Shakespeare's Festive Comedy: A Study of Dramatic Form and Its Relation to Social Custom

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Princeton University Press, 03.10.2011 - 328 Seiten

In this classic work, acclaimed Shakespeare critic C. L. Barber argues that Elizabethan seasonal festivals such as May Day and Twelfth Night are the key to understanding Shakespeare's comedies. Brilliantly interweaving anthropology, social history, and literary criticism, Barber traces the inward journey--psychological, bodily, spiritual--of the comedies: from confusion, raucous laughter, aching desire, and aggression, to harmony. Revealing the interplay between social custom and dramatic form, the book shows how the Elizabethan antithesis between everyday and holiday comes to life in the comedies' combination of seriousness and levity.


"I have been led into an exploration of the way the social form of Elizabethan holidays contributed to the dramatic form of festive comedy. To relate this drama to holiday has proved to be the most effective way to describe its character. And this historical interplay between social and artistic form has an interest of its own: we can see here, with more clarity of outline and detail than is usually possible, how art develops underlying configurations in the social life of a culture."--C. L. Barber, in the Introduction


This new edition includes a foreword by Stephen Greenblatt, who discusses Barber's influence on later scholars and the recent critical disagreements that Barber has inspired, showing that Shakespeare's Festive Comedy is as vital today as when it was originally published.

 

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Inhalt

INTRODUCTION THE SATURNALIAN PATTERN
1
HOLIDAY CUSTOM AND ENTERTAINMENT
16
MISRULE AS COMEDY COMEDY AS MISRULE
39
PROTOTYPES OF FESTIVE COMEDY IN A PAGEANT ENTERTAINMENT SUMMERS LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
64
THE FOLLY OF WIT AND MASQUERADE IN LOVES LABOURS LOST
98
MAY GAMES AND METAMORPHOSES ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT
135
THE MERCHANTS AND THE JEW OF VENICE WEALTHS COMMUNION AND AN INTRUDER
185
RULE AND MISRULE IN HENRY IV
219
THE ALLIANCE OF SERIOUSNESS AND LEVITY IN AS YOU LIKE IT
252
TESTING COURTESY AND HUMANITY IN TWELFTH NIGHT
272
INDEX
297
Urheberrecht

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Über den Autor (2011)

C. L. Barber was a fellow of the Folger Shakespeare Library and a world-renowned Shakespeare scholar. His books include The Whole Journey: Shakespeare's Power of Development and Creating Elizabethan Tragedy: The Theater of Marlowe and Kyd.

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