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1 Beaverton Drama- Shakespeare Criticism

Soul of the Age: A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare

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Soul of the Age: A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare Cover

ISBN13: 9781400062065
ISBN10: 1400062063
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"Artists' lives are not automatically interesting. However wild the nights, an artist's days are dominated by solitary devotion to the medium: the texture of paint, the measure of syllables. Without that devotion, an artist will have no life as an artist. Along with it, an artist may engage in activities whose subsequent availability to storytelling is far more immediate. Arthur Rimbaud had an affair with Paul Verlaine. Virginia Woolf drowned herself in the Ouse. The Renaissance playwright Christopher Marlowe, who also worked as a government agent, was stabbed to death with a twelve-penny dagger. But such stories, however fascinating, do not tell us what we really want to know — how and why A Season in Hell, Mrs. Dalloway and Tamburlaine got written." James Longenbach, The Nation (read the entire Nation review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages.

In this illuminating, innovative biography, Jonathan Bate, one of today's most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, has found a fascinating new way to tell the story of the great dramatist. Using the Bard's own immortal list of a man's seven ages in As You Like It, Bate deduces the crucial events of Shakespeare's life and connects them to his world and work as never before.

Here is the author as an infant, born into a world of plague and syphillis, diseases with which he became closely familiar; as a schoolboy, a position he portrayed in The Merry Wives of Windsor, in which a clever, cheeky lad named William learns Latin grammar; as a lover, married at eighteen to an older woman already pregnant, perhaps presaging Bassanio, who in The Merchant of Venice won a wife who could save him from financial ruin. Here, too, is Shakespeare as a soldier, writing Henry the Fifth's St. Crispin's Day speech, with a nod to his own monarch Elizabeth I's passionate addresses; as a justice, revealing his possible legal training in his precise use of the law in plays from Hamlet to Macbeth; and as a pantaloon, an early retiree because of, Bate postulates, either illness or a scandal. Finally, Shakespeare enters oblivion, with sonnets that suggest he actively sought immortality through his art and secretly helped shape his posthumous image more than anyone ever knew.

Equal parts masterly detective story, brilliant literary analysis, and insightful world history, Soul of the Age is more than a superb new recounting of Shakespeare's experiences; it is a bold and entertaining work of scholarship and speculation, one that shifts from past to present, reality to the imagination, to reveal how this unsurpassed artist came to be.

Review:

"Soul of the age" is Ben Jonson's coinage, but "A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare"? That's the brazen agenda of British scholar Jonathan Bate, and them's fighting words.

On one side of the quarrel: the school that squeezes the Bard's work like tea leaves for every last drop of autobiography. Shakespeare's wife becomes Kate the shrew; Shakespeare's daughter becomes Rosalind;... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Soul of the Age is the most artful, intriguing, and satisfying study of the mind of William Shakespeare we now possess...A major achievement from a master of Shakespeare studies." David Armitage, professor of history, Harvard University

Synopsis:

“One man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages.”

In this illuminating, innovative biography, Jonathan Bate, one of todays most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, has found a fascinating new way to tell the story of the great dramatist. Using the Bards own immortal list of a mans seven ages in As You Like It, Bate deduces the crucial events of Shakespeares life and connects them to his world and work as never before.

Here is the author as an infant, born into a world of plague and syphillis, diseases with which he became closely familiar; as a schoolboy, a position he portrayed in The Merry Wives of Windsor, in which a clever, cheeky lad named William learns Latin grammar; as a lover, married at eighteen to an older woman already pregnant, perhaps presaging Bassanio, who in The Merchant of Venice won a wife who could save him from financial ruin. Here, too, is Shakespeare as a soldier, writing Henry the Fifths St. Crispins Day speech, with a nod to his own monarch Elizabeth Is passionate addresses; as a justice, revealing his possible legal training in his precise use of the law in plays from Hamlet to Macbeth; and as a pantaloon, an early retiree because of, Bate postulates, either illness or a scandal. Finally, Shakespeare enters oblivion, with sonnets that suggest he actively sought immortality through his art and secretly helped shape his posthumous image more than anyone ever knew.

