Graduation Year

Fall 2010

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Seth Lobis


This thesis is an examination of reader or audience response to Shakespeare’s tragedies. Primarily, it identifies key pleasures that Shakespeare’s King Lear and Othello offer. The complementary nature of these two plays is such that the analysis of their various pleasures allows for an in-depth treatment of the topic and also reflects the diversity of emotional response elicited by Shakespeare’s tragedies. The kinds of pleasure addressed in this study are catharsis as explained by Aristotle, the delight of violent passion as advocated by DuBos, pleasure from details in the work, satisfaction from the coherence of the tragedy, and pleasure in the idealization of tragedy.