Shakespeare s Courtly Mirror

Shakespeare s Courtly Mirror

In an essay on " The Renaissance Imagination : Second World and Green World , " Berger , quoting from Abrams's The Mirror and the ... All of Shakespeare's plays are mirrors in this active sense : they complete or perfect their subject .

Author: David Haley

Publisher: University of Delaware Press

ISBN: 0874134439

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 332

View: 719

"A leading premise of Haley's book is that modern psychological constructs are inadequate for understanding the courtly humanism dramatized by Shakespeare down to 1604. Renaissance culture knows nothing of the bourgeois subject of Locke, Freud, and Lacan. Shakespeare defines aristocratic identity in epic terms and presents not an autonomous individual but a hero whose persona is determined publicly in the "courtly mirror." That exemplary mirror, from Henry IV to Measure for Measure, reflects the heroic actions of rulers and courtiers. The historical self-awareness of Henry, Hal, and Brutus assumes a more contemporary aspect in the courtly self-consciousness of Hamlet, Duke Vincentio, and the three main characters of All's Well That Ends Well: Bertram, Helena, the King." "The "reflexivity" in the title does not indicate the self-referentiality of language, nor does it refer to the traditional paradigm of consciousness implying stable self-knowledge. Courtly reflexivity is oriented toward praxis rather than introspection. Before taking action, the courtier or cortigiana - Helena is a good example - knows only that (s)he is not what (s)he is. The courtier's deliberation is guided by a reflexive, self-regulating prudence that is usually identified with honor or love. In All's Well, Shakespeare contrasts this self-providence or heroic prudence with Divine Providence, but he does so obliquely. While focusing exclusively upon a court which prizes worldly action, he sustains his contrast through a series of ironical allusions to Scripture." "Beginning with a prologue on the problems raised by structural and theatrical interpretations of Bertram's role, Haley goes on to introduce his concept of reflexivity by way of an exchange with the new literary historicism. Chapters 1 to 3 follow the courtly debate over providence and honor, through Helena's triumph in act 2 to Bertram's deserting her. The collapse of her providential design coincides with the crisis of the sick King's honor - a crisis which Shakespeare describes alchemically, implying that alchemy, understood as reflexive chemistry, offers another mirror of the courtier's self-providence." "Chapter 4, the center of the book, brings together historical providence and Boccaccian prudence (avvedimento) in the figure of Ahab, with whom Shakespeare compares both Bertram and the Hal of Henry V. Chapters 5 to 7 pursue Shakespeare's ironic parallel between biblical Providence and courtly prudence, examining specific scenes of self-judgment and self-betrayal in the Henriad and Measure for Measure, as well as in All's Well."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Categories: Literary Criticism

Christian Settings in Shakespeare s Tragedies

Christian Settings in Shakespeare s Tragedies

In many ways therefore Shakespeare underscores the fact that art imitates nature . ... or temperately — demonstrates that there is nothing necessarily confusing about Hamlet's famous if not notorious use of the " mirror up to nature .

