Swearing and Perjury in Shakespeare's Plays

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Psychology Press, 2005 - 174 Seiten
First published in 1979.

How do the elements of swearing and perjury work in Shakespeare's plays? What effect did Shakespeare intend when he wrote them? How did they contribute to the delineation of character? These questions are investigated by combining a history of ideas approach with close textual analysis.

The book begins by bringing together material from a wide range of contemporary sources in order to create a sense of popular awareness of oaths in Queen Elizabeth's time. Out of this emerges a scale of the relative strength of various oaths, an awareness of the ways in which people regarded perjury, and an appreciation of the attempts to prohibit profanity. Shakespeare's work is then examined against this background.
 

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Inhalt

Oaths as Structure
24
Fashionable Swearing
44
Oaths of Air and of Honour
72
Oaths and Tragic Tension
100
In Response to Censorship
125
Notes
153
Index
171
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