In this acclaimed study, Nicholas Grene shows how all nine plays written in Shakespeare's main tragic period display this combination of strikingly different milieu balanced by thematic interrelationships.
Author: Nicholas Grene
Category: Literary Criticism
The world of Macbeth, with its absolutes of good and evil, seems very remote from the shifting perspectives of Antony and Cleopatra, or the psychological and political realities of Coriolanus. Yet all three plays share similar thematic concerns and preoccupations: the relations of power to legitimating authority, for instance, or of male and female roles in the imagination of (male) heoric endeavour. In this acclaimed study, Nicholas Grene shows how all nine plays written in Shakespeare's main tragic period display this combination of strikingly different milieu balanced by thematic interrelationships. Taking the English history play as his starting point, he argues that Shakespeare established two different modes of imagining: the one mythic and visionary, the other sceptical and analytic. In the tragic plays that followed, themes and situations are dramatised, alternately, in sacred and secular worlds. A chapter is devoted to each tragedy, but with a continuing awareness of companion plays: the analysis of Julius Caesar informing that of Hamlet, discussion of Troilus and Cressida counterpointed by the critique of Othello and the treatment of King Lear growing out from the limitations of Timon of Athens. The aim is to resist homogenising the plays but to recognise and explore the unique imaginative enterprise from which they arose.
... John L. Murphy , Darkness and Devils : Exorcism in King Lear ( Athens : Ohio State University Press , 1984 ) , chap . 7 . 26. Nicholas Grene , Shakespeare's Tragic Imagination ( New York : St. Martin's Press , 1992 ) , 178 . 27.
Author: Robert Lanier Reid
Publisher: University of Delaware Press
Since about 1960, when five-act division in Shakespeare's plays was strongly disputed, most critics have focused on individual scenes rather than holistic form. This book argues for Shakespeare's use of five acts, arranged in three cycles to form a 2-1-2 pattern. It also examines the role of multiple plots and centers of consciousness, especially in the festive comedies and romances. Additionally, it traces Shakespeare's gradual mastery of the art of epiphany, compares it to Spenser's complementary focus on transcendent reality, and traces in Macbeth the dark mode of Shakespeare's dramaturgical pattern.
Rowan Williams explores the definition of the tragic as a mode of narrative, in this short and thought-provoking volume.
Author: Rowan Williams
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The Literary Agenda is a series of short polemical monographs about the importance of literature and of reading in the wider world and about the state of literary education inside schools and universities. The category of "the literary" has always been contentious. What is clear, however, is how increasingly it is dismissed or is unrecognized as a way of thinking or an arena for thought. It is sceptically challenged from within, for example, by the sometimes rival claims of cultural history, contextualized explanation, or media studies. It is shaken from without by even greater pressures: by economic exigency and the severe social attitudes that can follow from it; by technological change that may leave the traditional forms of serious human communication looking merely antiquated. For just these reasons this is the right time for renewal, to start reinvigorated work into the meaning and value of literary reading. This short but thought-provoking volume asks the question, "What is it that tragedy makes us know?" The focus is on tragedy as a mode of representing the experience of radical suffering, pain, or loss, a mode of narrative through which we come to know certain things about ourselves and our world--about its fragility and ours. Through a mixture of historical discussion and close reading of a number of dramatic texts--from Sophocles to Sarah Kane--the book addresses a wide range of debates: how tragedy is defined, whether there is such a thing as "absolute tragedy," various modern attempts to rework the classical heritage and the relation of comedy to tragedy. There is also a fresh discussion of whether religious--particularly Christian--discourse is inimical to the tragic and of the necessary tension between tragic narrative and certain kinds of political as well as religious rhetoric. Rowan Williams argues that tragic drama both articulates failure and frailty and, in affirming the possibility of narrating the story of traumatic loss, refuses to settle for passivity, resignation, or despair. In this sense, it still shows the trace of its ritual and religious roots. And in challenging two-dimensional models of society, power, humanity and human knowing, it remains an intrinsic part of any fully humanist culture.
Acting and Action in Shakespearean Tragedy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985. Grene, Nicholas. Shakespeare's Tragic Imagination. New York: St. Martin's, 1992. Harbage, Alfred, ed. Shakespeare: The Tragedies: A Collection of ...
