Shakespeare's sonnets and A Lover's Complaint constitute a rich tapestry of rhetorical play about Renaissance love in all its guises. A significant strand of this spiritual alchemy is working the 'metal' of the mind through meditation on love, memory work and intense imagination. Healy demonstrates how this process of anguished soul work - construed as essential to inspired poetic making - is woven into these poems, accounting for their most enigmatic imagery and urgency of tone. The esoteric philosophy of late Renaissance Neoplatonic alchemy, which embraced bawdy sexual symbolism and was highly fashionable in European intellectual circles, facilitated Shakespeare's poetry. Arguing that Shakespeare's incorporation of alchemical textures throughout his late works is indicative of an artistic stance promoting religious toleration and unity, this book sets out a crucial new framework for interpreting the 1609 poems and transforms our understanding of Shakespeare's art.
The first, in a 2-series set of books focusing on North America, this book offers detailed listings of all the major Shakespeare plays on stage and screen. Exploring each of the play's performance history, and including reviews and useful information about staging, it provides an engaging reference guide for acadeamics and students alike.
Mary Cowden Clarke (1809-98) was the daughter of the publisher Vincent Novello. She was a noted Shakespearian scholar who produced a complete concordance to his works in 1845, and her fascination with the plays led to her publishing in 1850 a series of imaginative accounts of the girlhood of some of his heroines. Her motive was 'to imagine the possible circumstances and influences of scene, event, and associate, surrounding the infant life of his heroines, which might have conduced to originate and foster those germs of character recognised in their maturity as by him developed; to conjecture what might have been the first imperfect dawnings of that which he has shown us in the meridian blaze of perfection'. These 'prequels' offer a back-story which is surprising in its subversive interpretation of the plays and especially of the role of the 'hero'.
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