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William Empson : Essays on Shakespeare - William Empson

William Empson

Essays on Shakespeare

Paperback Published: 28th July 1986
ISBN: 9780521311502
Number Of Pages: 260

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At the time of his death in 1984, William Empson was preparing and revising a collection of his essays on Shakespeare. The resulting volume, edited by David Pirie, provides a book which the literary world has wanted for over half a century.

Here, in a single volume, are major readings of "Hamlet" and "Macbeth," a witty and sometimes impassioned defence of Falstaff, and a new piece on the architecture of the Globe theatre and other Renaissance playhouses, in which Empson explores the problems that the design of contemporary stages posed for a working playwright; there are also essays on the narrative poems, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and the last plays.

The essays demonstrate the subtlety and agility of Empson's mind, as well as his remarkable breadth of knowledge, while the almost racy wit of his informal prose-style argues for a literary criticism which should never become solemn if it is to be truly serious.

Industry Reviews

'Academic scholars may bar his way, but Empson wheedles past with his charm and common sense.' The Times Literary Supplement 'Empson was a professor, but he had all the qualities that academics are often accused of lacking: he was humane, intense, eccentric, passionately hostile to Christianity, never dull, and very very clever ... The blurb calls this book ... a book which the literary world has wanted for half a century, and for once I think the publisher is not exaggerating. Today as much as ever, literary criticism needs its William Empsons.' The Spectator

Sources and acknowledgements
The narrative poems
The Globe theatre
Fairy flight in A Midsummer Night's Dream
Hunt the symbol
Select bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521311502
ISBN-10: 0521311500
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 260
Published: 28th July 1986
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.69 x 13.89  x 1.63
Weight (kg): 0.34