In this penetrating study of the poetics of influence the indebtedness of Shakespeare, Milton, and Blake to a common source, namely the Bible, becomes a powerful tool for displaying three fundamentally different poetic options as well as three different ways of dealing with a conflict central to western culture. In fresh and original discussions of Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Hamlet, and King Lear, Fisch discerns what he terms the metagon: not the struggle between the characters on the stage but a struggle for the control of the play between biblical and non-biblical modes of imagining. Milton seems more single-minded in his reliance on biblical sources, yet from his analysis of Paradise Lost and Samson Agonistes Fisch concludes that there are unresolved contradictions, both aesthetic and theological, which threaten the coherence and balance of these poems as well. Blake in his turn perceived these contradictions in the work of his predecessors, condemning both Shakespeare and Milton for allowing their writing to be curbed by Greek and Latin models and claiming for himself a more authentic inspiration-that of 'the Sublime of the Bible'. But Blake's marvellous achievements in the sublime mode, as for instance in his Illustrations to Job, often reverse the direction of his biblical source, replacing dialogue with monologue. Harold Fisch's work combines an unremitting attention to the minutiae of the texts with a dazzling capacity for broad insights and judgements. He is equally at home in theological learning as in English literature.
This <i>Guide</i> steers students through the critical writing on Shakespeare’s tragedies from the sixteenth century to the present day. <br><ul><br><li>Guides students through four centuries of critical writing on Shakespeare’s tragedies. <br><li>Covers both significant early views and recent critical interventions. <br><li>Substantial editorial material links the articles and places them in context. <br><li>Annotated suggestions for further reading allow students to investigate further.</li></ul>
The Shakespeare Treasury is a fascinating collection of facts on Britain's greatest playwright and insights into the enduring popularity of his work. Delving into the inspirations behind his masterworks and the influences of generations of performers, it reveals the incredible variety of ways Shakespeare's plays have been adapted for stage and screen.
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