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Look Inside Shakespeare, National Poet-Playwright

Shakespeare, National Poet-Playwright


  • Date Published: August 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521072250

£ 30.99

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About the Authors
  • Shakespeare, National Poet-Playwright is an important book which reassesses Shakespeare as a poet and dramatist. Patrick Cheney contests critical preoccupation with Shakespeare as 'a man of the theatre' by recovering his original standing as an early modern author: he is a working dramatist who composes some of the most extraordinary poems in English. The book accounts for this form of authorship by reconstructing the historical preconditions for its emergence, in England as in Europe, including the building of the commercial theatres and the consolidation of the printing press. Cheney traces the literary origin to Shakespeare's favourite author, Ovid, who wrote the Amores and Metamorphoses alongside the tragedy Medea. Cheney also examines Shakespeare's literary relations with his contemporary authors Edmund Spenser and Christopher Marlowe. The book concentrates on Shakespeare's freestanding poems, but makes frequent reference to the plays, and ranges widely through the work of other Renaissance writers.

    • Presents a comprehensive approach to Shakespeare's professional career, both his poems and his plays, within a nationalist setting
    • Includes an inset study of Shakespeare's poems
    • Includes a sustained analysis of Shakespeare's literary relations with his contemporary authors Edmund Spenser and Christopher Marlowe and also with classical authors Ovid and Virgil
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Cheney's impressive familiarity with the wide range of English Renaissance poetry and drama as well as an immense body of scholarship and criticism commands unreserved respect and makes Shakespeare, National Poet-Playwright a particularly important and stimulating contribution to a more complete, less fragmented evaluation of Shakespeare's literary status.' Archiv

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521072250
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Note on texts
    Proem: Shakespeare's 'Plaies and Poems'
    Part I. The Imprint of Shakespearean Authorship: Prelude: Shakespeare, Cervantes, Petrarch
    1. The sixteenth-century poet-playwright
    2. Francis Meres, the Ovidian poet-playwright, and Shakespeare criticism
    Part II. 1593–1594: The Print Author Presents Himself: Play Scene: 'Two Gentlemen' to 'Richard III'
    3. Authorship and acting: plotting Venus and Adonis along the Virgilian path
    4. Publishing the show: The Rape of Lucrece as Lucanian counter-epic of empire
    Part III. 1599–1601: The Author Brought Into Print: Play Scene: 'Love's Labor's Lost' to 'Troilus and Cressida'
    5. 'Tales … coined': 'W. Shakespeare' in Jaggard's The Passionate Pilgrim
    6. 'Threne' and 'scene': the author's relics of immortality in 'The Phoenix and Turtle'
    Part IV. 1609: Imprinting the Question of Authorship: Play Scene: 'Measure for Measure' to 'Coriolanus'
    7. 'O, let my books be … dumb presagers': poetry and theatre in the sonnets
    8. 'Deep-brain'd sonnets' and 'tragic shows': Shakespeare's late Ovidian art in A Lover's Complaint
    Epilogue. Ariel and Autolycus: Shakespeare's counter-laureate authorship
    Works cited

  • Author

    Patrick Cheney, Pennsylvania State University
    Patrick Cheney is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of Marlowe's Counterfeit Profession: Ovid, Spenser, Counter-Nationhood (1997) and Spenser's Famous Flight: A Renaissance Idea of a Literary Career (1993) and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Marlowe (2004).

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