Shakespeare and the Idea of the Book
The "book" - both material and metaphoric - is strewn throughout Shakespeare's plays: it is held by Hamlet as he turns through revenge to madness; buried deep in the mudded ooze by Prospero when he has shaken out his art like music and violence; it is forced by Richard II to withstand the mortality of deposition, fetishised by lovers, tormented by pedagogues, lost by kings, written by the alienated, and hung about war with the blood of lost voices. The 'book' begins and ends Shakespeare's dramatic career as change itself, standing the distance between violence and hope, between holding and losing. Shakespeare and the Idea of the Book is about the book in Shakespeare's plays. Focusing on seven plays, not only for the chronology and range they present, but also for their particular relationship to the book - whether it is political or humanist, cognitive or illusory, satirical or sexual, spiritual or secular, social or subjective - Scott argues that the book on stage, its literal and semantic presence, offers one of the most articulate and developed hermeneutic tools available for the study of early modern English culture.
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Give me that glass and therein will I read
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actor allusions appears art of memory authority Berowne Berowne's Bianca Bible body book of heaven Caliban Cambridge University Press cognitive context cultural Cymbeline desire Despite discourse Doctor Faustus dramatic dream early modern Elizabethan emerge experience explore Faustus Faustus's Folio Francis Bacon Hamlet hath human humanist Iachimo icon idea illusion imagination Imogen Jonathan Bate king language Lavinia learning London Love's Labour's Lost lovers Lucentio material meaning memory Metamorphoses metaphorical mind Miranda mirror narrative nature observation on-stage Ophelia Ovid Ovid's performance Peter Greenaway play play's Polonius Posthumus Posthumus's potential presence printed Prospero Prospero's books reading reality recognize references reflection relationship Renaissance represent representation response rhetoric Richard role scene semiotic sexual Shakespeare's Shrew signifies silence Sonnet Sonnet 23 soul space stage Stephano story suggests symbolic synthesis Tempest textual theatre theatrical Titus Titus Andronicus translation truth visual Whilst women writing Young Lucius