Shakespeare and the Theatre of Wonder

Overview

Playwrights through history have used the emotion of wonder to explore the relation between feeling and knowing in the theatre. In Shakespeare and the Theatre of Wonder, T. G. Bishop argues that wonder provides a turbulent space, rich at once in emotion and self-consciousness, where the nature and value of knowing is brought into question. Bishop compares the treatment of wonder in classical philosophy and drama, and goes on to examine English cycle-plays, charting wonder's ambivalent relation to dogma and ...
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Overview

Playwrights through history have used the emotion of wonder to explore the relation between feeling and knowing in the theatre. In Shakespeare and the Theatre of Wonder, T. G. Bishop argues that wonder provides a turbulent space, rich at once in emotion and self-consciousness, where the nature and value of knowing is brought into question. Bishop compares the treatment of wonder in classical philosophy and drama, and goes on to examine English cycle-plays, charting wonder's ambivalent relation to dogma and sacrament in the medieval religious theatre. Through extended readings of three of Shakespeare's plays - The Comedy of Errors, Pericles, and The Winter's Tale - Bishop argues that Shakespeare uses wonder as a key component of his dialectic between affirmation and critique. Wonder is shown as vital to the characteristic self-consciousness of Shakespeare's plays as acts of narrative inquiry and renovation.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Shakespeare and the theatre of wonder is an enlightening work, coupling impressive insight into the plays it analyzes with an infectious appreciation for the rich chemistry of those dynamic still points in which nothing but everything is happening." Thomas Moisan, Shakespeare Quarterly
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Theory of wonder; theatre of wonder 17
2 Vision and vocation in the theatre of God 42
3 Compounding "Errors" 63
4 Pericles; or, the past as fate and miracle 93
5 The Winter's Tale; or, filling up the graves 125
Conclusion 176
Notes 178
Bibliography 211
Index 219
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