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Blackwell Manifestos #30: Phenomenal Shakespeare. by Bruce R. Smithby Bruce R. Smith
Synopses & Reviews
Just who is “Shakespeare”? And what is it that makes him continue to resonate so powerfully with performers, critics, and scholars?
In this original examination of Shakespeare’s works and their appeal to our senses, acclaimed Shakespeare scholar Bruce R. Smith asserts that the undiminished staying power of Shakespeare has less to do with ideology than with the distinctive ways in which his poems and plays capture our imagination. Phenomenal Shakespeare moves well beyond traditional treatments of Shakespeare to explore not just the “idea” of the playwright, but the range of sometimes incompatible ideas that Shakespeare represents in the biographical, political, psychological, and ethical arena.
This thought-provoking text provides a critique of contemporary approaches to Shakespeare, while also celebrating the staying power of Shakespeare on stage, on film, and on the page.
Book News Annotation:
Smith (English and theater, U. of Southern California) explains to students and other readers of Shakespeare how to analyze the plays and poems by looking at actions that occur as opposed to ideas that are expressed. He discusses as it likes you, how one should read a Shakespeare sonnet, carnal knowledge, and touching moments. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In Phenomenal Shakespeare, leading Shakespeare scholar Bruce R. Smith presents an original account for the ways in which Shakespeare’s poems and plays continue to resonate with audiences, readers and scholars because of their engagement with the whole body, not just the reading mind.
About the Author
Bruce R. Smith is Dean's Professor of English and Professor of Theatre at the University of Southern California. He has published widely on Shakespeare with recent works including The Key of Green: Passion and Perception in Renaissance Culture (2009), Shakespeare and Masculinity (2000), and The Acoustic World of Early Modern England (1999). A former president of the Shakespeare Association of America, Smith has been a keynote speaker at meetings of Shakespeare and Renaissance organizations in Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Portugal, and the UK. He has also been featured in programs aired on BBC Radio 3, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Public Radio International, and TV 4 London.
Table of Contents
Prologue: The Argument.
1. As It Likes You.
2. How Should One Read a Shakespeare Sonnet?.
3. Carnal Knowledge.
4. Touching Moments.
Epilogue: What Shakespeare Proves.
What Our Readers Are Saying