Johnson's Shakespeare /
G.F. Parker.
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1989.
xx, 204 p.
0198129742 :
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Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1989.
0198129742 :
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1989-12:
A most useful synthesizing study of some of the major problems concerning the understanding of Johnson's critical assessment of Shakespeare. Parker's Johnson is well worth reading, if only to follow, in the last chapter, his interesting and cogent argument involving Johnson's reaction to certain disturbing passages in Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth that "move us in ways so powerfully disturbing to our human nature as to be hardly endurable." In an effort to place Johnson's view of Shakespeare in proper perspective, the author, who has read deeply in the area of criticism, explores major Johnsonian critical principles in respect not only to the plays themselves but also to critical commentary by three primary Romantic critics: Coleridge, Schlegel, and Hazlitt. The first two chapters deal with Johnson's concept of "general nature" (an excellent summary of significant points), with the most informative and fascinating chapter concentrating on Johnson's view of the creative mind in relation to his special reading of Shakespeare. Highly recommended for anyone interested in 18th-century literature and literary criticism. Includes extracts from Preface to Shakespeare. Adequate notes and index. Levels: graduate and upper-division undergraduate. -R. G. Brown, Ball State University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1989
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Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. vii
From Johnson's Preface to Shakespearep. xi
Note on Referencesp. xxi
Taking Johnson Seriouslyp. 1
Just Representations of General Naturep. 15
Sceptical Thinkingp. 28
The Pleasure of Generalityp. 42
Not Heroic but Humanp. 51
The Mind against the Worldp. 63
The Idealist Imagination--Wordsworth--Falstaff--Hamletp. 63
The Defiant Imagination--Lear--Audience Identification and Dramatic Illusionp. 91
Individuals or Species?p. 106
Supernatural Creation--Caliban and Prosperop. 111
Organic Unity--Wordplay--Romeo and Julietp. 126
Conclusion: On the Necessity of Choosingp. 153
Johnson and Tragedyp. 156
Indexp. 199
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