"Pericles", "Cymbeline", "The Winter's Tale" and "The Tempest": these are the last plays that Shakespeare wrote and they have bewildered and intrigued critics, directors, actors and readers for generations. In this book, Robert Adams helps to overcome the bewilderment and understand the intrigue. Why are these plays called "romances"? The Romantic tradition in literature stretches back to the Middle Ages. It is, as Adams writes, a "mysterious, half-denied country which cannot be limited, only explored - the world of quest and conflict, of erotic and religious seeking, of chivalric and pastoral adventure". These plays share much with each other and less with Shakespeare's earlier works. Because they are "mysterious", critics have encumbered them with much fanciful theorizing. Adam's elucidates the plays with little theorizing and with much witty common sense.
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Aside from The Tempest , Shakespeare's final plays have been considered "problem plays," garnering little affection from either critics or the general public. Adams attempts to "explain" Shakespeare's last four solely authored plays (which include Pericles, Cymbeline, and The Winter's Tale ) by placing them in the medieval romance tradition rather than the ancient genres of comedy or tragedy. He discusses each play in separate chapters and frames the basic discussions with introductory and concluding essays. Adams assumes thorough familiarity with the plays, thus discouraging the casual reader; and the experienced scholar may be equally disappointed, for while Adams's essays are sensible and practical, they add little to the already established body of literature. A larger academic library may find this volume useful; public libraries won't.
- James Stephenson, Society of the Cincinnati Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descrizione libro W W Norton & Co Inc, 1989. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0393026612
Descrizione libro W W Norton & Co Inc, 1989. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 393026612