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Shakespeare's remarkable ability to detect and express important new currents and moods in his culture often led him to dramatise human interactions based on the presence or absence of tolerance. Differences of religion, gender, nationality and what is now called 'race' are important in most of Shakespeare's plays, and varied ways of bridging these differences by means of sympathy and understanding are often depicted. The full development of a tolerant society is still incomplete, and this study demonstrates how the perceptions Shakespeare showed in relation to its earlier development are still instructive and valuable today. Many recent studies of Shakespeare's work have focused on reflections of the oppression or containment of minority, deviant or non-dominant groups or outlooks. This book reverses that trend and examines how Shakespeare was fascinated by the desires that underlie tolerance, including religion, race and sexuality, through close analysis of many Shakespearian plays, passages and themes.Read more
- Presents an unusual viewpoint of Shakespeare's work, focusing on tolerance rather than the often-discussed theme of oppression
- Demonstrates how Shakespeare's perceptions of tolerance are still instructive and valuable today
- Includes close analysis of many of Shakespeare's plays and themes to illustrate the argument
Reviews & endorsements
“Sokol is more sophisticated in his approach than many of his peers…Recommended.”
-D. Pesta, University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh, ChoiceSee more reviews
"Shakespeare and Tolerance makes an important intervention in an area of Shakespearian scholarship that should benefit from its freshness of approach; it can be recommended to anyone entering the stormy waters of Shakespeare and cultural difference. More generally, such is the quality of the book's close-reading that it will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in Shakespeare: Sokol is wonderfully attentive to the dynamics of character, and Shakespeare and Tolerance is studded with new and illuminating readings of familiar passages. But the study is perhaps welcome above all for its rare optimism: while acknowledging how 'Shakespeare's plays often represent robust expressions of friction arising from human differences', it insists that 'such expressions sometimes in the end lead not only to peaceful coexistence, but also to an enlarged and more flexible sense of the humanity of others' (p. xiv). Personal and deeply felt, Shakespeare and Tolerance is,like many of the processes it describes and analyses, 'wholly human'."
-Modern Language Review
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- Date Published: December 2010
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521182867
- length: 262 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.36kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Shakespeare, jokes, humour and tolerance
2. Shakespeare, gender and tolerance
3. Shakespeare, tolerance and nationality
4. Shakespeare, tolerance and religion
5. 'Race' part one
6. 'Race' part two - Shakespeare and slavery
Afterword. Tolerance as a species of love.
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