Shakespeare's World of Words

Shakespeare's World of Words

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Was Shakespeare really the original genius he has appeared to be since the eighteenth century, a poet whose words came from nature itself?

The contributors to this volume propose that Shakespeare was not the poet of nature, but rather that he is a genius of rewriting and re-creation, someone able to generate a new language and new ways of seeing the world by orchestrating existing social and literary vocabularies. Each chapter in the volume begins with a key word or phrase from Shakespeare and builds toward a broader consideration of the social, poetic, and theatrical dimensions of his language. The chapters capture well the richness of Shakespeare's world of words by including discussions of biblical language, Latinity, philosophy of language and subjectivity, languages of commerce, criminality, history, and education, the gestural vocabulary of performance, as well as accounts of verbal modality and Shakespeare's metrics. An Afterword outlines a number of other important languages in Shakespeare, including those of law, news, and natural philosophy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 26mm | 454g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Bloomsbury Academic
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1472515293
  • 9781472515292

Review quote

This impressive and wide-ranging volume brings together a variety of perspectives to consider the expansive world of words that unfolds on Shakespeare's stage. One of the most welcome features of Shakespeare's World of Words is its diverse body of contributors. Essays from literary scholars appear alongside those by theater practitioners and performance scholars ... The "opening up" of interpretive possibilities is one of this volume's best gifts. Readers come away with a renewed perspective on the many elements that render Shakespeare's world of words so rich. * Shakespeare Quarterly *
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About Paul Yachnin

Paul Yachnin is Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Director of the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI) at McGill University, Canada.
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Table of contents

Notes on Contributors

1. Well-Won Thrift
Michael Bristol (McGill University) and Sara Coodin (University of Oklahoma)

2. Proper Names and Common Bodies: The Case of Cressida
David Schalkwyk (Folger Shakespeare Library)

3. Antique/Antic: Archaism, Neologism and the Play of Shakespeare's Words in Love's Labor's Lost and 2 Henry IV
Lucy Munro (University of Keele)

4. Learning to Color in Hamlet
Miriam Jacobson (University of Georgia)

5. Recasting `Angling' in The Winter's Tale
J. A. Shea (Dawson College)

6. `What may be and should be': Grammar Moods and the Invention of History in 1 Henry VI
Lynne Magnusson (University of Toronto)

7. Othello and Theatrical Language
Sarah Werner (Folger Shakespeare Library)

8. Slips of Wilderness: Verbal and Gestural Language in Measure for Measure
Paul Yachnin and Patrick Neilson (McGill University)

9. `Captious and Inteemable': Reading Comprehension in Shakespeare
Meredith Evans (Concordia University)

10. `Time is their master': Men and Meter in The Comedy of Errors
Jennifer Roberts-Smith (University of Waterloo)

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