Shakespeare: Contemporary Critical Approaches
The study and criticism of Shakespeare has always been of major interest in the literary world but never more than in the last ten years. The essays in this issue of the Bucknell Review explore dimensions of Shakespeare's contributions that have rarely been treated before: Shakespeare's perception of painting as an art form, the study of Stoicism versus Epicureanism in his characters, the aesthetic tendencies (influenced by Italy) that were dominant in England after 1590, feudal and bourgeois concepts of values, the suppression and exploitation of the peasantry for the benefit of the traditional ruling class, the confusion of interests in the problems of racism and colonialism, the contrast within humanity of grace and will - heavenly visions and murderous passions, Shakespeare's creating an audience for his plays and assigning to that audience a role to play, and the difficulty in accepting the tragic dimensions of the human condition - trying to live with faith in a world that humanity cannot ever fully control. The essays in this issue of Bucknell Review represent recent developments in the study of Shakespeare and suggest possibilities for new developments in Shakespearian studies. The feelings of the individual essays and their overall critical climate create a sensitive atmosphere for creative study. Theatergoers should be particularly interested in this issue since the essays explore areas of Shakespeare's art that are complementary to the experience of the plays in performance.
Contributors: Michael Payne, Elizabeth Traux, Clifford Davidson, Frederick O. Waage, Burton Hatlen, Walter Cohen, Jerrell Leininger, Maurice Hunt, Jean E. Howard, James P. Driscoll, and Barbara L. Estrin.
About the editor:
Harry R. Garvin was John P. Crozer Professor of English at Bucknell University.
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