Rather than treating the plays as objects to be studied, described and interpreted, Engagements with Shakespearean Drama 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 cause 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 the plays' 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.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Emotion 2. Laughter and delight 3. Wisdom and moral instruction 4. Sublimity Conclusion
William Walker is Associate Professor in the School of the Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales, Sydney.