This critical work on Shakespeare attempts to show his complete works - dramatic and poetic - as a single, tightly-integrated, evolving organism. Identifying Shakespeare's use in the poems "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece", of the two most significant religious myths of the archaic world, Hughes argues that these myths later provided ...
This critical work on Shakespeare attempts to show his complete works - dramatic and poetic - as a single, tightly-integrated, evolving organism. Identifying Shakespeare's use in the poems "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece", of the two most significant religious myths of the archaic world, Hughes argues that these myths later provided Shakespeare with templates for the construction of every play from "All's Well that Ends Well" to "The Tempest". He also argues that this development, in turn, represented his poetic exploration of conflicts within the "living myth" of the English Reformation. The claim is a large one, but Hughes supports his thesis with a painstakingly close analysis of language, plots and characters.
New in New dust jacket. 0374262047. Both book and dust jacket are in new condition, very clean and tight, there are two small spots on open end near bottom of book.; 9.30 X 6.20 X 1.80 inches; 524 pages.
Publishers Weekly, 1992-10-26 For English poet Hughes, Shakespeare was ``a prophetic shaman of the Puritan revolution,'' his plays mythic reenactments of the holy war between Catholic and Puritan fanaticism. This arcane, often farfetched study maintains that the Bard tapped into the ``source myth'' of Catholicism in Venus and Adonis : the myth of the Great Goddess and her sacrificed god. In The Rape of Lucrece , Shakespeare mined the rival source myth of Puritanism: the enraged Jehovan god who abhors the Goddess for her presumed treachery or whorishness. In this highly speculative analysis, Hughes follows the workings of these two interlocking myths through Shakespeare's plays, whose overall trajectory, he argues, is an attempt to escape from tragic destiny to secular freedom. In King Lear , according to Hughes, Shakespeare reinvented an ancient Egyptian cosmology to illuminate the distorting ethos of the English Reformation. And from Cymbeline to The Tempest , he argues, the Bard used the Gnostic myth about the Female who represents the hero's own soul. Hughes's ambitious critique will appeal primarily to devotees of myth and Jung. (Nov.)
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