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Shakespeare's Irrational Endings: The Problem Plays

David Margolies

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ISBN 10: 0230277616 / ISBN 13: 9780230277618
Published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2012
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Shakespeare's Irrational Endings: The ...

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Publication Date: 2012

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Edition: 2012.

About this title


Shakespeare's plays are too often analysed as if they existed in a vacuum. This book looks at the Problem Plays as designed to produce a response in the audience, and offers a vision of them quite different from conventional judgements. Extending the category from the traditional Troilus and Cressida, All's Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure to include The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing and Othello, the author closely examines the texts to argue that Shakespeare purposely disturbs his audience. The endings in particular reveal an intention to cause frustration by first creating expectations through the form and then contradicting them in the content. Thus, the marriages which seem to fulfil the expectations of a comedy's happy ending clash unresolvably with the audience's recognition of their doubts about the specific match. Shakespeare's cynicism feels surprisingly relevant today, while the plays' increasing skill and subtlety continue to offer real pleasure.

About the Author:

DAVID MARGOLIES Emeritus Professor of English at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. He has published widely on Shakespeare and popular culture, notably Novel and Society in Elizabethan England and Monsters of the Deep: Social Dissolution in Shakespeare's Tragedies.

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