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This fresh examination of four of Shakespeare's greatest plays interprets them less as tragedies than as romances, according to the idealism infusing, the motifs shaping, and the figures peopling them. It counters the conventional wisdom and its biases against romance, and questions received opinion about literary genre and cultural history; it also presents historical, bibliographic, and literary evidence for the resurgent vitality of chivalric romance at the end of Elizabeth's reign and the start of James's rule, a revival which featured chivalric romances or materials derived and fashioned from them for the mixed purposes of popular entertainment and political expression.The author shows how in this context, and for a theatre company preferred by the throne, Shakespeare exploited chivalric romance to explore themes of governance, legitimacy, and succession in these plays. Although their protagonists are pre-eminent, they give way to improved polities and worthier successors, and their triumph represents an order which prevails because justice triumphs. Thus subordinating tragedy to romance, the author argues that these plays articulate an informed idealism and a tempered optimism about the outcome of contested issues.MICHAEL L. HAYS holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan.
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(The author's) adroit study of the major tragedies seen through the lens of chivalric romance rewards reading at every turn. CHOICE
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Book Description 2005. Hardcover. Condition: Fair. 2005 D.S.Brewer hardcover edition. Ex library copy with stamps and labels else good condition. Seller Inventory # RBC-M4B-Q6I