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Shakespeare and the Theatre of Wonder


Part of Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: December 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521034920


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About the Authors
  • Playwrights throughout history have used the emotion of wonder to explore the relation between feeling and knowing in the theatre. In Shakespeare and the Theatre of Wonder, T. G. Bishop argues that wonder provides a turbulent space, rich at once in emotion and self-consciousness, where the nature and value of knowing is brought into question. Bishop compares the treatment of wonder in classical philosophy and drama, and goes on to examine English cycle-plays, charting wonder's ambivalent relation to dogma and sacrament in the medieval religious theatre. Through extended readings of three of Shakespeare's plays - The Comedy of Errors, Pericles and The Winter's Tale - Bishop argues that Shakespeare uses wonder as a key component of his dialectic between affirmation and critique. Wonder is shown as vital to the characteristic self-consciousness of Shakespeare's plays as acts of narrative enquiry and renovation.

    • Provides alternative insight into the work of Shakespeare, in the context of the use of wonder as a powerful theatrical emotion
    • Full study of a central, but neglected, aspect of theatre
    • Detailed readings of three Shakespeare plays set in their cultural context
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521034920
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.364kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    1. Theory of wonder
    theatre of wonder
    2. Vision and vocation in the theatre of God
    3. Compounding 'Errors'
    4. Pericles
    or, the past as fate and miracle
    5. The Winter's Tale
    or, filling up the graves

  • Author

    T. G. Bishop, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio

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