OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Shakespeare and Literary Theory

ISBN : 9780199573387

Price(incl.tax): 
¥3,465
Author: 
Jonathan Gil Harris
Pages
240 Pages
Format
Paperback
Size
135 x 202 mm
Pub date
Aug 2010
Series
Oxford Shakespeare Topics
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OXFORD SHAKESPEARE TOPICS General Editors: Peter Holland and Stanley Wells Oxford Shakespeare Topics provide students and teachers with short books on important aspects of Shakespeare criticism and scholarship. Each book is written by an authority in its field, and combines accessible style with original discussion of its subject. How is it that the British literary critic Terry Eagleton can say that 'it is difficult to read Shakespeare without feeling that he was almost certainly familiar with the writings of Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Wittgenstein and Derrida', or that the Slovenian psychoanalytic theorist Slavoj %Zizek can observe that 'Shakespeare without doubt had read Lacan'? Shakespeare and Literary Theory argues that literary theory is less an external set of ideas anachronistically imposed on Shakespeare's texts than a mode - or several modes - of critical reflection inspired by, and emerging from, his writing. These modes together constitute what we might call 'Shakespearian theory': theory that is not just about Shakespeare but also derives its energy from Shakespeare. To name just a few examples: Karl Marx was an avid reader of Shakespeare and used Timon of Athens to illustrate aspects of his economic theory; psychoanalytic theorists from Sigmund Freud to Jacques Lacan have explained some of their most axiomatic positions with reference to Hamlet; Michel Foucault's early theoretical writing on dreams and madness returns repeatedly to Macbeth; Jacques Derrida's deconstructive philosophy is articulated in dialogue with Shakespeare's plays, including Romeo and Juliet; French feminism's best-known essay is Helene Cixous's meditation on Antony and Cleopatra; certain strands of queer theory derive their impetus from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's reading of the Sonnets; Gilles Deleuze alights on Richard III as an exemplary instance of his theory of the war machine; and postcolonial theory owes a large debt to Aime Cesaire's revision of The Tempest. By reading what theoretical movements from formalism and structuralism to cultural materialism and actor-network theory have had to say about and in concert with Shakespeare, we can begin to get a sense of how much the DNA of contemporary literary theory contains a startling abundance of chromosomes - concepts, preoccupations, ways of using language - that are of Shakespearian provenance.

Index: 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
INTRODUCTION: SHAKESPEARE AND THEORY
I. LANGUAGE AND STRUCTURE
1. Formalism: William Empson, Cleanth Brooks, Mikhail Bakhtin
2. Structuralism: Roland Barthes, Roman Jakobson, Rene Girard
3. Deconstruction:J. Hillis Miller, Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida
4. 4. Rhizome and Actor Network Theory: Gilles Deleuze, Michel Serres, Bruno Latour
II. DESIRE AND IDENTITY
5. Freudian Psychoanalysis: Sigmund Freud, Ernest Jones, Melanie Klein
6. Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, Slavoj %Zizek
7. Feminism: Virginia Woolf, Helene Cixous, Elaine Showalter
8. Queer Theory: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Jonathan Dollimore, Lee Edelman
III. CULTURE AND SOCIETY
9. Marxism: Karl Marx, Georg Lukacs, Bertolt Brecht
10. Poststructuralist Marxisms: Terry Eagleton, Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson
11. New Historicism and Cultural Materialism: Michel Foucault, Stephen Greenblatt, Alan Sinfield
12. Postcolonial Theory: Wole Soyinka, Edward Said, Sara Ahmed
FURTHER READING
WORKS CITED

About the author: 

Jonathan Gil Harris is Professor of English at George Washington University. He is the author of Foreign Bodies and the Body Politic: Discourses of Social Pathology in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 1998), Sick Economies: Drama, Mercantilism and Disease in Shakespeare's England (U Penn P, 2004), and Untimely Matter in the Time of Shakespeare (U Penn P 2008). He is also the editor of Staged Properties in Early Modern English Drama (co-edited with Natasha Koarda, Cambridge 2002) and Thomas Dekker's The Shoemaker's Holiday (New Mermaids, 2008). Professor Harris serves as associate editor of Shakespeare Quarterly.

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