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Shakespeare--"For all time?"

Paul Cantor's essay discusses the criticism in the teaching of Shakespeare and many of the themes/issues that are incorporated in his works. The contemporary teachings of Shakespeare are scrutinized in this article as being sometimes radical as they are taught by "radical" professors. This has a lot to do with the idea of teaching opinions rather than fact. There is no doubt going to be a skewed view presented about an issue if it is taught by a certain type of person. Ideally a professor or teacher should present an unbiased view but this simply isn't the case.

New Historicism is one of the most important issues brought about in this essay. Old historicism insisted that 'Shakespeare' dealt only with the Elizabethan Age where as New Historicism can incorporate new political topics. The play that Cantor discussed in depth was The Tempest (no surprise there). Shakespeare's plays reflect race,gender and class which are contemporary issues. It was interesting to see that Cantor stated that "Shakespeare becomes a powerful symbol for all that is wrong with our culture."

They say that art imitates life, and that can be very true. Marxism is mentioned briefly but I didn't necesarily understand its link to Shakespeare. There were limitations placed on women in Shakespeare's times that are often seen in his plays but yet there is the introduction of characters like Lady Macbeth, Miranda and Juliet (all of which are strong independent women).

Shakespeare For All Time ASN.

Comments (1)

Vanessa:

Before reading this essay I had never heard of "New Historicism" in relation to literature. Apparently it is a pretty common way of teaching- when I was doing research for my paper I came across New Historicism views.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 25, 2005 12:54 AM.

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