The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare's Romances

Title Details

Pages: 176

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 04/01/2011

ISBN: 9-780-8203-3856-9

List Price: $25.95

The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare's Romances

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  • Description
  • Reviews
Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest—three of Shakespeare’s final plays diverge from Shakepeare’s usual standards. Generically, stylistically, and dramatically, they each embrace hauntingly familiarShakespearean themes and incidents. However, with comic devices colliding with tragic passions, mimetic actions that give way to spectacle, and drama that yields to narrative, everything Shakespearean has undergone a puzzling transformation. Barbara A. Mowat argues that when a dramatist selects a genre, a theatrical style, a narrative or dramatic mode, he is consciously choosing a way of creating a certain kind of experience. Thus, by confronting the comic form with the tragic, the realistic with the artificial, the dramatic with the narrative, Shakespeare makes meaning in a new way. He creates a kind of play that frees romance from the traditional bounds of his early dramas.

A study commendable not only for its concern with the basic critical problems posed by the Romances but also for its learning, clarity, and over-all good sense.

Southern Humanities Review

Mowat’s suggestive and sensitive treatment of the conflicting aesthetics in the final plays provides vocabulary and viewpoints of great value. She helps us to understand ‘how plays work,’ not merely as isolated works of art, but as drama that presupposes a living audience.

—H. R. Coursen

About the Author/Editor

BARBARA A. MOWAT is director of research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, consulting editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and editor (with Paul Werstine) of the Folger Library Shakespeare editions.