Tragedy “Teacheth the Uncertainty of this World.”
Dr. Gassim H. Dohal

In The Defense of Poesy, Sir Philip Sidney argues that tragedy “teacheth the uncertainty of this world.” I will explore this statement in three important tragedies: Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, and King Lear. In these tragedies, there is the element of risk that is unpredictable, and has no measurable probability. Uncertainty, found in these works, may range from a falling short of certainty to an almost complete lack of definite knowledge especially about an outcome or result of an action or decision taken by a major character in the work in question. In major cases, it appears as if everything were taking place without a prior plan. In the titles I mentioned above, if any of the major characters knows the outcome of his/her decision in advance, s/he will not take such a decision. In my paper, I will demonstrate how the main characters’ risks in their actions have consequences in their lives and affect their future.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v3n1a16