God: A Biography - Study Guide Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Jack Miles
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Critics and scholars differ on how to approach literary characters. Critics, who dominated the early 20th century, believe in character - one must examine Hamlet's evolution throughout Shakespeare's play. Scholars, who dominated from mid-century, stress, "The play's the thing" and only Shakespeare's words (and perhaps its context in Elizabethan drama and society) matter: it is folly to talk about a person Hamlet. "New Historicism" seeks to understand the play as itself embedded in history — works of art are "the products of collective negotiation and exchange." God: a Biography was written on Aristotle's precept that to understand character, one must connect beginning, middle and end. Miles has no theological or historical interest in this study; he believes that the artistic suggestion of a life is inseparable from the dramatic or literary effect itself. Like Hamlet, God must have an offstage life in order for his on-stage life...

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This section contains 1,063 words
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Buy the God: A Biography Study Guide
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