1st Edition

Ecocritical Shakespeare

Edited By Lynne Bruckner, Dan Brayton Copyright 2011
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    Can reading, writing about, and teaching Shakespeare contribute to the health of the planet? To what degree are Shakespeare's plays anthropocentric or ecocentric? What is the connection between the literary and the real when it comes to ecological conduct? This collection, engages with these pressing questions surrounding ecocritical Shakespeare, in order to provide a better understanding of where and how ecocritical readings should be situated. The volume combines multiple critical perspectives, juxtaposing historicism and presentism, as well as considering ecofeminism and pedagogy; and addresses such topics as early modern flora and fauna, and the neglected areas of early modern marine ecology and oceanography. Concluding with an assessment of the challenges-and necessities-of teaching Shakespeare ecocritically, Ecocritical Shakespeare not only broadens the implications of ecocriticism in early modern studies, but represents an important contribution to this growing field.

    Introduction Warbling Invaders; I: Contexts for reading; 1: Vermin and Parasites; 2: The Ecology of Self in Midsummer Night's Dream; 3: Gaia and the Great Chain of Being; 4: Is it Shakespearean Ecocriticism if it isn't Presentist?; II: Flora, Fauna, Weather, Water; 5: “The Nobleness of Life”; 6: The Well-Hung Shrew; 7: Felling Falstaff in Windsor Park; 8: It's all about the gillyvors; 9: Tongues in the Storm; 10: Shakespeare and the Global Ocean; III: Presentism and Pedagogy; 11: An Ecocritic's Macbeth; 12: Ophelia's Plants and the Death of Violets; 13: Teaching Shakespeare in the Ecotone 1; Afterword


    Lynne Bruckner is an Associate Professor of English at Chatham University, USA, and Daniel Brayton is an Assistant Professor of English and American Literatures at Middlebury College, USA

    'Bruckner and Brayton address a subject of great current scholarly interest-Shakespearean ecocriticism-and enrich it with a series of excellent, provocative essays.' --Bruce Boehrer, Florida State University, USA and author of Animal Characters: Nonhuman Beings in Early Modern Literature

    'These 13 essays are united by the theme of continuity: Shakespeare's work explores a human continuity with the natural world and ecocritical approaches to his work span a continuum between historicism and presentism... Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates and above.' --Choice

    'The editors distinguish 'ecocritical' analyses from the generations of scholars writing on 'nature in Shakespeare', positioning these new offerings as scientifically literate, driven by a 'presentist' concern with environmental degradation, and as recognizing that previous conceptualizations of the natural world have often been compromised by anthropocentricism and politics.' --Times Literary Supplement

    '... will be invaluable to readers interested in eco-analysis and the emerging interface between Shakespeare and ecocriticism. These essays plot a course for early modern literary analysis framed in terms of the multiplicity of nature’s meaning in the English Renaissance.' --British Society for Literature and Science

    '[This] collection, remind us that Shakespeare is more than a poet of humanity. He understood natural and animal worlds, and his plays and poems provide keys to those worlds, as well as to our own.' --Shakespeare Quarterly