Metadrama in Shakespeare

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‘Shakespeare’s plays reflect not life but art.’ Make use of this remark in writing an essay on Shakespeare’s use of Metadrama. Shakespeare constantly plays with metadrama and the perception of his plays as theatre and not life with the complications inherent that in life we all play roles and perceive life in different ways. The play has recognition of its existence as theatre, which has relevance to a contemporary world that is increasingly …

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…for example a man in the same day can be a father, a mechanic, a cook. Claudius has no moral right to the throne - he is only an actor. It is possible to say that all kings usurp a role at which they are not skilled, since they have never done it before. Hamlet says, “He that plays the king shall be welcome;” (Act II, scene ii, line 309) foregrounding this concept for the audience