Shakespearean Tragedy

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Penguin Books Limited, 1991 - Literary Criticism - 474 pages
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A.C. Bradley put Shakespeare on the map for generations of readers and students for whom the plays might not otherwise have become "real" at all' writes John Bayley in his foreword to this edition of Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth. Approaching the tragedies as drama, wondering about their characters as he might have wondered about people in novels or in life, Bradley is one of the most liberating in the line of distinguished Shakespeare critics. His acute yet undogmatic and almost conversational critical method has—despite fluctuations in fashion—remained enduringly popular and influential. For, as John Bayley observes, these lectures give us a true and exhilarating sense of 'the tragedies joining up with life, with all our lives; leading us into a perspective of possibilities that stretch forward and back in time, and in our total awareness of things.

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About the author (1991)

A.C. BRADLEY was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford until his death in 1935. ROBERT SHAUGHNESSY is Professor of Theatre at the University of Kent.

John Oliver Bayley was born on March 27, 1925 in Lahore, India. He was educated at Eton College and Oxford University and served in the Grenadier Guards during World War II. He became a fellow of New College at Oxford in 1955, teaching English, and later joined the faculty of St. Catherine's College, Oxford, in 1973. He was a literary critic and author. His works included The Power of Delight, Tolstoy and the Novel, Shakespeare and Tragedy, and The Red Hat. He wrote three memoirs involving his life from when his wife, novelist Iris Murdoch, was struck by Alzheimer's disease until after her death. The memoirs were entitled Elegy for Iris, Iris and Her Friends: A Memoir of Memory and Desire, and Widower's House: A Study in Bereavement, or How Margot and Mella Forced Me to Flee My Home. Elegy for Iris was adapted into a film entitled Iris. He was a frequent contributor to several publications including The Times Book Review and The New York Review of Books. He died from heart insufficiency on January 12, 2015 at the age of 89.

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