Item Details

Shakespeare's Freedom

Stephen Greenblatt
Format
Book
Published
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2010.
Language
English
Series
The Rice University Campbell Lectures
Rice University Campbell Lectures
ISBN
9780226306667 (cloth : alk. paper), 0226306666 (cloth : alk. paper)
Summary
Shakespeare lived in a world of absolutes, of claims for the absolute authority of scripture, monarch, and God, and the authority of fathers over wives and children, the old over the young, and the gentle over the baseborn. The author shows that Shakespeare was strikingly averse to such absolutes and constantly probed the possibility of freedom from them. Again and again, Shakespeare confounds the designs and pretensions of kings, generals, and churchmen. His aversion to absolutes even leads him to probe the exalted and seemingly limitless passions of his lovers. The author explores this rich theme by addressing four of Shakespeare's preoccupations across all the genres in which he worked. He first considers the idea of beauty in Shakespeare's works, specifically his challenge to the cult of featureless perfection and his interest in distinguishing marks. He then turns to Shakespeare's interest in murderous hatred, most famously embodied in Shylock but seen also in the character Bernardine in Measure for Measure. Next the author considers the idea of Shakespearean authority, that is, Shakespeare's deep sense of the ethical ambiguity of power, including his own. Ultimately, the auhor takes up Shakespearean autonomy, in particular the freedom of artists, guided by distinctive forms of perception, to live by their own laws and to claim that their creations are singularly unconstrained.
Contents
  • Absolute limits
  • Shakespearean beauty marks
  • The limits of hatred
  • Shakespeare and the ethics of authority
  • Shakespearean autonomy.
Description
xiii, 144 p., 4 p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 23 cm.
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (p. [125]-139) and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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    a| Chicago : b| University of Chicago Press, c| 2010.
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    a| xiii, 144 p., 4 p. of plates : b| ill. (some col.) ; c| 23 cm.
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    a| The Rice University Campbell lectures
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    a| Includes bibliographical references (p. [125]-139) and index.
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    a| Absolute limits -- Shakespearean beauty marks -- The limits of hatred -- Shakespeare and the ethics of authority -- Shakespearean autonomy.
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    a| Shakespeare lived in a world of absolutes, of claims for the absolute authority of scripture, monarch, and God, and the authority of fathers over wives and children, the old over the young, and the gentle over the baseborn. The author shows that Shakespeare was strikingly averse to such absolutes and constantly probed the possibility of freedom from them. Again and again, Shakespeare confounds the designs and pretensions of kings, generals, and churchmen. His aversion to absolutes even leads him to probe the exalted and seemingly limitless passions of his lovers. The author explores this rich theme by addressing four of Shakespeare's preoccupations across all the genres in which he worked. He first considers the idea of beauty in Shakespeare's works, specifically his challenge to the cult of featureless perfection and his interest in distinguishing marks. He then turns to Shakespeare's interest in murderous hatred, most famously embodied in Shylock but seen also in the character Bernardine in Measure for Measure. Next the author considers the idea of Shakespearean authority, that is, Shakespeare's deep sense of the ethical ambiguity of power, including his own. Ultimately, the auhor takes up Shakespearean autonomy, in particular the freedom of artists, guided by distinctive forms of perception, to live by their own laws and to claim that their creations are singularly unconstrained.
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    a| Shakespeare, William, d| 1564-1616 x| Criticism and interpretation.
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    a| Shakespeare, William, d| 1564-1616 x| Political and social views.
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    a| Shakespeare, William, d| 1564-1616 x| Philosophy.
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    a| Authority.
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