Vision and Rhetoric in Shakespeare: Looking through Language

Overview

This major new interdisciplinary study argues that Shakespeare exploited long-established connections between vision, space and language in order to construct rhetorical equivalents for visual perspective. Through a detailed comparison of art and poetic theory in Italy and England, Thorne shows how perspective was appropriated by English writers, who reinterpreted it to suit their own literary concerns and cultural context. Focusing on five Shakespearean plays, she situates their preoccupation with issues of ...

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Overview

This major new interdisciplinary study argues that Shakespeare exploited long-established connections between vision, space and language in order to construct rhetorical equivalents for visual perspective. Through a detailed comparison of art and poetic theory in Italy and England, Thorne shows how perspective was appropriated by English writers, who reinterpreted it to suit their own literary concerns and cultural context. Focusing on five Shakespearean plays, she situates their preoccupation with issues of viewpoint in relation to a range of artistic forms and topics from miniatures to masques.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There is much to admire in Vision and Rhetoric in Shakespeare, especially the chapter on Hamlet..."— Times Literary Supplement
Booknews
Thorne (Renaissance literature and literary theory, the University of Strathclyde) contends that Shakespeare's preoccupation with issues of viewpoint needs to be understood in the context of the visual and rhetorical culture of his day. She investigates the attitude of Shakespeare and his contemporaries to the Italianate device of pictorial perspective, and shows, through a comparison of Italian and English aesthetic theory, that this device was transformed to suit the needs of a very different cultural milieu. She gives detailed readings of five Shakespearean plays, locating their treatment of viewpoint in relation to various artistic forms. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312226572
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Thorne is Lecturer in English Studies at the University of Strathclyde.

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Table of Contents

Preface
• Alberti, As You Like It and the Process of Invention
• English Beholders and the Art of Perspective
Ut Pictura Poesis and the Rhetoric of Perspective
Hamlet and the Art of Looking Diversely on the Self
Troilus and Cressida, "Imagin'd Worth" and the "Bifold Authority" of Anamorphosis
Antony and Cleopatra and the Art of Dislimning
The Tempest and the Art of Masque

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