Romance and Reformation: The Erasmian Spirit of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure

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University of Delaware Press, 2000 - Drama - 189 pages
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"This book is an inquiry, through Measure for Measure, into Shakespeare's understanding of drama as a vehicle for social reform. It examines an assumption central to Shakespeare's inherited humanist tradition: that literature, and particularly drama, is capable of promoting a better society and it finds Shakespeare interrogating this assumption, asking whether drama that has been fashioned according to reformist principles of the great humanist educator Erasmus can, after all, achieve the remediating effects it seeks. Shakespeare explored this question in Measure for Measure at a time when the humanist consensus of roughly a century's duration in English culture seemed about to be eclipsed by a hardening of the positions of people who held opposing views on social issues."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Contents

The Logos in the Humanist Rhetorical Tradition
24
Measure for Measure as Comic Romance
55
Fornication and Calumny The Conceptual Structure of Measure for Measure
69
Factionalism and Social Reform The Dilemma of Humanist Drama
88
The Rhetoric of the Logos in Measure for Measure
102
Redemption and Damnation Measure for Measure and Othello as Contrasting Paired Visions
150
Notes
157
Works Cited
176
Index
185
Copyright

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Page 117 - That skins the vice o' the top. Go to your bosom ; Knock there ; and ask your heart what it doth know That's like my brother's fault ; if it confess A natural guiltiness such as is his, Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue Against my brother's life.
Page 61 - Heaven doth with us as we with torches do ; Not light them for themselves : for if our virtues Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike As if we had them not...
Page 42 - Do you hear, let them be well used ; for they are the abstract, and brief chronicles, of the time. After your death you were better have a bad epitaph, than their ill report while you live. Pol. My lord, I will use them according to their desert.
Page 82 - I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry : be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go : farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool ; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go, and quickly too. Farewell.
Page 68 - But all the story of the night told over And all their minds transfigur'd so together, More witnesseth than fancy's images, And grows to something of great constancy ; But, howsoever, strange, and admirable.
Page 86 - But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37. For by thy words thou shall be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Page 166 - Some things she openeth by the sacred books of Scripture; some things by the glorious works of nature; with some things she inspireth them from above by spiritual influence; in some things she leadeth and traineth them only by worldly experience and practice.
Page 81 - In all speech, words and sense are as the body and the soul. The sense is as the life and soul of language, without which all words are dead.

About the author (2000)

Robert B. Bennett is an associate professor of English at the University of Delaware.

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