Shakespeare's Problem Plays Paperback – January 1, 1970
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When I read the analysis of Bertram's character in the essay on 'All's Well That Ends Well'- pointing out his gruffness, his callow immaturity, I thought 'Whyever didn't I think of that?!' This verbal inadequacy (when he is being sincere, as distinct from when he courts Diana with honeyed words) explains the brevity of Bertram's apology to Helena at the end of the play; - 'Both, Both, O Pardon!' Tillyard suggests that needing Helena as the overwhelmed Bertram does, we have no need to doubt his sincerity when he promises to lover her 'Ever, ever dearly'.
Tillyard points out the role of Bertram's cowardly toady Parolles as his evil genius.
Various issues in 'Hamlet' 'Troilus and Cressida' and 'Measure for Measure' are also discussed, the whole done with masterly simplicity. Is Hamlet a true tragedy rather than a problem play? Why the two halves of 'Measure for Measure' make a strange contrast, the cynicism of 'Troilus and Cressida' and so on...
I don't personally agree with all the arguments - for instance, that 'All's Well' is a failure (though Tillyard,who lived in a time when it was almost never performed, saw that it would work far better acted than read) but generally, this is an excellent analysis of these plays.