In these Shakespearean essays originally published together in 1979, the distinguished literary critic L. C. Knights offers the fruits of his long-term thinking about individual plays (notably, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Lear) and explores the ways in which a deep and imaginative understanding of Shakespeare's work can relate to and enrich other areas of knowledge - politics, history, social and emotional relationships, the nature of theatrical experience ... Certain critical assumptions are of course implicit here: that great works of art have a continuing life which is renewed through perception; that the vitality generated by such works is for all men and that the critic's function is to encourage all readers to see as much as they can for themselves, not to dogmatize or try to impose a particular reading. L. C. Knights admirably fulfils this function in these essays most of which have been gathered from the three volumes entitled Explorations, Further Explorations and Explorations 3.
Preface; 1. An approach to Hamlet; 22. personality and politics in Julius Caesar; 3. Timon of Athens; 4. Integration in The Winter's Tale; 5. The Tempest; 6. Shakespeare's politics: with some reflections on the nature of tradition; 7. The thought of Shakespeare; 8. Shakespeare's Tragedies and the question of moral judgement; 9. The question of character in Shakespeare; 10. Historical scholarship and the interpretation of Shakespeare; 11. King Lear as metaphor; 12. Shakespeare and history; 13. How many children had Lady Macbeth?