Structuralism is a method of intellectual analysis (or “mode of thought”) employed by a number of French symbolists, literary critics, anthropologists, philosophers, and psychologists who, since the 1960’s have been called “structuralists”. Though structuralism has no common vocabulary or specific doctrines, some structuralists employ interdisciplinary approaches in an attempt to develop an … [Read more...]


The term, post-structuralism, is sometimes used almost interchangeably with deconstruction, while, at other times it is seen as a more general, umbrella term which describes a movement of which one important element is deconstruction. Thus Richard Harland, for example, suggests that post-structuralists fall into three main groups: the Tel Quel (a French journal) group of Jaques Derrida, Julia … [Read more...]


Words are signs but so are certain parts of words and also larger units, like phrases and classes. In fact, any coherent meaning represented by a discrete signal or sound or writing is a sign, no matter how small or large. Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” is a sign, as are the “Book of Genesis”, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and the Encyclopaedia Britannica. In studying vocabulary, however, we … [Read more...]

Anna Karenina

The Weaving and Interweaving of the Main Plot and the Sub-Plot in Anna Karenina. Tolstoy is out of the category of writers who go through life without ever changing their once established view of life. In mid-life, he experienced a deep spiritual crisis which is reflected in Anna Karenina. If between 1865 and 1868 he wrote mainly ‘historical’ novel, during the period between 1889 and 1899 he … [Read more...]

Modern American Theatre

American drama can be said to remind the reader of Milton’s famous statement: “Long choosing & beginning late” (Paradise Lost BK IX), in that, it took a long time to be born and a long time to come of age. The reason is that drama in the United States of America was always incapable of keeping pace with the progress in other branches of literature. Although by the nineteenth century, the … [Read more...]


Webster began writing for the stage in 1601. Between 1601 and 1607 he worked upon Marston’s play The Malcontent. He is also said to have collaborated with Dekker in The History of Sir Thomas Wyatt and also in Northward Ho! He published elegies upon the death of Prince Henry in 1613. Besides the two great tragedies, he also wrote another tragedy Appius and Virginia. He also wrote a tragic-comedy … [Read more...]

Two Gentlemen of Verona

The brilliance of two modern productions of The Comedy of Errors and Love’s Labours Lost has rescued those plays from near oblivion. But the beguiling ways of modern director have, as yet, done nothing to blow the dust from The Two Gentlemen of Verona. It is probably the probably the least popular of all Shakespeare’s plays. The combination of (1) a complicated plot (2) a remote world, (3) … [Read more...]

The Spanish Tragedy – Kyd

The opening is typically Senecan in character. The ghost of Andrea, a Spanish Courtier and Revenge are introduced at first and they are supposed to watch the development of the play. They serve as chorus in the typical Senecan style. The Spanish General who relates the death of don Andrea is the Prologue of the play. The play centers around the Marshal of Spain, Hieronimo and his son Horatio. … [Read more...]

The Comedy of Errors

On 28th December 1954, the gentlemen of Gray’s INN saw a play under rather unusual circumstances. Its presentation followed a near-riot from which the Ambassador (the representative) from the Inner Temple escaped with his colleagues, presumably in a hurry. “After their departure the Throngs and tumults did somewhat cease, although so much of them continued as was able to disorder and confound any … [Read more...]

The Early Comedies – Shakespeare

It is in the nature of young artists to experiment in mode, form and content. This is an essential and often uncontrolled flexing of the imagination’s muscles. The danger, however, for the reader, is to isolate the author from his context and ignore any predisposition to be influenced by it. No writer, who is truly a writer, is generated solely by the inner workings of his own mind – least of all … [Read more...]