Author: D. Douglas Waters

Publisher: Associated University Presse

ISBN: 0838635288

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 334

View: 476

Showing no propagandistic concern for theology, Shakespeare's tragedies with Christian settings (R3, R2, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Othello, and Hamlet) are secular, sympathetic treatments of human downfall caused mainly by evil in external situations in the universe and society. In this book, D. Douglas Waters - defining Shakespeare's tragic vision - sees evil mainly in terms of cosmic and societal forces and only partially in terms of the weaknesses of the tragic figures. The scope of Waters's study is to analyze the tragic structure of several plays, to oppose present-day deemphasis on the genre of tragedy in discussions of Shakespeare by some structuralists and poststructuralists, and to stress Shakespeare's tragic mimesis (as artistic representation) and our response to it - our intellectual, moral, and emotional clarification of pity and fear for the tragic heroes and/or heroines. Here, Waters takes a combined historicist and formalist approach to Shakespeare's tragedies with Christian settings. He takes issue with both the theological critics of Shakespeare's tragedies and structuralist and poststructuralist interpreters (who either ignore or slight tragedy and tragic theory in Shakespeare interpretation). Waters's view differs notably from such diverse interpretations as Roy W. Battenhouse's Shakespearean tragedy: Its art and Christian premises, Irving Ribner's Patterns in Shakespearian tragedy, Virgil K. Whitaker's The mirror up to nature: The techniques of Shakespeare's tragedies, and Robert Grams Hunter's Shakespeare and the mystery of God's judgments. Waters questions, for example, Battenhouse's validity of Christian theological and didactic emphases on the old purgation theory of catharsis. His approach differs also from Northrop Frye's views on the tragedies in Northrop Frye on Shakespeare, an archetypal approach to representative plays including the tragedies. More in the tradition of such works as Roland M. Frye's Shakespeare and Christian doctrine and The Renaissance "Hamlet" and Robert H. West's Shakespeare and the outer mystery, Waters's efforts go beyond those of Kenneth Muir and Ruth Nevo - and others with whom he generally agrees - by discussing tragedy in light of some recent structuralist and poststructuralist challenges to the importance of genre considerations in Shakespeare. This text is a valuable historicist/formalist contribution to critical theory and a specific literary analysis of the tragedies with Christian settings - tragedies which give secular importance to human suffering without affirming the importance of theological premises. Waters holds that these tragedies emphasize all things human and cause spectators and readers of these tragedies to question rather than affirm God's goodness, grace, and providence.
Categories: Literary Collections

Shakespeare s Webs

Shakespeare s Webs

Yet if this crystal glass cannot be trusted— like Sad Circumspection's “mirror encircled in this interlude, ... 3 In Shakespeare's day, too, mirrors were most frequently used as metaphoric means of displaying exemplary or infernal ...

Author: Arthur F. Kinney

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781135876272

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 192

View: 137

In this book, renowned Renaissance drama critic Arthur F. Kinney argues that Shakespeare's method of composing plays through networks of meanings can be seen as a harbinger of today's information technology. Drawing upon hypertext and cognitive theory--areas that have for some time promised to take on more importance in the sphere of Shakespeare Studies--as well as the central metaphor of the Routledge collection The Renaissance Computer, Kinney looks in detail at four objects/images in Shakespeare's plays--mirrors, maps, clocks, and books--and explores the ways in which they make up networks of meaning within single plays and across the dramatist's body of work that anticipate in some ways the networks of meaning or "information" now possible in the computer age.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Commentary on Shakespeare s Richard III

Commentary on Shakespeare s Richard III

of the earlier civil wars; to a greater degree than in I, iii, what happens in the play is seen as part of a larger pattern of historical events ... Tragical is used here as in A Mirror for Magietratee2 and Lydgate's Fall of Printer, ...

Author: Wolfgang Clemen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781136559297

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 272

View: 229

First published in 1968. Providing a detailed and rigorous analysis of Richard III, this Commentary reveals every nuance of meaning whilst maintaining a firm grasp on the structure of the play. The result is an outstanding lesson in the methodology of Shakespearian criticism as well as an essential study for students of the early plays of Shakespeare.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Theatre and Testimony in Shakespeare s England

Theatre and Testimony in Shakespeare s England

This curious displacement finds its explanation in Meredith Anne Skura's observation that mirrors were not supposed to show merely faithful images: 'to hold a (truth-revealing) mirror up to Nature was to reveal something the unaided eye ...

Author: Holger Schott Syme

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139503402

Category: Literary Criticism

Page:

View: 792

Holger Syme presents a radically new explanation for the theatre's importance in Shakespeare's time. He portrays early modern England as a culture of mediation, dominated by transactions in which one person stood in for another, giving voice to absent speakers or bringing past events to life. No art form related more immediately to this culture than the theatre. Arguing against the influential view that the period underwent a crisis of representation, Syme draws upon extensive archival research in the fields of law, demonology, historiography and science to trace a pervasive conviction that testimony and report, delivered by properly authorised figures, provided access to truth. Through detailed close readings of plays by Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare - in particular Volpone, Richard II and The Winter's Tale - and analyses of criminal trial procedures, the book constructs a revisionist account of the nature of representation on the early modern stage.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Native Shakespeares

Native Shakespeares

The text's subsequent stage direction reads, “The face of Martin Cunningham, bearded, refeatures Shakespeare's beardless ... The mirror, in this case, may be said to be Shakespeare himself, who has (as Stephen argues) both realized and ...

