A Natural Perspective: The Development of Shakespearean Comedy and Romance

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Columbia University Press, 1965 - Literary Criticism - 159 pages
In A Natural Perspective, distinguished critic Northrop Frye maintains that Shakespeare's comedy is widely misunderstood and underestimated, and that the four romances - Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest - are the inevitable culmination of the poet's career. Rather than comment only on individual plays, Frye treats the comedies as a group unified by recurrent structures, devices, and images: the storm at sea, the identical twins, the heroine disguised as a boy, the retreat into the forest, the heroine with a mysterious father.
 

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Contents

I Mouldy Tales
1
II Making Nature Afraid
34
III The Triumph of Time
72
IV The Return from the Sea
118
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About the author (1965)

Herman Northrop Frye was born in 1912 in Quebec, Canada. His mother educated him at home until the fourth grade. After graduating from the University of Toronto, he studied theology at Emmanuel College for several years and actually worked as a pastor before deciding he preferred the academic life. He eventually obtained his master's degree from Oxford, and taught English at the University of Toronto for more than four decades. Frye's first two books, Fearful Symmetry (1947) and Anatomy of Criticism (1957) set forth the influential literary principles upon which he continued to elaborate in his numerous later works. These include Fables of Identity: Studies in Poetic Mythology, The Well-Tempered Critic, and The Great Code: The Bible and Literature. Frye died in 1991.

Stanley Cavell was born Stanley Louis Goldstein in Atlanta, Georgia on September 1, 1926. He received a degree in music from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University. From 1953 to 1956, he was a junior fellow in Harvard's Society of Fellows. He then taught for six years at the University of California, Berkeley. He returned to Harvard to teach in 1963, becoming professor emeritus in 1997. His first book, Must We Mean What We Say?, was published in 1969. His other books included The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy; Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage; and Themes Out of School: Effects and Causes. He died from heart failure on June 19, 2018 at the age of 91.

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