Front cover image for Shakespearean Dickens

Shakespearean Dickens

Shakespeare and Dickens traces Dickens's own interest in Shakespeare from childhood, not only through his own reading and performance but also through numerous theatrical, literary, and artistic sources. The book proceeds to examine theoretical ideas about influence and allusion as aspects of style, and analyses ways in which Dickens typically employs references to Shakespeare. It is argued that imaginative transformations of Shakespeare's words and ideas enrich all aspects of Dickens's writing, including aesthetic principles, language, imagery, plot, atmosphere, theme, tone, structure, foreshadowing, and characterization. Dombey and Son and David Copperfield are examined to demonstrate the sophisticated manner in which Dickens engages the reader in a continuous process of reassessment by creating a dense network of quotations, allusions, and echoes and by integrating successive references to comment upon, modify, or amplify prior usage. The final section contains an annotated catalogue of approximately one thousand references to Shakespeare's plays and poems drawn from Dickens's fiction, essays, letters, and speeches.
Print Book, English, 1995
Cambridge University Press, New York, 1995
pages cm
9780521455268, 052145526X
Part I. A Shakespearean Lot: 1. Treading in the steps: early Shakespearean influences
2. At his tongue's end: Dickens' remarkable memory
3. Eloquent associations: W. C. Macready and Daniel Maclise
4. As if I had been another man: Dickens as actor-manager
5. The noblest of all dramatists: Dickens as theatre critic and editor
Part II. All The Removes and Definitions Of Shakespeare's Touchstone: 6. Of imagination all compact: Dickens' aesthetic principles
7. Definition of critical concepts
8. Verbal fireworks: typical functions of Dickens' Shakespearean references
9. The web I have spun: Shakespeareana in Dombey and Son and David Copperfield
Part III. Signs and tokens of Shakeseare
Preface to the catalogue
Catalogue of Dickens' references to Shakespeare