Shakespeare's freedom / Stephen Greenblatt

Author(s): Greenblatt, Stephen, 1943-
Retrieving Holdings Information
Subjects: Authority
Intellectual freedom
Freedom of expression
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Criticism and interpretation
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Political and social views
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Philosophy
Formats: Print
Material Type: Books
Language: English
Audience: Unspecified
Published: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2010
Series: The Rice University Campbell lectures
Rice University Campbell lectures
LC Classification: P, PR
Physical Description: xiii, 144 p., 4 p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 23 cm
Table of Contents: List of Illustrations
1. Absolute Limits 1
2. Shakespearean Beauty Marks 18
3. The Limits of Hatred 49
4. Shakespeare and the Ethics of Authority 74
5. Shakespearean Autonomy 95
Notes 125
Index 141
Notes: LCCN: 2010018917
ISBN: 9780226306667 (cloth : alk. paper)
ISBN: 0226306666 (cloth : alk. paper)
Includes bibliographical references and index
Summary: Shakespeare lived in a world of absolutes, of claims for the absolute authority of scripture, monarch, and God, and the authority of fathers over wives and children, the old over the young, and the gentle over the baseborn. The author shows that Shakespeare was strikingly averse to such absolutes and constantly probed the possibility of freedom from them. Again and again, Shakespeare confounds the designs and pretensions of kings, generals, and churchmen. His aversion to absolutes even leads him to probe the exalted and seemingly limitless passions of his lovers. The author explores this rich theme by addressing four of Shakespeare's preoccupations across all the genres in which he worked. He first considers the idea of beauty in Shakespeare's works, specifically his challenge to the cult of featureless perfection and his interest in distinguishing marks. He then turns to Shakespeare's interest in murderous hatred, most famously embodied in Shylock but seen also in the character Bernardine in Measure for Measure. Next the author considers the idea of Shakespearean authority, that is, Shakespeare's deep sense of the ethical ambiguity of power, including his own. Ultimately, the auhor takes up Shakespearean autonomy, in particular the freedom of artists, guided by distinctive forms of perception, to live by their own laws and to claim that their creations are singularly unconstrained
Contents: Absolute limits -- Shakespearean beauty marks -- The limits of hatred -- Shakespeare and the ethics of authority -- Shakespearean autonomy
OCLC Number: 587209553
ISBN/ISSN: 9780226306667