Teaching with Shakespeare: Critics in the Classroom
"Today the number and nature of interpretive strategies developed by contemporary theorists for reading Shakespeare's texts may not only delight but also disconcert the scholars, critics, teachers, and students who study them. In this work, six leading Shakespearean scholar-critics, in a series of clear and elegant lectures delivered to undergraduate English majors, explain distinctive procedures that they and other influential, contemporary critics use for interpreting Shakespeare's poems and plays. Workshops, which illustrate with Shakespearean texts the practice of specific methods, follow the lectures." "Helen Vendler (Harvard) guides readers to Shakespeare's poetry by explaining and illustrating how to hear the unexpected and unobtrusive but crucial questions that sonnets pose, and by tracing the increasingly powerful perceptions that precise, informed aesthetic responses to these questions evoke. R. A. Foakes (UCLA) identifies basic cultural issues underlying traditional approaches to teaching Shakespeare's plays, especially the tragedies, and explains how poststructuralist responses to these issues lead to a reevaluation of the "Bard." Leah Marcus (U. Texas, Austin) also explains cultural issues, particularly about the "construct" that has become "Shakespeare," and introduces editorial questions about the actual textual versions offered to students, notably of Hamlet and King Lear. With emphasis on the plays in performance, John Wilders (Oxford, Middlebury) delivers a structure-oriented, acting-centered analysis of Julius Caesar and then directs, in similar fashion, a production of the first scene of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Patricia Parker (Stanford), on the other hand, follows intricate lines of wordplay through a series of deconstructions and reconstructions in The Merry Wives of Windsor and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Bringing the series to a close, Annabel Patterson (Duke) presents an explicitly issue-oriented analysis of editorial, critical, scholarly, dramatic, and cinematic interpretations of Henry V; and she offers a concluding commentary on the workshops of her colleagues."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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Page 149 - O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, That I am meek and gentle with these butchers! Thou art the ruins of the noblest man That ever lived in the tide of times. Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood! Over thy wounds now do I prophesy,— Which, like dumb mouths do ope their ruby lips To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue...
Page 116 - No traveller returns, puzzles the will, And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of?
Page 58 - Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this ; For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers
Page 38 - Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments, love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. O no, it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wand'ring bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Page 38 - The expense of spirit in a waste of shame Is lust in action...
Page 95 - Let it be so, — thy truth, then, be thy dower : For, by the sacred radiance of the sun, The mysteries of Hecate, and the night ; By all the operation of the orbs From whom we do exist, and cease to be...
Page 116 - tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream; ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life...
Page 59 - Past reason hunted; and no sooner had, Past reason hated, as a swallowed bait, On purpose laid to make the taker mad: Mad in pursuit, and in possession so; Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme; A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe; Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.