Thinking About Shakespeare
Explores the challenges of maintaining bonds, living up to ideals, and fulfilling desire in Shakespeare's plays
In Thinking About Shakespeare, Kay Stockholder reveals the rich inner lives of some of Shakespeare's most enigmatic characters and the ways in which their emotions and actions shape and are shaped by the social and political world around them. In addressing all genres in the Shakespeare canon, the authors explore the possibility of people being constant to each other in many different kinds of relationships: those of lovers, kings and subjects, friends, and business partners. While some bonds are irrevocably broken, many are reaffirmed. In all cases, the authors offer insight into what drives Shakespeare's characters to do what they do, what draws them together or pulls them apart, and the extent to which bonds can ever be eternal. Ultimately, the most durable bond may be between the playwright and the audience, whereby the playwright pleases and the audience approves.
The book takes an in-depth look at a dozen of The Bard's best-loved works, including: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Romeo and Juliet; The Merchant of Venice; Richard II; Henry IV, Part I; Hamlet; Troilus and Cressida; Othello; Macbeth; King Lear; Antony and Cleopatra; and The Tempest. It also provides an epilogue titled: Prospero and Shakespeare.
- Written in a style accessible for all levels
- Discusses 12 plays, making it a comprehensive study of Shakespeare's work
- Covers every genre of The Bard's work, giving readers a full sense of Shakespeare's art/thought over the course of his oeuvre
- Provides a solid overall sense of each play and the major characters/plot lines in them
Providing new and sometimes unconventional and provocative ways to think about characters that have had a long critical heritage, Thinking About Shakespeare is an enlightening read that is perfect for scholars, and ideal for any level of student studying one of history's greatest storytellers.
KAY STOCKHOLDER, 1928-98, was born in Brooklyn. She studied English Literature receiving her BA from Hunter College (1950), an MA from Columbia University in New York (1952), and her PhD from the University of Washington in Seattle (1964) where she studied under Arnold Stein. After teaching for two years at the University of Ghana from 1964-66, she spent the next 30 years as a full-time Professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada from the mid 60s through 1995. In 1991 she became active in the BC Civil Liberties Association of which she was elected president in 1995, stepping down a few months before her death. Throughout these years she pursued a passionate interest in psychoanalytic theory and the work of Shakespeare. Her book Dream Works, in which the protagonists of Shakespeare's plays are assumed to be 'analogous to the figures that we identify as ourselves when we awake from dreaming' was published by the University of Toronto Press in 1987.
Revision and updating of the work was undertaken by AMY SCOTT who completed her PhD at McGill University in 2010 under the supervision of Paul Yachnin. Her dissertation, 'Finding Faith between Infidelities: Historiography as Mourning in Shakespeare,' was awarded the McGill Arts Insights Dissertation Award in 2010 (given to the best dissertation in the Faculty of Arts). She is currently preparing a monograph based on her dissertation, whilst teaching at Algonquin College, Ottawa.