Genius of Shakespeare: Tenth Anniversary Edition

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9780195372991: Genius of Shakespeare: Tenth Anniversary Edition

This fascinating book by one of Britain's most acclaimed Shakespeare scholars explores the extraordinary staying-power of the world's most famous dramatist. Bate opens by taking up questions of authorship and then goes on to trace Shakespeare's canonization and near-deification, examining not only the uniqueness of his status among English-speaking readers but also his effect on literary cultures across the globe. Ambitious, wide-ranging, and historically rich, this book shapes a provocative inquiry into the nature of genius as it ponders the legacy of a talent unequalled in English letters. A bold and meticulous work of scholarship, The Genius of Shakespeare is also lively and accessibly written and will appeal to any reader who has marveled at the Bard and the enduring power of his work. This tenth anniversary edition has a new twenty-page afterword that addresses the renewed interest in Shakespeare and recent film adaptations of his most celebrated works.

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About the Author:


Jonathan Bate is Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Warwick. He has held visiting posts at Harvard, Yale, and UCLA and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, and a Governor and Board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Review:


"Bate offers an excellent resource for students of English literature and the Elizabethan era in this thoughtful, well-researched and even playful explication of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets."-Publishers Weekly


"Jonathan Bate, the sanest, shrewdest scholar of Shakespeare at present, has written the just, liberal, unhostaged book that one has been waiting for."-James Wood, Guardian


"A shrewd, nimbly written book, one of the few on its subject that will be read and enjoyed off-campus."-Terry Eagleton, Independent


"Ambitious, exceptionally well informed and immensely engaging . . . Bate has, to an exceptional degree, the virtue of readability. He writes with unflagging energy, intelligence, wit and enthusiasm."-Stanley Wells, Daily Telegraph


"The theme of this wonderfully written, diverse book is diversity itself, and its range serves only to confirm the disparate nature of Shakespeare's achievement."-Peter Ackroyd, The Times


"What made Shakespeare 'Shakespeare'? How much do we really know about his life? How do we know that he really wrote the plays attributed to him? What defines his singularity? No book on the market answers these questions better than The Genius of Shakespeare."-James S. Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare


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Bate, Jonathan
Published by Oxford University Press, New York U. S. A. (2008)
ISBN 10: 0195372999 ISBN 13: 9780195372991
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Book Description Oxford University Press, New York U. S. A., 2008. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Marfree, acidfree Fine 2008 illus Ed IS NEW as shown Gift Qual; no names, not marked-in, underscored, clearance or discard. Mails from NYC usually within 12 hours.; 1.3 x 9 x 6.1 Inches; 402 pages; The genius of Bate! Jan 24, 2001 By Amanda E M Wright (Cambridge, England) - Jonathan Bate's THE GENIUS OF SHAKESPEARE takes issue with cultural conservatives and with politically correct radicals to explain how a dramatist of humble orgins became the best known author in history. In what is described as "a new kind of biography", Bate offers a two-part history of Shakespeare's talent and reputation. Instead of the usual life story or play-by-play account, Bate begins part one by discussing the anecdotes that were told about Shakespeare during his life, looking at how his contemporaries saw him. Then he moves on to dissect the sonnets showing the various ways they have been used to provide a biographical key to their author's life. Wielding Occam's razor, Bate attacks the tendency of the "life and works" approach to over-interpret the poems to illuminate the dark corners of the life.Bate's willingness to admit that much will never be known is refreshing. His suggestion about the Dark Lady's identity is delightfully mischievous: she could have been the wife of John Florio, Italian secretary to the Earl of Southampton. Given the sources, this is as credible as most other interpretations, even though Bate is attempting to convict the poet Samuel Daniel's sister of multiple adultery on circumstantial evidence that would not have persuaded Othello. More daring is Bate's solution to the conclusion of "Master W H", the unknown "begetter" of the sonnets. This, he argues, is just a printer's error for "W S" (William Shakespeare).When addressing the authorship question, Bate uses knockabout tactics to demolish alternative candidates - from Francis Bacon to sundry lords - but he does so in a more profound question: why should anyone doubt that Shakespeare wrote the plays? As so often, the answer concerns class. Cultural conservatives could not bear the idea that a mere grammer-school boy and butcher's son was as talented as university-trained wits.In part two, Bate deals with the gradual growth of Shakespeare's reputation after his death. Since the Bard's plays broke the rules of classical decorum, his eighteenth-century admirers were forced to "invent" a new category of "native genius" to account for his talent. Shakespeare's apparent weakness, his lack of a university education, turned out to be his greatest strength. Aided by sundry Romantics, Britain's national poet was defined a "natural" genius.Other emerging nations also adopted Shakespeare as a cultural icon, but usually in opposition to the classical culture of oppressive rulers. In Germany, for example, the Bard was reinvented as a symbol of anti-Gallic, pro-Teutonic identity. As a large part of Shakespeare's rise to universal deification was his ability to inspire other artists, Bate considers the reworking of his plays by artists such as Hector Berlioz, Giuseppe Verdi and Henry Fuseli.Although everyone knows that Shakespeare has been used for conservative propaganda, Bate is at his best when he reminds us that the Bard was once also the people's playwright. The use of Shakespeare by Quakers, Chartists and other nonconformists as a counter-tradition - "one nurtured in the dissenting academies in which those excluded from the old universities found an educational community" - powerfully suggests that Shakespeare's genius was rooted in the ability to represent so many different aspects of life that all social groups could find cofirmation of their world-view in his books.Bate goes further. Rather than being a reactionary Dead White European Male, Shakespeare was also an inspiration to black writers such as George Lamming and Aime Cesaire, who used THE TEMPEST as a critique of colonialism and as "the voice of the recovered black identity". Examples such as these seem to prove Bate's as. Bookseller Inventory # 23347

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Anniversary edition. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This fascinating book by one of Britain s most acclaimed Shakespeare scholars explores the extraordinary staying-power of the world s most famous dramatist. Bate opens by taking up questions of authorship and then goes on to trace Shakespeare s canonization and near-deification, examining not only the uniqueness of his status among English-speaking readers but also his effect on literary cultures across the globe. Ambitious, wide-ranging, and historically rich, this book shapes a provocative inquiry into the nature of genius as it ponders the legacy of a talent unequalled in English letters. A bold and meticulous work of scholarship, The Genius of Shakespeare is also lively and accessibly written and will appeal to any reader who has marveled at the Bard and the enduring power of his work. This tenth anniversary edition has a new twenty-page afterword that addresses the renewed interest in Shakespeare and recent film adaptations of his most celebrated works. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195372991

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Jonathan Bate
Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2008)
ISBN 10: 0195372999 ISBN 13: 9780195372991
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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Anniversary edition. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This fascinating book by one of Britain s most acclaimed Shakespeare scholars explores the extraordinary staying-power of the world s most famous dramatist. Bate opens by taking up questions of authorship and then goes on to trace Shakespeare s canonization and near-deification, examining not only the uniqueness of his status among English-speaking readers but also his effect on literary cultures across the globe. Ambitious, wide-ranging, and historically rich, this book shapes a provocative inquiry into the nature of genius as it ponders the legacy of a talent unequalled in English letters. A bold and meticulous work of scholarship, The Genius of Shakespeare is also lively and accessibly written and will appeal to any reader who has marveled at the Bard and the enduring power of his work. This tenth anniversary edition has a new twenty-page afterword that addresses the renewed interest in Shakespeare and recent film adaptations of his most celebrated works. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195372991

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