Late Shakespeare: A New World of Words

Paperback | November 15, 1999

bySimon Palfrey

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Shakespeare's late plays are usually seen in terms of courtliness and escapism. But the critical tradition has been too decorous. Neither neo-Christian pieties nor high-political allegory can account for the works' audacity and surprise, or the popular investment in both their form andmeaning. Post-structuralist and historicist approaches show the indeterminacy and materiality of language, but rarely identify how particular figures (words and characters) capture and energize contested history. Recent criticism tends to put a pre-emptive 'master-paradigm' above all else; a moresinuous, minutely attentive critical vocabulary is needed to apprehend Shakespeare's turbulent, precise, teeming metaphorical discourse.

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Shakespeare's late plays are usually seen in terms of courtliness and escapism. But the critical tradition has been too decorous. Neither neo-Christian pieties nor high-political allegory can account for the works' audacity and surprise, or the popular investment in both their form andmeaning. Post-structuralist and historicist approac...

Simon Palfrey is at University of Melbourne.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:November 15, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198186894

ISBN - 13:9780198186892

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Table of Contents

IntroductionRomance, Irony and HumanismPericles and the Idea of the HeroBody Language at CourtCountry MattersMagnetic Island and Islander in The TempestViolence and FreedomWomen and RomanceEndingsBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`A dazzling and dizzying study. Palfrey's earthy-and -yet-heady style - both entertaining and provocative.'Journal of English and Germanic Philology