9,086 research outputs found

    The Duke of Dark Corners: Toward an Interpretation of Measure for Measure\u27s Duke Vincento

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    The multiple and widely varying interpretations of Duke Vincentio in Shakespeare\u27s Measure for Measure can be reconciled and made into a consistent interpretation by the application of a framework consisting of both literary and Elizabethan conventions as well as a view of comedy that accepts the comic function of movement toward identity as comedy\u27s goal. Duke Vincentio is the comic drive in the play. His behavioral motives are based on his sincere concern for his constituency and his courageous use of his power during a time when reform is vital. The morally equivocal means he sometimes employs are justified by his hoped-for ends. Each decision the Duke must make is based on his goal of redeeming his dukedom to a place of harmony and order. He keeps in mind all the while both man\u27s frailties and man\u27s potential. The major characters come to a degree of self-knowledge that enables them to accept and apply a more loving justice. Through humility and mercy, a new pattern for reconciliation is provided. The marriages at the end serve to provide the characters with a position within which they can employ their new wisdom

    The use of the lyric in Shakespearean drama

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    Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University, 1929. This item was digitized by the Internet Archive

    John Florio and Shakespeare: Life and Language

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    Investigations into the link between Shakespeare and John Florio stretch back to the mid eighteenth century when, in his edition of the plays (1747), William Warburton suggested that ‚Äúby Holofernes is designed a particular character, a pedant and schoolmaster of our author‚Äôs time, one John Florio, a teacher of the Italian tongue in London.‚ÄĚ Since then, other modern critics have been haunted by a sort of ‚Äúmagnificent obsession‚ÄĚ to prove a connection, both in a biographical and/or in a linguistic perspective, between these giants of Elizabethan culture. However, no solid facts have been put forward but only conjectures about a possible, at best probable, acquaintanceship. Failing to find historical dates and documents which link Florio‚Äôs and Shakespeare‚Äôs lives, the essay suggests a re-examination and reappraisal of their supposed reciprocal influence, especially as far as their dramatic and didactic dialogues and Shakespeare‚Äôs knowledge of Italian are concerned. The attempt is thus to combine a historical-pragmatic investigation into early modern dialogues with a historical framework which might account for ‚Äúthe Shakespeare and Florio connection‚ÄĚ

    Comic potential of Measure for Measure

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    Book Reviews

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    ‚ÄúSome falls are means the happier to arise‚ÄĚ: Processes of Jeopardy in Shakespeare‚Äôs Late Play

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    An investigation into the stage history of Shakespeare's Tempest, 1667-1838 : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in English at Massey University

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    After the theatres were re-opened in England at the Restoration, there were many adaptions made of Shakespeare's plays, and this was a common occurrence throughout the eighteenth century, lasting to Victorian times. It was only in the middle of the nineteenth century that Shakespeare began to be appreciated in the original form. The Tempest was one play that suffered many changes. Sir William Davenant and John Dryden collaborated in the first alteration of 1667, and their version is noteworthy because their changes were to a great extent retained by subsequent adapters. Pandering to a neo-classical desire for artistic symmetry, Davenant, the major contributor, and Dryden paired several of the major characters. To complement the lovers (Miranda and Ferdinand), they added Dorinda (Miranda's younger sister) and Hoppolito, who had never seen a woman, to be her mate. Caliban was given a sister, Sycorax, who has eyes for Trincalo (sic), and for Ariel, a female spirit called Milcha was created. Other changes in the dramatis personae are minor. The Restoration Tempest is full of farcical situations which stem from the lovers' naivity and the grotesque antics of the low comedy characters. The masque of Juno, protectress of marriage, in Shakespeare's Act IV has been cut, and altogether the effect of the original vanishes, the new play being much coarser. In 1674, an operatic version of the Restoration Tempest was published, probably written by Thomas Shadwell. This was basically Dryden and Davenant's play, though many songs were added. An elaborate masque of Neptune and Amphitrite was added towards the end, though it is hard to associate these characters with the ending of the play. Throughout the play there was much opportunity for spectacle and the use of mechanical contrivances. From 1747, when David Garrick became the manager of the Drury Lane Theatre, many of Shakespeare's plays were given a new look. Shadwell's operatic Tempest had been a long-running success, and in 1756 Garrick turned it into a three-act opera. This incorporated thirty-two songs, only three of which were Shakespeare's, and little regard was paid to the original text. It was a failure and Garrick repudiated authorship of it. In 1757 he reverted to a version that was much closer to Shakespeare's than any other before it. Among the 400 or more lines that Garrick omitted, however, were several intensely poetic passages. John Philip Kemble's Tempest of 1789, which used just the bare outline of the original plot, was merely a vehicle for the presentation of a number of songs, and was poorly received by critics who had begun to clamour for real Shakespeare, not a hybrid version of him. Kemble's next attempt to produce the play was in 1806, when he tried to combine the original and the Restoration versions. The last appearance of the Dryden-Davenant Tempest was in 1821 when Frederic Reynolds produced it, but it was greated with acrid criticism. William Charles Macready restored Shakespeare's original to the stage in 1838; and even though his interpretation catered for the visual impact more than for the poetry, his version was the first serious attempt for over century and a half to present the unadulterated Tempest to English theatregoers. Apart from detailing and commenting on the above changes, I have given several reasons for them, namely the adapters' endeavours to cater for contemporary taste and opinions, the neo-classical desire for symmetry, eighteenth century pragmatism, and the popularity of opera and of spectacle

