Discussion, events, CFPs, and open-access scholarship pertaining to Shakespeare.
Describes and analyzes two episodes of article rejections based on political correctness and several published instances of politically correct inverse racism. Shows that political correctness in judging scholarship on race uses a double standard which enables reverse racism and an unsavory rhetoric. Discusses political correctness as the…[Read more]
Reviews the Shakespeare Quarterly special issue (spring 2016), a collection of articles on different aspects of modern race study in Shakespeare. Addresses the problems confronting race study, the rhetoric of race “conversation,” and difficulties in race scholarship. Focuses on Ian Smith’s “Who Speaks for Othello” as representative of race study…[Read more]
Provides a personal perspective on, and analysis of, developments in the English profession. Emphasizes the proliferation of PhDs, the industrialization of scholarship and its effects on research and promotion, and the diminished influence and status of English studies. Makes suggestions for addressing present difficulties and reviving the study…[Read more]
Explores issues of professionalization and politicalization of humanistic studies. Sketches an up-dated return to the basics of humanistic research and teaching.
Critiques current status of relationship between scholarly research and academic teaching. Uses three examples–one each from Macbeth, Othello, and King Lear–to illustrate connections between both efforts.
Describes the dynamics of the attribution argument between Stratfordians and anti-Stratfordians, with particular attention to the asymmetries of the debate. Revisits the evidence of Greene’s “A Groatsworth of Wit.” Sketches and critiques two anti-Stratfordian arguments on that evidence.
After a critical overview of Price’s anti-Stratfordian argument, this paper scrutinizes her argument on Greene’s “A Groatsworth of Wit” and three arguments on the First Folio’s items “To the Reader,” Jonson’s tribute, and “To the great Variety of Readers.” All arguments reveal typical deficiencies in scholarly analysis of the evidence and typical…[Read more]
Hi all, I’m looking into whether beer and food may have been sold in the 17th century private playhouses, like Blackfriars. Gurr and others take up positions on the public playhouses, I’m curious whether anyone has come across suggestions (positive or negative) that these may have been sold inside/during the performances at the indoor spaces?
This close reading addresses the couplet, puzzling because of its generality, which critics try to constrict by forced specificity. The quatrain-to-quatrain sequence of the image clusters suggests the theme of transitoriness and parallels The Order of The Burial of the Dead in The Book of Common Prayer, which burial ritual justifies the…[Read more]
Received opinion based on scanty evidence and skimpy arguments holds that race and racism operate in important ways in Othello and Othello’s jealousy. Few specifically race-referential words and only one specifically racist image occur in the play, almost all in the first four scenes.
Brabantio’s, Roderigo’s, and Iago’s views are mistake…[Read more]
Romance as a group of, and label for, some of Shakespeare’s last plays presupposes the influence of later romance kinds, and Shakespeare studies presuppose their influence and preclude the influence of an earlier romance kind, namely, chivalric romance. This sub-genre includes romances like Bevis of Hampton and Guy of Warwick, both popular in S…[Read more]
Michael L. Hays deposited Emending Othello; Explaining Othello: A Critique of Contemporary Principles of and Practices in Editing Shakespeare and a Historical-Literary Interpretation of Othello’s Jealousy in the group Shakespeare on Humanities Commons 3 months ago
Modern editors of Othello unanimously and silently adopt the Folio (1623) text as their copy text but emend it in light of the quarto (1622) text at III, iii, 97. Neither of the two reasons for emendation, textual corruption or literary unintelligibility, applies. A critique of textual editing shows that, given knowledge of the many and various…[Read more]
This presentation asks whether Macbeth ends literally, as traditional criticism has viewed it, or ironically, as modern criticism would have it. Its answer emphasizes Malcolm’s role by detailing the Court Scene, which tests Malcolm, not MacDuff, to establish his character, legitimacy, and competence to rule. It shows this scene as a turning p…[Read more]
This presentation presents a critical overview and assessment of the pedagogical and critical treatment of the Court Scene, with particular attention to its use in modern political interpretations; places Malcolm in the thematic context established by Holinshed’s comparison of Duncan and Macbeth; puts the scene in the context of the play’s plo…[Read more]
“Sources, Scholarship, and Sense: Shakespeare’s Use of Holinshed in Macbeth,” , (2003)
This presentation uses an analysis of Shakespeare’s primary source as a means to disclose modifications and retentions for the purpose of achieving both dramatic and narrative ends. Establishing the identity of “Bellona’s Bridegroome” as MacDuff enabl…[Read more]
Reviews arguments for identifying Shakespeare’s handwriting to the handwriting of Addition IIc in the Sir Thomas More ms. and, by reference to the concept of a control as the indispensable requirement for such comparison, finds the arguments not only instances of special pleading, but a failure to satisfy this fundamental requirement. Urges…[Read more]
Uses the survival of the English chivalric romance tradition throughout Shakespeare’s professional lifetime and his exploitation of that tradition especially in his major tragedies to challenge the commonplace distinction between the medieval and the renaissance on the one hand, and to suggest that his openness to that medieval tradition showed…[Read more]
Establishes the division of characters between Maria/Toby/Feste and Malvolio, and their respective behaviors, characteristics, and values; shows the difficult, though sanctioned position, in which Malvolio’s role as steward places him; and traces Olivia’s (and later Orsino’s) regard for him in that role. Correlates the dichotomy between the two d…[Read more]
0. Preliminaries provide the usual guides to contents and graphics, and an unusual statement of acknowledgments. It also provides a preface which explains my approach to prevent possible misapprehensions because of its debt to, but also its departure from, source and influence studies. It addresses various critical issues: genre because of…[Read more]
Chapter 1: Introduction provides on overview of the nature of English chivalric romances and an explanation of the historical circumstances of its particular vogue in late Elizabethan and early Jacobean England. It examines the biases in literary criticism—literary supersession and literary prefigurement, and neo-classical definitions of and r…[Read more]
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