The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare's Comedies by Penny Gay

By Penny Gay

Why did theatre audiences snigger in Shakespeare's day? Why do they nonetheless chortle now? What did Shakespeare do with the conventions of comedy that he inherited, in order that his performs proceed to amuse and circulation audiences? What do his comedies need to say approximately love, intercourse, gender, energy, kinfolk, group, and sophistication? What position have discomfort, cruelty, or even demise in a comedy? Why all these puns?

In a survey that travels from Shakespeare's earliest experiments in farce and courtly love-stories to the nice romantic comedies of his heart years and the mould-breaking experiments of his final decade's paintings, this ebook addresses those very important questions.

Organised thematically, and masking all Shakespeare's comedies from the start to the top of his occupation, it offers readers with a map of the playwright's comedian kinds, exhibiting how he outfitted on comedic conventions as he extra enriched the chances of the style.

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Susie Orbach, Fat is a Feminist Issue It has always appeared to me to be one of the greatest existing absurdities, that a whole community of people, differing in complexion, form, and feature, as widely as the same species can differ, should . . desire to wear precisely the same kind of dress. Sarah Stickney Ellis, Daughters of England  The remarkable similarity between Orbach’s and Ellis’s observations indicates that the wish to adapt to one predominant standard of beauty bridges nineteenth- and twentieth-century women’s experiences, and that contemporary complaints about the tyranny of slenderness have antecedents in the Victorian era.

Faces a very severe sanction indeed in a world dominated by men: the refusal of male patronage.  It is my hope that critics, by acknowledging this more complex view of the workings of power, will eventually put to rest the tiresome criticism that there exists no conspiracy to make women thin: of course there does not. Power is far too dispersed and anonymous for there to be any such organized plan; nevertheless, power relations as they stand in the twentieth century do make women suffer. Finally, in my conclusion, I draw similarities between Victorian and contemporary cultures, arguing that our own attitudes toward the body have changed remarkably little in the past century, and speculating about the kind of political work that literary and cultural criticism can accomplish in the effort to curtain anorexia nervosa as a pathology and as a paradigm of femininity.

The writer, who equates tight lacing with self-immolation and pagan sacrificial rites, implies that the practice of tight lacing is not only dangerous but immoral, perhaps because tight lacing drew attention to a woman’s erotic beauty. ” This intensification of anti-lacing rhetoric at first suggests an escalation of the practice, but the fashion for enormous skirts during the s actually renders such a hypothesis unlikely. The sensationalizing of critics’ language suggests, instead, that opponents may have been writing against an increasing acceptance of tight lacing.

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