Replacement Shakespeares, released in 1985, shook up the realm of Shakespearean reports, demythologising Shakespeare and making use of new theories to the research of his paintings. substitute Shakespeares: quantity 2 investigates Shakespearean feedback over a decade later, introducing new debates and new theorists into the frame.
Both demonstrated students and new names look right here, delivering a wide cross-section of latest Shakespearean stories, together with psychoanalysis, sexual and gender politics, race and new historicism.
Alternative Shakespeares: quantity 2 represents the vanguard of latest Shakespearean experiences. This urgently-needed addition to a vintage paintings of literary feedback is one that academics and students will welcome.
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Extra resources for Alternative Shakespeares, Volume 2
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.
But once again this turns out to be an absence which promises presence. Her supposed death constitutes a summons to Antony, and he imagines 44 CLEOPATRA’S SEDUCTION a triumphal entry into the Elysian world which re-enacts, this time for them both, Cleopatra’s own earlier depopulation of the city: Where souls do couch on flowers we’ll hand in hand And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze. Dido and her Aeneas shall want troops, And all the haunt be ours. (IV. xiv. 52–5) Her actual death, meanwhile, effects the final seduction, precisely to the degree that it resembles life, as Caesar himself seems for a moment to glimpse the possibility of taking Antony’s place: she looks like sleep, As she would catch another Antony In her strong toil of grace.
Any significant expansion of this relatively closed discursive economy, any significant difference in the degree to which ideas and attitudes could be disseminated, threatened to become a difference in kind as well—altering the structure of knowledge by redefining its boundaries, contributing to the historical pressures that were forcing a transition from a relatively closed to a radically open economy of knowledge and representation. And unlike other significant expansions of the symbolic economy of the period, such as the rapid evolution of print culture and the concomitant vernacular translations of the Bible, literacy was not the price of admission to the theatre, giving the stage a currency and accessibility that was rivalled only by the pulpit.