ABSTRACT

One of the main things that makes Shakespeare’s plays special is their power to make people feel particular emotions: pity, sympathy, compassion, sadness, fear, horror. But what is it about the plays that enables them to do this? What is the source of this power? The most important aspect of the tragedies (and some of the histories, such as Richard II) that accounts for this power is the nature of the actions and events that are represented.