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Catalog of the Shakespeare Art Collection  --  Shakespeare's Lovers, Lusters & Losers

 

Shakespeare's Lovers, Lusters & Losers by Hannah Tompkins

Shakespeare's
Lovers, Lusters & Losers

by Hannah Tompkins
Mixed Media on Brown Paper: conte crayon, chalk, crayon, watercolor and ink. 9-1/2" x 12".

 

Shakespeare's Lusters by Hannah Tompkins

 

Lusters: Claudius & Gertrude - Hamlet - Act IV sc. i --by Hannah Tompkins
Claudius & Gertrude
Hamlet - Act IV sc. i

 

Lusters: Troilus Pandarus & Cressida - Troilus & Cressida - Act III sc. ii --by Hannah Tompkins
Troilus Pandarus & Cressida
Troilus & Cressida - Act III sc. ii

 

Lusters: Angelo & Isabella - Measure for Measure - Act II sc. iv --by Hannah Tompkins
Angelo & Isabella
Measure for Measure - Act II sc. iv

 

Lusters: Regan, Goneril & Edmund - King Lear - Act V sc. i, sc. iii --by Hannah Tompkins
Regan, Goneril & Edmund
King Lear - Act V sc. i, sc. iii

 

Lusters: Othello & Iago - Othello - Act IV sc. i --by Hannah Tompkins
Othello & Iago
Othello - Act IV sc. i

 

 

Illustrated:
Claudius & Gertrude (HAML)
Troilus & Cressida (T&C)
Angelo & Isabella (MM)
Edmund/ Goneril/ Regan (KL)
Iago & Othello (OTH)
Others:
Bassanio & Portia (MV)
Cloten & Imogen (CYMB)
Demetrius/ Chiron & Lavinia (TA)
Bertram & Helena (AWTEW) 

 

Lusters: Perpetrators & Victims

In most of the plays where they appear, the Lusters are punished: by circumstances, by Fate or by Society, thereby settling the account for some kind of social retribution or moral confirmation, which satisfies certain elements of the play-going audiences.

Shakespeare himself was neither judge nor moralist, so perhaps it is presumptuous of me to put his characters into categories, especially when they are slanderous, for it precludes a kind of moral judgment to which I may not be entitled. I do it to stir up controversy. Still, some good can come of it; for those with insight might learn to better understand themselves by analyzing the weaknesses of others.

Although lust is usually associated with lascivious sexual appetite, it also applies to other desires, like lust for revenge, lust for power, and the ambitious lust for fame. It is a complicated phenomenon and the manifestation of one type is often contaminated by the other kinds. For example: the lustful rape of Lavinia by Demetrius and Chiron was heated by revenge, prompted and sanctioned by their malicious mother: Angelo's carnal lust for Isabella was tainted by his lust for power, which also motivated Richard III's pursuit of Anne; Claudius for Gertrude in Hamlet and Edmund's intrigues with Goneril & Regan in King Lear.

Sometimes lust is converted into an expedient, as exampled by Cressida (T&C) and Helena (AWTEW). However, we might justify Helena's actions considering her genuine feelings for Bertram, in the same way that we might excuse Bassanio's lust for wealth in his courtship of Portia (MV)

For Cloten (CYMB) there is no excuse. He is just an over-heated clod, swollen with his own self importance as the queen's son. His sexual lust is an assertive compensation for he has little else to recommend him. It is interesting to note that his brutal and untimely murder arouses no sympathy or sense of tragedy from the audience. That remains for the Losers.


Copyright © 1982 Hannah Tompkins. All rights reserved.
 

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