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Binding: Paperback, 400 pages
Publisher: Frazer Press
Weight: 1.11 pound
Dimension: H: 0.89 x L: 8.5 x W: 5.5 inches
ISBN 10: 1408630613
ISBN 13: 9781408630617
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Book Description:
S H A K E S P E A R E C R I T I C I S M This selection of Shakespeare Criticism, zg 19 35 was first in the Worlds Classics in 1936, and reprinted in 1937, 1942, and 2945. Introduction ASSUREDLY that criticism of Shakespeare X be genial which is reverSenhtaikale, s pCeaorle e rwidilgl ea lsoanide in a lecture. And George Darley wrote to Allan Cunningham in I 83 5 How it would unglorify Shakespeare, and soil imagination, if he were brought down to the kennel in which real existence runs Those opinions will serve to define something of the attitude towards Shakespeare which was held in the period at which the previous collection of criticism in this series ended, and to stress the contrast with the present. The development from Coleridges style into the sentimental dithyramb of less brilliant men, in a time when the amount of Shakespearian criticism hugely increased, and in which there was change in standards of scholarship but little in those of criticism, is not traced in this book, which is a colIection made from writers since the War. The picture of an extremely self occupied Shakepeare, boldly rebuking his characters for faults which he thereby corrects in himself, and checking his own over rapid growth, which is found in Dowdens criticism, is a little ridiculous to us. Alien, also, is Paters moral approach, holding that poetry is to help us to make finer appreciations and so is the practice of character extraction, brilliantly though it has been done in this century by A. C. Bradley. For one of the chief critical maxims of the day is that nothing must be extracted from its proper context, leasr of all in the case of Shakespeare. Darley was perhaps saying that very thing in the passage quoted above, but we disagree as to the nature of the context. Poetry is not to be treated as religion, nor a poet as a philosopher Coleridges reverence for Shakespeares philusophical mind has been countered by Mr. Shaws ribald remarks on the conventional morality of that mind, such as his comment on Orlandos If ever been where bells have knolled to church How perfectly the atmosphere of the rented pew is caught in this incredible line Shakespeares context as it is now seen is the theatre, and England under Elizabeth. This would seem to imply a Crocean aesthetic which considers the medium in which the artist works as the essential shape of his thought, through which alone it has existence as opposed to the aesthetic which Carlyle expressed Disjecta membra are all that we find of any Poet, where the medium is only an imperfect vessel for the thought. A passage from Mr. Eliots The Use of Poetry. . . may illustrate this If poetry is a form of t communication, yet that which is to be communicated is the poem tself, and only incidentally the experience and the thought which have gone into it. And it is always true, he writes elsewhere, to say that form and content are the same, and always true to say that they are different. Perhaps the case in which they are not the same for the reader is when a clumsy or obscure expression leaves him to find a content which may be different from what the words are really saying, or to add something to what they say. But at any rate the two are inevitably separated for the purpose of criticism, and the stress on context mentioned above has led to an increased study of the way a poet wrote, so often before neglected for what he wrote about. The scholarship which is allied to this is the particular emphasis of this age...

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