By John Drakakis

ISBN-10: 0415287227

ISBN-13: 9780415287227

While severe conception met literary reviews within the Nineteen Seventies and '80s, essentially the most radical and fascinating theoretical paintings targeted at the quasi-sacred determine of Shakespeare. In substitute Shakespeares, John Drakakis introduced jointly key essays by way of founding figures during this circulate to remake Shakespeare studies.A new afterword through Robert Weimann outlines the extreme impression of different Shakespeares on educational Shakespeare experiences. yet as but, the Shakespeare delusion maintains to thrive either in Stratford and in our faculties. those essays are as suitable and as strong as they have been upon book and with a contributor checklist that reads like a 'who's who' of recent Shakespeare stories, replacement Shakespeares calls for to be learn.

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Extra resources for Alternative Shakespeares (New Accents) (Volume 2)

Example text

IV Although these accounts fall under what may loosely be termed a ‘new historicism’, they have yet to displace the conservative tradition of history within which Shakespeare’s texts have been so often inscribed. In fact, that tradition itself has proved a flexible weapon mobilized against change. Indeed ‘historical’ and, in certain cases, historicist, accounts of Shakespearean texts, pluralist in emphasis and liberal in their capacity to assimilate revisionist, or even radical, challenges, have become a staple of Shakespeare criticism.

As a result, with Forster’s Education Act of 1870, Britain embarked on a system of compulsory primary education which effectively constituted a drive towards universal literacy. In the next twenty years the average school attendance rose from one and a quarter million to four and a half million and the money spent on each child for the purposes of education was doubled (Trevelyan 1942, p. 581). It was a revolution, so to speak, by letters. And so it is hardly surprising that the enshrining, embalming and even the prophylaxis of the national culture took the form so often of monumental literary undertakings whose purpose was the creation, reinforcement and ALTERNATIVE SHAKESPEARES 31 maintenance of a national English heritage through the medium of what might be delicately termed English letters.

The detail of the text is harmonized with a general centripetal impulse of which each element is a manifestation, so that universal principles located by the critic can only be discussed ‘in terms of the poet’s concrete realization of certain emotions and attitudes’ (p. 41). At best this is a positivism devoid of any clear theoretical underpinning. This isolation and privileging of poetic discourse—‘the essential structure of Macbeth, as of the other tragedies, is to be sought in the 22 ALTERNATIVE SHAKESPEARES poetry’ (Knights 1959, p.

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Alternative Shakespeares (New Accents) (Volume 2) by John Drakakis


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