Author: Parmita Kapadia

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317089834

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 258

View: 765

Explored in this essay collection is how Shakespeare is rewritten, reinscribed and translated to fit within the local tradition, values, and languages of the world's various communities and cultures. Contributors show that Shakespeare, regardless of the medium - theater, pedagogy, or literary studies - is commonly 'rooted' in the local customs of a people in ways that challenge the notion that his drama promotes a Western idealism. Native Shakespeares examines how the persistent indigenization of Shakespeare complicates the traditional vision of his work as a voice of Western culture and colonial hegemony. The international range of the collection and the focus on indigenous practices distinguishes Native Shakespeares from other available texts.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Shakespeare Survey Volume 56 Shakespeare and Comedy

Shakespeare Survey  Volume 56  Shakespeare and Comedy

Joyce attempts to overcome the mole , forget the father , by shuttling the molecules of Shakespeare's work ; but as ... The vision appears when Stephen's friend Lynch says , ' The mirror up to nature ' , echoing Hamlet's instructions to ...

Author: Peter Holland

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521827272

Category: Drama

Page: 390

View: 778

Published with academic researchers and graduate students in mind, this volume of the 'Shakespeare Survey' presents a number of contributions on the theme of Shakespeare's comedies, as well as the comedy in Shakespeare's other works.
Categories: Drama

Shakespeare s Speculative Art

Shakespeare   s Speculative Art

Thisnotion is animportant motifin Hamlet, illustrating (but finallyinan ironical manner)the Prince's notionthat playing ought to hold themirror up toNature. ButShakespeare shows thatthis acoustic mirror gives way toamore powerfulkindof ...

Author: M. Hunt

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9780230339286

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 263

View: 579

This is the first book-length analysis of Shakespeare s depiction of specula (mirrors) to reveal the literal and allegorical functions of mirrors in the playwright s art and thought. Adding a new dimension to the plays Troilus and Cressida, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Henry the Fifth, Love s Labor s Lost, A Midsummer Night s Dream, and All s Well That Ends Well, Maurice A. Hunt also references mirrors in a wide range of external sources, from the Bible to demonic practices. Looking at the concept of speculation through its multiple meanings - cognitive, philosophical, hypothetical, and provisional - this original reading suggests Shakespeare as a craftsman so prescient and careful in his art that he was able to criticize the queen and a former patron with such impunity that he could still live as a gentleman.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Shakespeare and the Cultural Colonization of Ireland

Shakespeare and the Cultural Colonization of Ireland

of mirrors and procreation in his discussion on Sonnet 18. Images of mirrors season Shakespeare's plays as well as his sonnets, and Greenblatt's point about the connections between them brings up Shakespeare's preoccupations with ...

Author: Robin Bates

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781135905125

Category: History

Page: 179

View: 442

Focusing on plays (Richard II, Henry V, and Hamlet) which appear prominently in the writing of the Irish nationalist movement of the early twentieth century, this study explores how Irish writers such as Sean O’Casey, Samuel Beckett, W. B. Yeats, G. B. Shaw, James Joyce, and Seamus Heaney resisted English cultural colonization through a combination of reappropriation and critique of Shakespeare's work.
Categories: History

Shakespeare s Things

Shakespeare   s Things

Across the plays and poems, the mirror seems to have held real interest for Shakespeare. In Hamlet, the prince's famous lines Hamlet equates the theatre with a looking glass because “the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first ...

Author: Brett Gamboa

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000750928

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 248

View: 251

Floating daggers, enchanted handkerchiefs, supernatural storms, and moving statues have tantalized Shakespeare’s readers and audiences for centuries. The essays in Shakespeare’s Things: Shakespearean Theatre and the Non-Human World in History, Theory, and Performance renew attention to non-human influence and agency in the plays, exploring how Shakespeare anticipates new materialist thought, thing theory, and object studies while presenting accounts of intention, action, and expression that we have not yet noticed or named. By focusing on the things that populate the plays—from commodities to props, corpses to relics—they find that canonical Shakespeare, inventor of the human, gives way to a lesser-known figure, a chronicler of the ceaseless collaboration among persons, language, the stage, the object world, audiences, the weather, the earth, and the heavens.
Categories: Literary Criticism