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Love and Ethics in William Shakespeare’s Plays Essay

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The Shakespearean plays focus on love and ethics. The research focuses on some Shakespearean plays. The research delves into the love and ethics aspect of the Shakespearean texts. The Shakespearean plays include the love and strict ethical aspect of society.

Shakespeare’s stories focus on the power of love to overcome obstacles1. All of Shakespeare’s “Roman” texts deal with love or the appearance of love. The lines taken from the Shakespearean plays prove this point. For example, the Shakespeare’s play “The Rape of The Rape of Lucrece”, the text “I’ll beg her love, but she is own: The worst is but denial and reproving: My will is strong, past reason’s weak removing… Fearing some hard news from the warlike band, where beloved Collatinus lies. O, how her fear did make her color rise! (240). Another statement goes, “Love Thrives not in the heart that shadows dreadeth” (260). A third statement goes, “Then Love and Fortune be my gods, my guide! (350”). The statement clearly discusses how love permeates the air during Shakespeare’s time.

In Shakespeare’s play, Coriolanus, Shakespeare discussed love. Scene 2 of Act 1 gives a statement “Faith, there have been many great men that have flattered the people, who never loved them; and there be many that they have loved…Therefore, for Coriolanus neither to care whether they love or hate him manifests the true knowledge he has in their disposition…”. The statement clearly shows that people should fall in love with to understand how love feels. One can easily feel how heartaches are felt when love is lost.

In the Shakespeare play, Anthony and Cleopatra, scene 1 of Act 1 show the popular shakepearean text by Cleopatra, “If it is love indeed, tell me how much. Anthony replied, “How, my love?”. The story focuses on the love between Anthony and Cleopatra. Their love story is what makes Anthony and Cleopatra one of the most popular literary classics of all time.

In the Cymbeline Shakespearean play, Imogen states, “…such parting were too pretty. Look here, love: This diamond was my mother’s; take it, heart; but keep it till you woo another wife when Imogen is dead”. Imogen shows her love. Imogen is willing to allow her love to marry after Imogen’s death. Imogen does not favour her love’s looking for another partner before Imogen’s death. In the Julius Caesar Shakespearean play, Iachimo states, “Your lady is one of the fairest that i have looked upon”2. Iachimo clear knows how to express his love for the lady. In turn, the lady will be flattered by her suitor’s sweet words of love. Love is the same during Shakespeare’s time and our current generation.

In the Titus Andronicus Shakespearean play, Marcus Andrenicus states, “Dismiss your followers as suitors should, please your deserts in peace and humbleness”. The play shows that suitors are not afraid to display their love for the opposite gender. Marcus is reminded that followers are like suitors. The story states that love is synonymous with peace. The ethical and unethical texts of the Shakespearean plays offer the opportunity for meta-ethical scrutiny.

Society must strictly enforce ethical standards to ensure peace, harmony, and prosperity during Shakespeare’s time. The Shakespearean story, The Rape of Lucrece3 ethics states “contrary to the Roman laws and customs, not requiring or staying for the people’s suffrage, had possessed himself of the Kingdom…” the statement shows roman laws must be complied with at all times.

Similarly, Roman customs must be implemented in all affairs. In the Coriolanus Shakespearean play, Menenius mentioned, “confess yourselves wondrous malicious, Or be accused of folly.” The story states that a person must tell the truth at all times. Ethical standards dictate that telling lies would be punishable. Failure to comply with ethical standards will result in one’s folly. In Anthony and Cleopatra, Posthumus stated “the vows of women of no more bondage be to where they are made than they are to their virtues”. Women must obey their husbands. Women must serve their husbands. Serving their husbands is a virtue.

In the Shakespearean play, Cymbeline (320), Cymbeline stated in Shakespearean text “O disloyal thing, that should repair my youth, thou heaps a year’s age on me”. In addition, Cymbeline announced “ Thou foolish thing!, They were again together. You have done not after our command. away with her and pen her up”. Society disdains disloyalty. Disloyalty is foolishness. Violating the ethical standards will result to punishment. In the Shakespearean ply, Julius Caesar, the line “If thou hast any sound, or use of voice, speak to me. If there be any good thing to be done, they may to thee do ease, and, race to me, speak to me”.

In addition, the same Shakespearean text talks about ethics. The textbook statement goes “Our countrymen are men more ordered than when Julius smiled at their lack of skill, but found their courage worthy…”. Obedience to one’s superiors is an ethical duty. Violation would result to being a bad person. The Shakespearean play, Titus Andronicus , explains ethical standards must be adhered. The first scene (scene 1) of the plays Act 1 states “Noble Patricians, patrons of my right, defend the justice o f my cause with arms, And, countrymen, my loving followers…”. Justice is equated with ethical compliance.

Violation of ethical standards will result to penalties. People must comply with ethical standard at all times4. Based on the above discussion, the Shakespearean plays centre on love, and ethics. The research proves the plays include the love aspect. The research proves the Shakespearean texts include the strict ethical compliance aspect of the Shakespearean texts. Indeed, the Shakespearean plays incorporate the love and strict ethical aspect of society during Shakespeare’s time.

Works Cited:

Shakespeare, William, William Shakespeare: Complete Works, 1819. Web.

Shakespeare, William, The Plays of William Shakespeare, 1819. Web.

Anon, . Web.

Anon, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2021, February 23). Love and Ethics in William Shakespeare's Plays. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/love-and-ethics-in-william-shakespeares-plays/

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"Love and Ethics in William Shakespeare's Plays." IvyPanda, 23 Feb. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/love-and-ethics-in-william-shakespeares-plays/.

1. IvyPanda. "Love and Ethics in William Shakespeare's Plays." February 23, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/love-and-ethics-in-william-shakespeares-plays/.


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IvyPanda. "Love and Ethics in William Shakespeare's Plays." February 23, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/love-and-ethics-in-william-shakespeares-plays/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Love and Ethics in William Shakespeare's Plays." February 23, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/love-and-ethics-in-william-shakespeares-plays/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Love and Ethics in William Shakespeare's Plays'. 23 February.

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