Shakespeare and the Mannerist Tradition: A Reading of Five Problem Plays

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, 1995 - Drama - 197 pages
0 Reviews
This 1996 book offers an original approach to Shakespeare's so-called 'problem plays' by contending that they can be viewed as experiments in the Mannerist style. The plays reappraised here are Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida, All's Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure. How can a term used to define a movement in art history be made relevant to theatrical analysis? Maquerlot shows how famous painters of sixteenth-century Italy cultivated structural ambiguity or dissonance in reaction to the classical canons of the High Renaissance. Close readings of Shakespeare's plays, from the period 1599 to 1604, reveal intriguing analogies with Mannerist art and the dramatist's response to Elizabethan formalism. Maquerlot concludes by examining Othello, which marks the end of Shakespeare's Mannerist experiments, and the less equivocal use of artifice in his late romances.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The problem of Mannerism
towards a definition of Mannerism
Mannerism in reaction to formalism
Julius Caesar and dramatic coquetry
Hamlet optical effects
Troilus and Cressida 1 18
Mostrar lartc Alls ellThatEnds ell and Measure for Measure
The end of the Mannerist moment

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information