William Shakespeare | Shakespeare's Historicism: Visions and Revisions

This literature criticism consists of approximately 21 pages of analysis & critique of William Shakespeare.
This section contains 6,071 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Shakespeare's Historicism: Visions and Revisions

Paola Pugliatti, University of Florence

Paul Valéry said that history is "the most dangerous compound that the mind's chemistry has ever produced," because "it can justify whatever one wishes."1 This article is an attempt to deal with several aspects of this dangerous compound: that of Shakespeare's historical plays themselves and the things they seem and have seemed to justify; that of the interpreters and their histories and the things they have justified through their readings of Shakespeare's historical plays; and finally the things that our revised perception of history, of historiography, and of historicism may still justify as regards Shakespeare's historical writings.

The debate about Shakespeare's English history plays has been in many ways peculiar. What makes the difference, of course, is the conviction that when dealing with political texts one has direct access to "reality"—indeed, to several levels of...

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This section contains 6,071 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Shakespeare's Historicism: Visions and Revisions
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