Shakespeare: the late plays

Kate Aughterson

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authored


This proposal provides an outline for a book on Shakespeare’s late plays (Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest), aimed at “A” level and undergraduate students, as part of Palgrave’s Analysing Texts series. It aims to encourage close reading skills in students in order to foster and broaden their understanding and interpretation of dramatic texts as drama, both within their contemporary renaissance context and their modern performative contexts. It is divided into two sections, the first of which uses close textual and dramatic analysis of the plays to enable students to use textual reading to understand dramatic meanings, and the second focuses more broadly on the plays’ cultural, critical and peformative contexts. In part one, the first three chapters look at openings, endings and dramatic turning points, opening up dramatic, structural and three-dimensional considerations of the plays, before looking at central character patterns and theatricality in chapters on Fathers and Husbands, Mothers and Daughters, Masters, Servants and Slaves, Stage Properties, Theatricality and Spectacle, and Music and Song. These latter chapters consider issues of comic conflict, romance and resolution through character, gender and generic manipulation, patriarchy, and romance and magic. Characters, themes and plays are explicitly contextualised in both a literary and theatrical context as well as the broader world of the culture and politics of Jacobean London. The second part of the book locates the close textual readings of the first part within the Jacobean literary milieu, as well as within the cultural and political ideas and debates of the early seventeenth century. Finally, it locates the plays within their recent reception history through a discussion of some key critical and performative accounts of the texts.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages296
ISBN (Print)9780230368637
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013

Publication series

NameAnalysing texts


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