Appropriating Shakespeare: Contemporary Critical Quarrels / Edition 1

Appropriating Shakespeare: Contemporary Critical Quarrels / Edition 1

by Brian Vickers
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300061056

ISBN-13: 9780300061055

Pub. Date: 09/28/1994

Publisher: Yale University Press

The last twenty years have seen an increasing fragmentation in Shakespeare studies, with the emergence of several critical schools, each with its own ideology, each convinced that all other approaches are deficient. In this important book, Brian Vickers argues that, in attempting to appropriate Shakespeare for their own purposes, each of these schools distorts the…  See more details below

Overview

The last twenty years have seen an increasing fragmentation in Shakespeare studies, with the emergence of several critical schools, each with its own ideology, each convinced that all other approaches are deficient. In this important book, Brian Vickers argues that, in attempting to appropriate Shakespeare for their own purposes, each of these schools distorts the text by omission and misrepresentation. Two substantial opening chapters trace the derivation of current literary theory from the iconoclastic mood of l960s Paris. They show how an influential group of thinkers in the structuralist and post-structuralist tradition (Levi-Strauss, Barthes, Lacan, Althusser, Derrida, Foucault) promulgated a wholly negative concept of language, arguing that language cannot reliably represent reality; that literature cannot represent life; and that since no definitive reading is possible, all interpretation is misrepresentation. Vickers demonstrates that these attitudes have been decisively refuted, restates the central properties of language, and rehabilitates the notion of the author as creator of a literary work. At the core of the book he surveys the main conflicting schools in Shakespearian literary criticism - deconstructionism, feminism, new historicism, cultural materialism, and psychoanalytic, Marxist and Christian interpretations - describing the theoretical basis of each school, both in its own words and in those of its critics. Evaluating the resulting interpretations of Shakespeare, he shows that each is biased and fragmentary in its own way. Solidly researched, sharply argued and inevitably controversial, this book challenges many recent orthodoxies. As well as to theatre goers and readers of Shakespeare and Elizabethan drama, it will be of great interest to anyone concerned with modern literary theory.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300061055
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
09/28/1994
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
525
Product dimensions:
6.21(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. ICritical Theories
1The Diminution of Language: Saussure to Derrida3
2Creator and Interpreters92
Pt. IICritical Practices163
3Deconstruction: Undermining, Overreaching165
4New Historicism: Disaffected Subjects214
5Psychocriticism: Finding the Fault272
6Feminist Stereotypes: Misogyny, Patriarchy, Bombast325
7Christians and Marxists: Allegory, Ideology372
Epilogue Masters and Demons417
Notes442
Bibliography491
Index501

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