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date: 21 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter sets Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida, Timon of Athens, and King Lear in the context of classical and early modern satire—most notably the satiric vogue of the 1590s. It explores the language of disease (especially syphilis) and purgation, and considers the relationship between tragedy and satire, which is often focused on the figure of the malcontent. In particular, it suggests that satire is inherently undramatic, however theatrical the figure of the railing malcontent, such as Thersites, may initially appear.

Keywords: Hamlet, Timon, Troilus, malcontent, disease

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