Author: Victor L. Cahn
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
Category: Literary Criticism
When Victor Cahn's Shakespeare the Playwright was issued in 1991, it was highly recommended for any general public library and for academic collections at all undergraduate levels (Choice) and viewed as a useful guide for the general reader, as well as high school and undergraduate students Library Journal. Now Professor Cahn has revised his introduction to make the context of Shakespeare's plays more meaningful to the beginning researcher and to show how the plays have been performed from the 16th century onward. In addition, the bibliographies for each of the 37 plays have been updated to include the best new research. These updates and revisions will enhance the use of this guide for the general reader, student, and researcher, from high school onward. Since their first production four centuries ago, the plays of William Shakespeare have been the most widely produced, popularly acclaimed, and critically examined works in the world's literature. In this unique book, Victor L. Cahn, an acclaimed teacher of drama, guides the reader scene by scene through each of Shakespeare's thirty-seven plays, re-creating the freshness and theatrical effect of performance. Cahn has based his approach on the assumption that the fundamental appeal of Shakespeare's plays lies in the characters, and with clarity and subtlety he focuses on how the implications of the characters' actions and the nuances of their language contribute to the plays' impact. The introduction briefly traces Shakespeare's life and career, and explains some of the social and artistic circumstances that influenced his work. The plays are grouped by genre: Tragedies, Histories, Comedies, and Romances. This structure allows Cahn to explore Shalespeare's development in all four dramatic forms, as well as to suggest relationships between characters, themes, and images throughout the works. In addition, Cahn discusses the plays as reflective of Shakespeare's age, particularly the Renaissance concern with the tension between individual rights and social responsibility. The text is free from extensive scholarly apparatus, but valuable suggestions for further reading follow the analysis of each play, and a selected bibliography concludes the volume. The comprehensiveness of the book, as well as the accessibility and quality of its interpretations, make it a valuable resource for courses in Shakespeare, drama, and British literature, and a worthy addition to high school, college, university, and public library reference collections.
although Efron wants to believe that his anarchist perception is also in part at least Shakespeare's . ... Four books attempt the task this year , though Nicolas Grene's main aim in Shakespeare's Tragic Imagination ( London : Macmillan ...
Author: Stanley Wells
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The first fifty volumes of this yearbook of Shakespeare studies are being reissued in paperback.
It would take Shakespeare another two years to find a way ofreconciling himselfto his tragic imagination also in respect of all tragic guilt that would be incurred from the impact human perversity could have—this in The Winter's Tale.
Author: John O'Meara
"O'Meara's work is the perfect supplement to [Ted] Hughes's "Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being", shedding further illumination into those areas where Hughes's penetrating lens finally appears to dim. [This work] shines utterly clear light on the path of understanding we may re-win with regard to myth, forcing the reader to face the incredible starkness of the prospect we face—and the lack of options—ever closing in—and also giving the reader the necessary clues to follow, particularly Barfield, Shakespeare and Rudolf Steiner." —Richard Ramsbotham, author of Who Wrote Bacon? William Shakespeare, Francis Bacon and James I "Very interesting stuff. Particularly where you parallel the break through the tragic dead end to the transcendental-redemptive solution--that I follow from "Macbeth" through "Lear" to the last plays--with the Steinerian view of the same progress." —Ted Hughes on Othello's Sacrifice, Letter to John O'Meara, 21 November, 1996, in the Ted Hughes Archives, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia This volume brings together virtually all of the published shorter critical work of John O'Meara, gathered from over 30 years of production. What emerges is an extensive, uniquely challenging interpretation of the evolution of, for the most part, English literary history, from Shakespeare's time to our own. "excellent Shakespearean explorations...The idea of Lutheran depravity without Lutheran grace or Lutheran-Calvinist justification is very strong and original..." —Anthony Gash, author of The Substance of Shadows: Shakespeare's Dialogue with Plato "O'Meara sets out to demonstrate... the essential fact that "full encounter with human depravity" was[/is] a necessary step in the attaining of true [otherworldly] Imagination." —Eric Philips-Oxford, on The New School of the Imagination from the Sektion fur Schone Wissenschaften, the Goetheanum, Newsletter, Issue No. 3, Winter/Spring 2008-2009.
Shakespeare's Tragic Imagination , by Nicholas Grene . New York : St. Martin's Press , 1992 ; rpt . 1996. Pp . xiii + 309. Paper $ 18.95 . Reviewer : Naomi C. Liebler It takes a considerable degree of courage , these days , to write a ...
Author: John Pitcher
Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Annual collection of articles and book reviews on Medieval and Renaissance literature, excluding Shakespeare
Millicent Bell, Shakespeare's Tragic Skepticism (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002); Graham ... 122–135; Nicholas Grene Shakespeare's Tragic Imagination, 90–125; Stephen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning, pp.
Author: Susan Schreiner
Publisher: OUP USA
Susan Schreiner argues that Europe in the 16th century was preoccupied with certainty, especially religious certainty. She analyzes the pervading questions about certitude & doubt in the terms & contexts of a wide variety of thinkers during this time of competing truths.
The emphasis of this book is that each of Shakespeare's tragedies demanded its own individual form and that although certain themes run through most of the tragedies, nearly all critics refrain from the attempt to apply external rules to ...
Author: Kenneth Muir
Publisher: Psychology Press
Category: Literary Criticism
The emphasis of this book is that each of Shakespeare's tragedies demanded its own individual form and that although certain themes run through most of the tragedies, nearly all critics refrain from the attempt to apply external rules to them.
William Shakespeare William James Rolfe. excitement . The imagination is glad to take refuge in the half - comic , half - serious , comments of the Fool , just as the mind , under the extreme anguish of a surgical operation , vents ...