Shakespeare and the art of humankindness : the essay toward androgyny /
Robert Kimbrough.
New Jersey : Humanities Press International, 1990.
xvi, 272 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
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New Jersey : Humanities Press International, 1990.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 236-268) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1991-04:
Every library that has even a modest collection of Renaissance materials should include this persuasive and well-written discussion of Shakespeare's "humankindness." Kimbrough brings moderation as well as sound scholarship to an area of Shakespeare studies that has too often produced strident diatribes. Though he rehearses his debt to such feminist critics as Juliet Dusinberre, Lisa Jardine, Linda Woodbridge, and Steve Davies, Kimbrough does not allow himself to become caught up in the harsh exchanges that have sometimes characterized the feminist critics and their detractors. Kimbrough's main thesis, in fact, is that much of this argument has been misplaced because of its limited view of human nature: a human being's sex is a fact that must determine certain activities such as propagation of the species, but gender is imposed by society. Renaissance writers such as Spenser and Shakespeare drew upon then-current ideas of androgyny, of a humanity that subsumes sexuality in an androgynous mind to allow each human being to encompass within the mind a full range of the potential qualities associated with maleness and femaleness. The volume contains numerous helpful illustrations as well as copious, pertinent notes, yet it will appeal to a broad audience because of its topic as well as the author's engaging style. -R. H. Peake, Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1991
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