Shakespeare Left and Right brings together critics, strikingly different in their politics and methodologies, who are acutely aware of the importance of politics on literary practice and theory. Should, for example, feminist criticism be subjected to a critique by voices it construes as hostile to its political agenda? Is it possible to present a critique of feminist criticism without implicitly impeding its politics? And, in the light of recent political events should the Right pronounce the demise of Marxism as a social science and interpretive tool? The essays in Shakespeare Left and Right, first published in 1991, present a tug of war about ideology, acted out over the body of Shakespeare. Part One focuses on the challenge thrown down by Richard Levin's widely discussed "Feminist Thematics and Shakespearean Tragedy". Part Two considers these issues in relation to critical practice and the reading of specific plays. This book should be of interest to undergraduates and academics interested in Shakespeare studies.
Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction: Ideology and Its Discontents; Part 1: Critique and/or Ideology; 2. Ideological Criticism and Pluralism 3. The Myth of Neutrality, Again? 4. Where Does Ideology Hang Out? 5. MLA Response to Levin, Greene, and Bristol 6. Reply to Michael Bristol and Gayle Greene 7. Straw Women and Whipping Girls: The (Sexual) Politics of Critical Self-Fashioning 8. Against "Ideology" 9. Ordinary People and Academic Critics: A Response to Richard Levin 10. Commentary: "You’ve Got a Lot of Nerve"; Part 2: Ideology and Critical Practice; 11. Character and Ideology in Shakespeare 12. Violence and Gender Ideology in Coriolanus and Macbeth 13: "A Woman’s War": A Feminist Reading of Richard II 14. Julius Caesar, Allan Bloom, and the Value of Pedagogical Pluralism 15. Transfer of Title in Love’s Labor’s Lost: Language, Individualism, Gender 16. On the Continuity of the Henriad: A Critique of Some Literary and Theatrical Approaches; 17. "The King Hath Many Marching in His Coats" or, What Did You Do During the War, Daddy? 18. A Tale of Two Branaghs: Henry V, Ideology, and the Mekong Agincourt 19. Commentary: "In the Destructive Element Immersed" 20. Afterword: Poetics from the Barrel of a Gun?; Bibliography; Index; Contributors
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