Seven chapters examine the major current critical approaches to Shakespeare: psychoanalysis; New Historicism; Cultural Materialism; gender studies; queer theory; postcolonial criticism and performance criticism.
'Beginning Shakespeare' introduces students to the study of Shakespeare, and grounds their understanding of his work in theoretical discourses. After an introductory survey of the dominant approaches of the past, seven chapters examine the major current critical approaches to Shakespeare; psychoanalysis, New Historicism, Cultural Materialism, gender studies, queer theory, postcolonial criticism and performance criticism. A further chapter looks at the growing roles of biography, attribution studies and textual studies.Each chapter analyses the strengths and weaknesses of a particular perspective, allowing students to gain a clear critical purchase on the respective approaches, and to make informed choices between them. Each chapter ends with a list of suggested further reading and interactive exercises based on the key issues raised.An invaluable introduction, essential for anyone studying Shakespeare, 'Beginning Shakespeare' offers students a map of the current critical practices, and a sense of the possibilities for developing their own approaches. -- .
AcknowledgementsIntroduction1. Critical HistoriesI. 1598-1741: A bumpy rideii. 1741-1904: Enter Shakespeariii. Enshrinementiv. A.C.Bradley and character studyv. The Thirties: images and patternsvi. Tillyard and the 'Elizabethan world picture'vii. Jan Kott: Shakespeare our contemporary2. PsychoanalysisI. Freud and his early followersii. C.G. Jung and the theory of 'types and archetypes'iii. Jacques Lacan and the theory of the subjectiv. Post-Lacanian psychoanalytical approaches3. New HistoricismI. Stephen Greenblatt: 'invisible bullets'ii. Louis Montrose: New Historicism meets psychoanalysisiii. Leonard Tennenhouse and the interests of poweriv. Later developments: New Historicism meets gender4. Cultural MaterialismI. Political Shakespeare: a landmark textii. Dollimore and Sinfield: literature and poweriii. Terence Hawkes and the politics of meaning 5. New factualismsI. The 'new biography'ii. Attribution studiesiii. Editing6. Gender studies and queer theoryI. Boy actorsii. Political feminismsiii. Queer theory7. Postcolonial criticismI. 'The Tempest'ii. Postcolonial 'Tempests'iii. 'Othello'8. Shakespeare in performance I. 'Henry V' in performanceii. The Olivier versioniii. Stratford-upon-Avoniv. Political performance criticism? -- .