Shakespeare, the Orient, and the Critics

Shakespeare, the Orient, and the Critics

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Previous criticism has not adequately discussed oriental aspects of the content of Shakespearean drama. In addition to his portrayal of oriental figures (such as Cleopatra, Othello, and Shylock) and his use of literary genres and motifs that have roots in oriental tradition (such as that of the tragic romance inRomeo and Juliet), there are certain key elements in Shakespeare's thought and outlook that can only be properly understood within the larger contribution of the oriental legacy. This legacy has clear relevance not only to the exemplary fate of the lovers inRomeo and Julietbut also to the destinies of such major Shakespearean heroes as Hamlet and Lear.Shakespeare, the Orient, and the Criticsinvestigates the boundaries of oriental framework within works such asHamlet, King LearandThe Tempest.Stylistically, at the heart of Shakespeare's orientalism are two long-recognized features of his dramatic art: his predilection for reversing stereotypes and his sympathy and identification with the alien and the qother.q This can be most clearly seen in the love tragedies ofOthelloandAnthony and Cleopatraas well as the romantic comedy ofThe Merchant of Venice.Ultimately, the philosophic underpinning of such works is a special expression of Renaissance humanism that transcends the boundaries of class, race, and culture.... discussion of the earlier chapters through dealing with the record of critical success (and failure) on key issues in Shakespearea#39;s works, ... as Shakespeare and money (chapter five), and Shakespearea#39;s Roman world (chapter six), and early Hamlet criticism (chapter seven). ... The seventh and last essay, aquot;Method in the Madness: Success and Failure of Early Ha mlet Criticism, aquot;was VIII I PREFACE ANDanbsp;...

Title:Shakespeare, the Orient, and the Critics
Author: Abdulla Al-Dabbagh
Publisher:Peter Lang - 2010

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