Eight Tragedies of Shakespeare
'This book rests on a lifetime’s thinking about history. It helps us see Shakespeare in “a more realistic light”.’Times Literary SupplementThe seventeenth century saw the briefflowering of tragic drama across Western Europe. And in the plays of WilliamShakespeare, this form of drama found its greatest exponent. These Tragedies,Kiernan argues, represented the artistic expression of a new social andpolitical consciousness which permeated every aspect of life in this period. Inthis book, Kiernan sets out to rescue the Tragedies from the reductionistinterpretations of mainstream literary criticism, by uncovering the widerhistorical context which shaped Shakespeare's writings.Opening with an overview ofcontemporary England, the development of the theatre, and a portrait ofShakespeare as a writer, Kiernan goes on to provide an in-depth analysis ofeight of his Tragedies – from JuliusCaesar to Coriolanus – drawing out their contrasts andrecurring themes, and exploring their attitudes to monarchy, war, religion,philosophy, and changing relations between men and women. Featuring a newintroduction by Terry Eagleton, this is an invaluable resource for thoselooking for a new perspective on Shakespeare's writings.
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