Spiritual Shakespeares is the first book to explore the scope for reading Shakespeare spiritually in the light of contemporary theory and current world events. Ewan Fernie has brought together an exciting cast of critics in order to respond to the ‘religious turn’ in recent literary theory and to the spiritualized politics of terrorism and the ‘War on Terror’.
Exploring a genuinely new perspective within Shakespeare Studies, the volume suggests that experiencing the spiritual intensities of the plays could lead us back to dramatic intensity as such. It tests spirituality from a political perspective, as well as subjecting politics to an unusual spiritual critique. Amongst its controversial and provocative arguments is the idea that a consideration of spirituality might point the way forward for materialist criticism.
Reaching across and beyond literary studies to offer challenging and powerful contributions from leading scholars, this book offers unique readings of some very familiar plays.
About the Author
Ewan Fernie is Senior Lecturer in English at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is author of Shame in Shakespeare, leading editor of Reconceiving the Renaissance, and founding editor (with Simon Palfrey) of a new series of very short books called Shakespeare Now! In 2004, he was selected by Gary Taylor and the Hudson-Strode Program as one of ‘the six most brilliant scholars of Renaissance Drama in the world under 40’.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors General editor’s preface Acknowledgements Foreword: Of hyper-reality John D. Caputo Introduction: Shakespeare, spirituality and contemporary criticism Ewan Fernie 1. ‘Where hope is coldest’: All’s Well that Ends Well Kiernan Ryan 2. Harry’s (in)human face David Ruiter 3. Waiting for Gobbo Lowell Gallagher 4. ‘Salving the mail’: perjury, grace and the disorder of things in Love’s Labour’s Lost Philippa Berry 5. The Shakespearean fetish Lisa Freinkel 6. Bottom’s secret John J. Joughin 7. Spectres of Hamlet Richard Kearney 8. The last act: presentism, spirituality and the politics of Hamlet Ewan Fernie Afterword Jonathan Dollimore Bibliography Index