer and tend to adopt the old/original/local name? One of the most famous quote of Shakespeare is "What is in name? A rose by any other name would have the same beauty and fragrance". But in reality the human nature is in total contrast to what this English writer said. Almost all African countries have adopted their original old names. In Asia also Sri Lanka, Myanmar, China and several other countries have adopted their original names. If there is nothing in name then why there is such tendency to adopt the old/original name?


Admin 08.04.2013. 09:43

in my opinion, either shakespeare was himself mistaken, or is mistakenly interpreted.
I think in a world where everyone seems to have a need to identify with something, everything is in a name.
Identity gives purpose.


samantha 26.09.2012. 00:31

How do you think Shakespeare viewed human nature? Do you think he was pessimistic, optimistic, or something else entirely?


Admin 26.09.2012. 00:31

With Sympathy. He understood why we do the things we do and he empathised with that because he was just as human and flawed as the people he wrote about.


trac 29.03.2009. 15:33

One of the paradoxes of the play hamlet is that hamlet, is the hero of one plot, and the villian of the other? This realization reflects directly the duality of human nature. What other characters does Shakespeare use to advance similar notations? How?


Admin 29.03.2009. 15:33

Ophelia displays great intelligence at first, propelling herself into the plot and proving to be an excellent schemer and having great wit, yet in the end she becomes insane.



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