Shakespeare and Carnival: After Bakhtin

Shakespeare and Carnival: After Bakhtin

Ronald Knowles

Language: English

Pages: 244


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This collection of essays reassesses a range of Shakespeare's plays in relation to carnivalesque theory. The plays discussed include: "Henry IV"; "Romeo and Juliet"; "A Midsummer Night's Dream"; "The Merry Wives of Windsor"; "Hamlet"; "Measure For Measure"; "The Winter's Tale"; and "Henry VIII". Contributors re-historicize the carnivalesque in different ways, offering both a developed application, or critique of, Bakhtin's thought.

'There is no concept more productive in Shakespeare studies than Carnival, yet no one more controversial than Mikhail Bakhtin, the critic who taught Shakespeareans to apply it. Shakespeare and Carnival spans this contradiction by reading the plays both "After Bakhtin" and within ongoing debate about early modern violence. So the essays in this collection find Carnival patterns not only in surprising places - from the Capulets' tomb to the Cardinal's palace - but in startling cultural contexts. Here Jack Cade materialises as the actor Will Kemp; Falstaff arises as a grotesque Puritan; and Paulina emerges as a Shrovetide jester. This is a volume, then, that reminds us of Bakhtin's affinity to Carl Orff - in idealising the tub-thumping "volk" - but also his lasting relevance to Brueghel, Rabelais and Shakespeare. It will be an indispensable guide whether Shakespearean Carnival is studied for its revellers or its scapegoats.'
- Richard Wilson, Professor of Renaissance Studies, Lancaster University


















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