Rather than treating the plays as objects to be studied, described and interpreted, Engagements with Shakespeare examines precisely what about Shakespeare’s plays is so special – why they continue to be discussed and performed all around the world. This book highlights the importance of our experience as readers and audiences and argues that what makes the plays great is that they encourage a wide range of intense, pleasurable and valuable experiences. This highly personal and emotive approach allows students to engage with the plays on a new level, taking their own responses seriously as grounds for assessing their success and quality. The book also engages with the essential criticism of the plays from Shakespeare’s time to our own, equipping students to engage in contemporary debates about the nature and achievement of Shakespearean drama.
Introduction 1. Emotion 2. Laughter and delight 3. Moral instruction and wisdom 4. Sublimity Conclusion
Routledge Engagements with Literature is a series that presents engagement as a means of discovery. Unlike other books that simply provide references and overviews, this series offers students and instructors new ways to engage with the literature they are studying, teaching, or researching. Each book balances foundational information and key topics with new developments and trends while also looking forward to work yet to be done, offering different or challenging approaches and perspectives.