Cultural Studies

Alternative Shakespeares, Volume 2

Substitute Shakespeares, released in 1985, shook up the area of Shakespearean stories, demythologising Shakespeare and making use of new theories to the learn of his paintings. replacement Shakespeares: quantity 2 investigates Shakespearean feedback over a decade later, introducing new debates and new theorists into the frame.
Both confirmed students and new names seem right here, supplying a huge cross-section of latest Shakespearean experiences, together with psychoanalysis, sexual and gender politics, race and new historicism.
Alternative Shakespeares: quantity 2 represents the leading edge of up to date Shakespearean reports. This urgently-needed addition to a vintage paintings of literary feedback is one that lecturers and students will welcome.

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Extra resources for Alternative Shakespeares, Volume 2

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2 After the new historicism STEVEN MULLANEY In his 1986 Presidential Address to the Modern Language Association, J. Hillis Miller noted with some alarm a recent and pervasive transformation of literary studies: As everyone knows, literary study in the past few years has undergone a sudden, almost universal turn away from theory in the sense of an orientation toward language as such and has made a corresponding turn toward history, culture, society, politics, institutions, class and gender conditions, the social context, the material base…conditions of production, technology, distribution, and consumption.

There is only one way to stop the replication of beauty: hide it, return it to silence, to the ineffable, to aphasia, refer the referent back to the invisible. (Barthes 1975:33–4) Returned to ineffability, rendered invisible by the description of a spectacle in which she constitutes the absent centre, Cleopatra thus escapes definition, gets away, enchants the audience, like Antony, at a distance, from elsewhere (cf. Derrida 1979:49). The account declares itself to be a representation. It is part of a story, the narrative of the first meeting between Antony and Cleopatra, and it seduces at least partly as fiction, as romance.

II Among fictional figures, Shakespeare’s Cleopatra is surely supremely seductive. Beautiful, ageless, mistress of all the arts of love, mysterious, Eastern, magical, Shakespeare’s Egyptian Queen transmutes Plutarch’s calculating courtesan into myth, becoming in the process the origin of a succession of recreations by George Bernard Shaw and Cecil B. de Mille, for example, as well as reinterpretations by Vivien Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor in some of the most expensive movies ever made. From the moment of her first meeting with Antony, when she rejects his invitation to supper and substitutes her own, Shakespeare’s Cleopatra exercises a command over his will that proves virtually irresistible.

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