Cymbeline | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Leah S. Marcus

This literature criticism consists of approximately 53 pages of analysis & critique of Cymbeline.
This section contains 15,834 words
(approx. 53 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Leah S. Marcus

Critical Essay by Leah S. Marcus

SOURCE: “James,” in Puzzling Shakespeare: Local Reading and Its Discontents, University of California Press, 1988, pp. 106-159.

In the following excerpt, Marcus contends that a close reading of Cymbeline will support an interpretation of the play as a political allegory that is deeply reflective of contemporary Jacobean politics.

In Cymbeline, Shakespeare can be seen as operating according to Jonsonian precept in the construction of a political allegory which presents “one entire bodie, or figure” devoted to a “present office” of the king. There have been fragmentary topical readings of the play, but none has pursued the “Jacobean line” with anything approaching the thoroughness that contemporary evidence permits. The play is by no means easy. But if allowances are made for the difference in form between a Jacobean pageant...

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This section contains 15,834 words
(approx. 53 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Leah S. Marcus