Shakespeare's Tragic Skepticism
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Shakespeare's Tragic Skepticism by Millicent Bell
Book DescriptionReaders of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies have long noted the absence of readily explainable motivations for some of Shakespeare's greatest characters: why does Hamlet delay his revenge for so long? Why does King Lear choose to renounce his power? Why is Othello so vulnerable to Iago's malice? But while many critics have chosen to overlook these omissions or explain them away, Millicent Bell demonstrates that they are essential elements of Shakespeare's philosophy of doubt. Examining the major tragedies, Millicent Bell reveals the persistent strain of philosophical skepticism. Like his contemporary, Montaigne, Shakespeare repeatedly calls attention to the essential unknowability of our world. In a period of social, political, and religious upheaval, uncertainty hovered over matters great and small--the succession of the crown, the death of loved ones from plague, the failure of a harvest. Tumultuous social conditions raised ultimate questions for Shakespeare, Bell argues, and ultimately provoked in him a skepticism which casts shadows of existential doubt over his greatest masterpieces.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780300092554
(216mm x 140mm x 20mm)
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 3-Jan-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Millicent Bell
Wings of the Dove, Paperback (March 2008)
Emerging from the grit and stigma of poverty to a life of fairytale privilege under the wing of her aunt, the beautiful and financially ambitious Kate Croy is already romantically involved with promising journalist Merton Densher when they become acquainted with Milly Theale, a New York socialite of immense wealth.
Cambridge Companion to Edith Wharton, Paperback (June 1995)View all books by Millicent Bell
This handbook provides fresh examinations of Wharton's fiction designed to engage the interest of both students and general readers.
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Author Biography - Millicent Bell
Millicent Bell is professor emerita of English literature at Boston University. Her previous books include Marquand: An American Life and Meaning in Henry James.
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