Reading Shakespeare's Characters: Rhetoric, Ethics, and Identity
Although current theory has discredited the idea of a coherent, transcendent self, Shakespeare's characters still make themselves felt as a presence for readers and viewers alike. Confronting this paradox, Christy Desmet explores the role played by rhetoric in fashioning and representing Shakespearean character. She draws on classical and Renaissance texts, as well as on the work of such twentieth-century critics as Kenneth Burke and Paul de Man, bringing classical, Renaissance, and contemporary rhetoric into fruitful collision. Desmet redefines the nature of character by analyzing the function of character criticism and by developing a new perspective on Shakespearean character. She shows how rhetoric shapes character within the plays and the way characters are "read." She also examines the relationship between technique and theme by considering the connections between rhetorical representation and dramatic illusion and by discussing the relevance of rhetorical criticism to issues of gender. Works analyzed include Hamlet, Cymbeline, King John, Othello, The Winter's Tale, King Lear, Venus and Adonis, Measure for Measure, and All's Well That Ends Well.
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Ethos and Epideictic
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action actors allegory Angelo argues argument Aristotle audience becomes Bertram Burke's California Press Cambridge character criticism Claudio Coleridge Coleridge's Comedies culture Cymbeline Cymbeline's Desdemona dramatic Edgar English epideictic epideictic rhetoric essay ethical ethos Falstaff father fictional figure George Puttenham Hamlet Hecuba Helena Hermione hyperbole Iago Ibid identification identity illusion Imogen Isabella Jachimo judgment Kenneth Burke King Lear KingJohn language Lear's Leonati Leontes London Madeleine Doran Mariana Measure for Measure metaphor Methuen moral Morgann motives narrative narrator nature Ophelia oral orator Othello paradox perspective play's Player's plot Poetics poetry portrait Posthumus Posthumus's praise Princeton University Press prosopopoeia proverbs Puttenham Quintilian reader reading Renaissance rhetoricians Richardson role Samuel Taylor Coleridge scene sense sexual Shake Shakespeare Quarterly Shakespeare's plays simile social soliloquy speak speaker speare's speech style tion trans tropes Venus and Adonis Venus's verbal vice virtue Winter's Tale woman women words writing Yale University Press York
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