William Shakespeare | Critical Essay by Peter Holbrook

This literature criticism consists of approximately 37 pages of analysis & critique of William Shakespeare.
This section contains 10,822 words
(approx. 37 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Peter Holbrook

SOURCE: "Shakespeare and the Social Symbolism of Art," in Literature and Degree in Renaissance England: Nash, Bourgeois Tragedy, Shakespeare, University of Delaware Press, 1994, pp. 105-24.

In the following excerpt, Holbrook discusses Shakespeare's dramatic inversion of social hierarchy in A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Taming of the Shrew.

"To begin, then, with Shakespeare. He was the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient, poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul."1 Dryden's tribute resonates in many ways, but for this study we may single out one implication—the social. We can credit Dryden with the identification of a characteristic quality of the Shakespearean text: its capacity to comprehend vast social differences, its sheer sociological inclusiveness and richness, and it is in this sense that one may, still, be allowed to speak of the "universality" of Shakespeare. Again, Dryden's praise reminds us of that...

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This section contains 10,822 words
(approx. 37 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Peter Holbrook
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by Peter Holbrook from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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