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.Read more
- 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
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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- Date Published: August 2008
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521072250
- length: 336 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.49kg
- 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
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