Berryman's Shakespeare : [essays, letters, and other by Shakespeare, William; Haffenden, John; Berryman, John

By Shakespeare, William; Haffenden, John; Berryman, John

Edited by means of John Haffenden
With a Preface through Robert Giroux

John Berryman, one in all America's such a lot proficient smooth poets, was once winner of the Pulitzer Prize for 77 Dream Songs and the nationwide e-book Award for His Toy, His Dream, His Rest. He received a name as an innovator whose daring literary adventures have been tempered by way of exacting self-discipline. Berryman was once additionally an lively, prolific, and perceptive critic whose personal adventure as a big poet served to his virtue.

Berryman was once a protégé of Mark Van Doren, the good Shakespearean pupil, and the Bard's paintings remained one among his such a lot abiding passions--he could commit an entire life to writing approximately it. His voluminous writings at the topic have now been accumulated and edited by means of John Haffenden.

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Extra info for Berryman's Shakespeare : [essays, letters, and other writings]

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The present volume gathers together the most polished examples of the essays and lectures that Berryman composed between the late 1940s and his final months; though a few of the pieces are regrettably unfinished, none is so fragmentary that it has not established a certain and sustainable argument. Part One represents perhaps the most advanced stage of the popular biographical study on which Berryman was engaged for many years; it dates from the late 1960s. Part Two comprises eight lectures, which he developed, adapted, and cannibalized from time to time (both to suit different audiences and to take stock of the march of scholarship), covering the full life and canon.

THE LABOURS ON King Lear THE DIFFERENCES between the two major texts of King Lear are as subtle and manifold as they can appear to be intractable. Even the titles speak for different generic categories: whereas the quarto (Q), published in 1608, carries the expansive narratorial title (in modernized form), Mr William Shakespeare: his true chronicle history of the life and death of King Lear and his three Daughters. With the unfortunate life of Edgar, son and heir to the Earl of Gloucester, and his sullen and assumed humour of Tom of Bedlam, the folio (F) version (1623), published seven years after Shakespeare’s death (and ten years after his last known active involvement in the theatre with Henry VIII), is given more tersely as The Tragedy of King Lear.

But the special character of this scene takes the form of an annunciation—I use the word “annunciation” advisedly, as a term often reserved for the Virgin Mary. The Gentleman reports the piteous, weeping Cordelia as “a queen / Over her passion” (13–14), for example, and says “she shook / The holy water from her heavenly eyes” (30–31). As anyone may judge from the full 30-line context, such a representation of Cordelia takes the form of a “narrative prelude” rather than a dramatic action. How to explain it, or explain it away?

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