Comparison Of Jacob, Esau, And Shakespeare's Brotherly Betrayal

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Jacob, Esau, and Shakespeare’s Brotherly Betrayal Over time, William Shakespeare has become a literary genius that many authors, screenwriters, and playwrights have drawn influence from. The influence of Shakespeare has been seen from movies like She’s The Man to musicals like West Side Story to books like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. As one of the first featured playwrights of his time, Shakespeare himself did not have as many tropes and events to write about like modern writers do and would have had to draw inspiration from life around him and texts that had been written at the time. Even if a person could not read in sixteenth century Catholic, and then Protestant, England, they probably had a general idea of what the Bible was and the stories included. The Bible was a source of influence for many morality plays and even small collections of short stories like The Canterbury Tales. Roland Barthes, a theorist on textualism, would say that old texts like the Bible contain codes that can be found in texts even today. From an intertextual reading of his plays like King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, King Henry IV, Part I, and The Tempest, it can be argued that Shakespeare drew his inspiration for the betrayal in these plays from Biblical stories like the story of Jacob and Esau. In Genesis 27, Isaac, the son of Abraham, has gone blind and wishes to bestow a blessing on his eldest son Esau. Esau is a hunter and the better provider for the family when Isaac

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