Synopses & Reviews
Since the publication of his celebrated first essay on Shakespeare, The Avoidance of Love: A reading of King Lear, Stanley Cavell has continued to explore radically new and provocative interpretations of a number of the plays. This volume collects those writings for the first time and includes pieces not previously published. The essays are bound together by a concern for scepticism. In Coriolanus' disdain, Leontes' and Othello's jealousy, Hamlet's inertia, and Lear's exorbitance, Stanley Cavell sees Shakespeare as offering, for the first time in European letters, a profound diagnosis of the sceptical refusal to acknowledge truths about oneself and one's relations to others, and as exploring the motives and tragic consequences of that refusal. His readings of the plays are subtle and challenging, and the insights they contain often startle by both their originality and their familiarity. As a whole they present a unique point of view on the plays.
This volume collects Cavell's writings on Shakespeare for the first time and includes pieces not previously published.
Table of Contents
Preface and acknowledgments; 1. Introduction; 2. The Avoidance of Love: a reading of King Lear; 3. Othello and the stake of the other; 4. Coriolanus and interpretations of politics; 5. Hamlet's burden of proof; 6. Recounting gains, showing losses: reading The Winter's Tale; Index of names and titles.