Drawing upon the work of anthropologists, psychologists and sociologists, Marjorie Garber examines the rites of passage and maturation patterns--"coming of age"--in Shakespeare's plays. Citing examples from virutally the entire Shakespeare canon, she pays particular attention to the way his characters grow and change at points of personal crisis. Among the crises Garber discusses are: separation from parent or sibling in preparation for sexual love and the choice of husband or wife; the use of names and nicknames as a sign of individual exploits or status; virginity, sexual initiation and the acceptance of sexual maturity, childbearing and parenthood; and, finally, attitudes toward death and dying.
In this fascinating and original analysis, Marjorie Garber explores the ways in which the Shakespearean protagonist is challenged to change as his or her circumstances change--to adapt to the world and the people around him, and to come to terms with the nature and finitude of the human condition.
"Shakespearean scholars, students of drama, and cultural studies enthusiasts will be impressed with the rich array of insights offered in Garber's book on Shakespeare. "Coming of Age in Shakespeare offers readers a compelling introduction to character development through the lens of contemporary research from the social sciences. Touching upon anthropological, sociological, and psychological studies, Garber writes literary criticism at its best- lucid, provocative, and capacious."
-"Sixteenth Century Journal