Shakespeare, National Poet-Playwright

Shakespeare, National Poet-Playwright

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Patrick Cheney
Cambridge University Press, 11/25/2004
EAN 9780521839235, ISBN10: 0521839238

Hardcover, 336 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 2.2 cm
Language: English

Shakespeare, National Poet-Playwright is an important book which reassesses Shakespeare as a poet and dramatist. Patrick Cheney contests critical preoccupation with Shakespeare as 'a man of the theatre' by recovering his original standing as an early modern author: he is a working dramatist who composes some of the most extraordinary poems in English. The book accounts for this form of authorship by reconstructing the historical preconditions for its emergence, in England as in Europe, including the building of the commercial theatres and the consolidation of the printing press. Cheney traces the literary origin to Shakespeare's favourite author, Ovid, who wrote the Amores and Metamorphoses alongside the tragedy Medea. Cheney also examines Shakespeare's literary relations with his contemporary authors Edmund Spenser and Christopher Marlowe. The book concentrates on Shakespeare's freestanding poems, but makes frequent reference to the plays, and ranges widely through the work of other Renaissance writers.

List of illustrations
Note on texts
Shakespeare's 'Plaies and Poems'
Part I. The Imprint of Shakespearean Authorship
Shakespeare, Cervantes, Petrarch
1. The sixteenth-century poet-playwright
2. Francis Meres, the Ovidian poet-playwright, and Shakespeare criticism
Part II. 1593–1594
The Print Author Presents Himself
Play Scene
'Two Gentlemen' to 'Richard III'
3. Authorship and acting
plotting Venus and Adonis along the Virgilian path
4. Publishing the show
The Rape of Lucrece as Lucanian counter-epic of empire
Part III. 1599–1601
The Author Brought Into Print
Play Scene
'Love's Labor's Lost' to 'Troilus and Cressida'
5. 'Tales … coined'
'W. Shakespeare' in Jaggard's The Passionate Pilgrim
6. 'Threne' and 'scene'
the author's relics of immortality in 'The Phoenix and Turtle'
Part IV. 1609
Imprinting the Question of Authorship
Play Scene
'Measure for Measure' to 'Coriolanus'
7. 'O, let my books be … dumb presagers'
poetry and theatre in the sonnets
8. 'Deep-brain'd sonnets' and 'tragic shows'
Shakespeare's late Ovidian art in A Lover's Complaint
Epilogue. Ariel and Autolycus
Shakespeare's counter-laureate authorship
Works cited