    Duke Vincentio of Shakespeare's Measure for measure : a review of the criticism from a dialogic viewpoint

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    Since the neo-classical period, critics writing about Duke Vincentio have exhibited different forms of literary provincialism (generic, historical, New Critical, psychological, ideological, etc.), and recently these different provincial approaches have been subjected to rigorous "scientific analysis" under the influence of post- Hegelian dialectics, thus making the critical situation more complicated, if not worse. This writer reviews some of the criticism of the Duke in several "provincial" categories from the early conventionalism of the neo-classicists, through psychological relativism of the romanticists, down to ideological "representations" of the neo-historicists, and highlights some inadequacies of these approaches from the writer's East Asian dialogic (yinyang) viewpoint

    Shakespeare and the Genre of Comedy

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    Traditionally in the field of aesthetics the genres of tragedy and comedy have been depicted in antithetical opposition to one another. Setting out from the hypothesis that antitheses are aspects of a deeper unity where one informs the construction of the other‚Äôs image this thesis questions the hierarchy of genre through a form of ludic postmodernism that interrogates aesthetics in the same way as comedy interrogates ethics and the law of genre. Tracing the chain of signification as laid out by Derrida between theatre as pharmakon and the thaumaturgical influence of the pharmakeus or dramatist, early modern comedy can be identified as re-enacting Renaissance versions of the rite of the pharmakos, where a scapegoat for the ills attendant upon society is chosen and exorcised. Recognisable pharmakoi are scapegoat figures such as Shakespeare‚Äôs Shylock, Malvolio, Falstaff and Parolles but the city comedies of this period also depict prostitutes and the unmarried as necessary comic sacrifices for the reordering of society. Throughout this thesis an attempt has been made to position Shakespeare‚Äôs comic drama in the specific historical location of early modern London by not only placing his plays in the company of his contemporaries but by forging a strong theoretical engagement with questions of law in relation to issues of genre. The connection Shakespearean comedy makes with the laws of early modern England is highly visible in The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure and The Taming of the Shrew and the laws which they scrutinise are peculiar to the regulation of gendered interaction, namely marital union and the power and authority imposed upon both men and women in patriarchal society. Thus, a pivotal section on marriage is required to pinion the argument that the libidinized economy of the early modern stage perpetuates the principle of an excluded middle, comic u-topia, or Derridean ‚Äėnon-place‚Äô, where implicit contradictions are made explicit. The conclusion that comic denouements are disappointing in their resolution of seemingly insurmountable dilemmas can therefore be reappraised as the outcome of a dialectical movement, where the possibility of alternatives is presented and assessed. Advancing Hegel‚Äôs theory that the whole of history is dialectic comedy can therefore be identified as the way in which a society sees itself, dramatically representing the hopes and fears of an entire community

    Performing Relevance/ Relevant Performances: Shakespeare, Jonson, Hitchcock

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    Engages with questions of historicism and presentism in the modern performance of early modern drama, and compares Ben Jonson with Alfred Hitchcock
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