Shakespeare the Man: New Decipherings

ISBN 13: 9781611478693

Shakespeare the Man: New Decipherings

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9781611478693: Shakespeare the Man: New Decipherings

While over the past four hundred years numerous opinions have been voiced as to Shakespeare's identity, these eleven essays widen the scope of the investigation by regarding Shakespeare, his world, and his works in their interaction with one another. Instead of restricting the search for bits and pieces of evidence from his works that seem to match what he may have experienced, these essays focus on the contemporary milieu—political developments, social and theater history, and cultural and religious pressures—as well as the domestic conditions within Shakespeare's family that shaped his personality and are featured in his works. The authors of these essays, employing the tenets of critical theory and practice as well as intuitive and informed insight, endeavor to look behind the masks, thus challenging the reader to adjudicate among the possible, the probable, the likely, and the unlikely. With the exception of the editor’s own piece on Hamlet, Shakespeare the Man: New Decipherings presents previously unpublished essays, inviting the reader to embark upon an intellectual adventure into the fascinating terrain of Shakespeare's mind and art.

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About the Author:

John O'Meara trained as a Shakespearean and a Romantic critic. He taught for many years at the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa. Visit the author's website at johnomeara.squarespace.com

Review:

This collection offers scholarly work that is for the most part conjectural . . . ranging in length from 10 to 65 pages; the essays present a diversity of approaches and objectives. The longest essay is Charles Forker's, which takes up a fourth of the book’s total pages. Searching for evidence of the playwright’s denominational commitment, Forker conducts a thoughtful survey of Shakespeare’s work. . . .In his contribution, Desai proposes that Shakespeare became disenchanted with the theater before composing Hamlet and that this attitude shows in the subsequent plays. . . .Less conjectural is Lisa Hopkins’s . . . engaging contribution, ‘Shakespeare’s Churches.’ John Mahon’s ‘Shakespeare among the Jesuits’ suggests some biographical connections of possible relevance. [Overall] the conjectures and religious evidence are well worth reading. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. (CHOICE)

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