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Shakespeare and the goddess of complete being

Author: Ted Hughes
Publisher: New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 1992.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st American edView all editions and formats
Summary:
In this momentous adventure in criticism, one of the leading poets writing in English argues that our profound response to Shakespeare's great late plays is prompted by a mythic, symbolic structure that inheres in each of them, and indeed binds the entire Shakespearean corpus into one huge, complex, ever-evolving work. Ted Hughes sees Shakespeare's early poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece as embodying  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Tragedies (Drama)
Named Person: William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Ted Hughes
ISBN: 0374262047 9780374262044
OCLC Number: 26928398
Description: xiv, 524 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction --
Part One. The immature phase of the tragic equation : Conception and gestation of the equation's tragic myth : The sonnets, Venus and Adonis, Lucrece --
Birth, childhood and adolescence of the tragic equation : As You Like It, All's Well that Ends Well, A Lover's Complaint, Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida --
Part Two. The evolution of the tragic equation through the seven tragedies : Introduction --
The tragic equation matures and mutates : Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear --
The tragic equation makes its soul : Timon of Athens, Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra --
Part Three. The transformation of the tragic equation in the last plays : Introduction --
The tragic hero brought to judgement : Cymbeline, Pericles, The Winter's Tale --
The dismantling of the tragic equation : The Tempest --
Postscript : The boar with a flower in its mouth --
Appendices : I. The tragic equation in Henry VIII and Two Noble Kinsmen --
II. The Perpetuum Mobile --
III. The equation in The Merchant of Venice.
Responsibility: Ted Hughes.

Abstract:

In this momentous adventure in criticism, one of the leading poets writing in English argues that our profound response to Shakespeare's great late plays is prompted by a mythic, symbolic structure that inheres in each of them, and indeed binds the entire Shakespearean corpus into one huge, complex, ever-evolving work. Ted Hughes sees Shakespeare's early poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece as embodying two great myths of the archaic world, that of the hero who rejects the love of the Goddess and is killed in revenge by a boar; and that of the king, or god, whose crime is rape and whose punishment is banishment. These two complexes merge as Shakespeare's work develops into what Hughes calls the Tragic Equation, a flexible formula through which the poet was able to tap into the innate power of these myths to enliven his own imagination - and through him the imagination of Elizabethan England, in which the conflicts between Catholicism and Protestantism in the "living myth" of the English Reformation never lay far from the bloody surface of events. With his characteristic mixture of erudition and immediacy, Ted Hughes traces this idea in a close reading of Shakespeare's entire work. This text originally grew out of correspondence with dramatists, and anyone for whom intimate attention to the plays is important - scholar, student, actor, or common reader - will profit greatly from Hughes's loving, intensive, engrossing, and radical analysis of the greatest writing in the language.

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