Equal parts masterly detective story, brilliant literary analysis, and insightful world history, Soul of the Age is more than a superb new recounting of Shakespeares experiences; it is a bold and entertaining work of scholarship and speculation, one that shifts from past to present, reality to the imagination, to reveal how this unsurpassed artist came to be.

About the Author

Jonathan Bate is a professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance literature at the University of Warwick. Widely known as a critic, award-winning biographer, and broadcaster, Bate is the author of several books on Shakespeare and principal editor of the Modern Librarys and Royal Shakespeare Companys highly acclaimed William Shakespeare: Complete Works.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

David Sam, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by David Sam)
More than a traditional biography of Shakespeare's life, as the subtitle suggests, it is a "biography of the mind." Using the plays, poetry and what we know of the culture, politics, and education of Elizabethan England, Bates explores the mind behind some of the most famous writing in the world.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400062065
Subtitle:
A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare
Author:
Bate, Jonathan
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
Civilization
Subject:
Dramatists, English
Subject:
General
Subject:
Shakespeare
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Shakespeare, William
Subject:
Dramatists, English -- Early modern, 1500-1700.
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090407
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
22 PHOTOS THROUGHOUT
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9.3 x 6.5 x 1.4 in 1.8 lb
Age Level:
A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Shakespeare » Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Shakespeare » Plays
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Shakespeare » Works
Biography » Literary
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Soul of the Age: A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.95 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Random House - English 9781400062065 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Artists' lives are not automatically interesting. However wild the nights, an artist's days are dominated by solitary devotion to the medium: the texture of paint, the measure of syllables. Without that devotion, an artist will have no life as an artist. Along with it, an artist may engage in activities whose subsequent availability to storytelling is far more immediate. Arthur Rimbaud had an affair with Paul Verlaine. Virginia Woolf drowned herself in the Ouse. The Renaissance playwright Christopher Marlowe, who also worked as a government agent, was stabbed to death with a twelve-penny dagger. But such stories, however fascinating, do not tell us what we really want to know — how and why A Season in Hell, Mrs. Dalloway and Tamburlaine got written." (read the entire Nation review)
"Review" by , "Soul of the Age is the most artful, intriguing, and satisfying study of the mind of William Shakespeare we now possess...A major achievement from a master of Shakespeare studies."
"Synopsis" by , “One man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages.”

In this illuminating, innovative biography, Jonathan Bate, one of todays most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, has found a fascinating new way to tell the story of the great dramatist. Using the Bards own immortal list of a mans seven ages in As You Like It, Bate deduces the crucial events of Shakespeares life and connects them to his world and work as never before.

Here is the author as an infant, born into a world of plague and syphillis, diseases with which he became closely familiar; as a schoolboy, a position he portrayed in The Merry Wives of Windsor, in which a clever, cheeky lad named William learns Latin grammar; as a lover, married at eighteen to an older woman already pregnant, perhaps presaging Bassanio, who in The Merchant of Venice won a wife who could save him from financial ruin. Here, too, is Shakespeare as a soldier, writing Henry the Fifths St. Crispins Day speech, with a nod to his own monarch Elizabeth Is passionate addresses; as a justice, revealing his possible legal training in his precise use of the law in plays from Hamlet to Macbeth; and as a pantaloon, an early retiree because of, Bate postulates, either illness or a scandal. Finally, Shakespeare enters oblivion, with sonnets that suggest he actively sought immortality through his art and secretly helped shape his posthumous image more than anyone ever knew.

Equal parts masterly detective story, brilliant literary analysis, and insightful world history, Soul of the Age is more than a superb new recounting of Shakespeares experiences; it is a bold and entertaining work of scholarship and speculation, one that shifts from past to present, reality to the imagination, to reveal how this unsurpassed artist came to be.

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