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  • A Critical Comparison of Austen and Shakespeare
  • Austen ノ ショウセツ ト Shakespeare キゲキ ノ ヒカク ケンキュウ

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Jane Austen's novels were written when the English novel was developing, so it is clear that Austen absorbed various elements of literature of her age and created the original style of her own. In Austen's novels there exists the conspicuous factors of plays in the Elizabethan Age. Indeed, Austen had enormous enthusiasm for plays of Shakespeare, who was one of her favorite dramatists. Shakespeare's comedies greatly contribute to Austen's cultivation of her comic spirit and selecting the main theme in her novels, or self-discovery. This essay is concerned with a critical comparison of Austen's novels and Shakespeare's comedies, especially comparing Emma with Twelfth Night, and Pride and Prejudice with Much Ado about Nothing. Both Austen and Shakespeare write their works about mistaking pretence for truth, which are described comically and vividly. By the way, there are two kinds of mistaking pretence for truth in Austen and Shakespeare. Many comic characters or fools in their works make these mistakes, but they do not go through the inner changes by these mistakes, so they cannot awake from their illusions in the essential meaning, while heroines, even if they mistake pretence for truth in the same way, can realize their inner changes through these errors. As a result, heroines can attain self-awareness or self-discovery from delusion, which is the most important theme of Austen and Shakespeare.



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