William Empson: Essays on Shakespeare by William EmpsonWilliam Empson: Essays on Shakespeare by William Empson

William Empson: Essays on Shakespeare

byWilliam EmpsonEditorDavid Pirie

Paperback | May 29, 1986

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At the time of his death in 1984, the poet and critic William Empson was preparing and revising a collection of his essays on Shakespeare. This collection edited by David Pirie, is a book which the literary world has wanted for over half a century. Here, in a single volume, are major readings of Hamlet and Macbeth; a witty and sometimes impassioned defence of Falstaff, and a new piece on the architecture of the Globe theatre and other Renaissance playhouses, in which Empson explores the problems that the design of contemporary stages posed for a working playwright; there are also essays on the narrative poems, A Midsummer Night's Dream and the last plays. The essays demonstrate the subtlety and agility of Empson's mind, as well as his remarkable breadth of knowledge, while the almost racy wit of his informal prose style argues for a literary criticism which should never become solemn if it is to be truly serious.

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Title:William Empson: Essays on ShakespeareFormat:PaperbackDimensions:260 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.59 inPublished:May 29, 1986Publisher:Cambridge University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521311500

ISBN - 13:9780521311502

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Table of Contents

Preface; Sources and acknowledgements; 1. The narrative poems; 2. Falstaff; 3. Hamlet; 4. Macbeth; 5. The Globe theatre; 6. Fairy flight in A Midsummer Night's Dream; 7. Hunt the symbol; Select bibliography.

From Our Editors

Here, in a single volume, are major readings of Hamlet and Macbeth, a witty and sometimes impassioned defense of Falstaff, and a new piece on the architecture of the Globe theater and other Renaissance playhouses, in which Empson explores the problems that the design of contemporary stages posed for a working playwright; there are also essays on the narrative poems, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the last plays.

Editorial Reviews

'Empson was a professor, but he had all the qualities that academics are often accused of lacking: he was humane, intense, eccentric, passionately hostile to Christianity, never dull, and very very clever ... The blurb calls this book ... a book which the literary world has wanted for half a century, and for once I think the publisher is not exaggerating. Today as much as ever, literary criticism needs its William Empsons.' The Spectator