Catalogue


Wrinkled deep in time : aging in Shakespeare /
Maurice Charney.
imprint
New York : Columbia University Press, c2009.
description
ix, 177 p.
ISBN
9780231142304 (cloth : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Columbia University Press, c2009.
isbn
9780231142304 (cloth : acid-free paper)
contents note
King Lear, Titus Andronicus, and Cymbeline -- The aging process, with special reference to Macbeth -- Time the destroyer in the Sonnets and The rape of Lucrece -- "Heavy" fathers -- Politic old men: Polonius, Nestor, and Menenius -- Wise old men -- Falstaff -- Jealous old men: Othello and Leontes -- Old warriors and statesmen in the English history plays -- Fatal attraction: Antony and Cleopatra -- Powerful older women -- Loving older women -- Lusty older women.
catalogue key
6948362
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-06-01:
This refreshingly text-driven look at some of Shakespeare's most significant plays offers important insights about Shakespeare's attitude toward aging and his own sense of growing old. Drawing on a diverse body of historical documents, Charney (Rutgers Univ.) considers patterns of aging across the Shakespearian canon, exploring the fulfillment or distress of Shakespeare's characters in combination with their mental and physical decline. Like Charney's All of Shakespeare (1993), this book demonstrates that Charney is among the most acutely sensitive of readers. Although acknowledging Shakespeare's autobiographical engagement with his subjects, the author (to his credit) avoids a too-close association of the plays with Shakespeare's own sketchy and mythologized biography. Charney's initial chapter deals with King Lear--"the most important representation of aging in Shakespeare"--offering a fresh look at one of the most complicated, critically discussed works in all of English literature. For Charney, "King Lear presents conflicting aspects of the old man character, revealing both his foolishness and the wisdom that is gained through suffering." This book has relevance not only for scholars of Shakespeare but also for those interested in adult development and issues of gerontology. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. D. Pesta University of Wisconsin--Oshkosh
Reviews
Review Quotes
"The many readers who justly admired and learned from Maurice Charney's previous book, All of Shakespeare, will find this volume a worthy successor on an important and underinvestigated subject. One comes away from Wrinkled Deep in Timewith one's understanding quietly transformed." -- Michael Goldman, Princeton University
Wrinkled Deep in Time is a readable, sensitive, and often moving account of Shakespeare's treatment of aging. The reader has the pleasure of listening to the voice of a master teacher speaking about works he knows well and loves.
" Wrinkled Deep in Timeis a readable, sensitive, and often moving account of Shakespeare's treatment of aging. The reader has the pleasure of listening to the voice of a master teacher speaking about works he knows well and loves." -- David Scott Kastan, Yale University
"The many readers who justly admired and learned from Maurice Charney's previous book, All of Shakespeare , will find this volume a worthy successor on an important and underinvestigated subject. One comes away from Wrinkled Deep in Time with one's understanding quietly transformed." -- Michael Goldman, Princeton University
The many readers who justly admired and learned from Maurice Charney's previous book, All of Shakespeare , will find this volume a worthy successor on an important and underinvestigated subject. One comes away from Wrinkled Deep in Time with one's understanding quietly transformed.
Rather than pursuing a single-minded but limited agenda, the purpose of this book is to inform readers with the richness of Shakespeare's drama, including a cornucopia of amusing, poignant, inspiring, and sad observations about what it means for all of us to grow older.
"Rather than pursuing a single-minded but limited agenda, the purpose of this book is to inform readers with the richness of Shakespeare's drama, including a cornucopia of amusing, poignant, inspiring, and sad observations about what it means for all of us to grow older." -- James P. Bednarz, author of Shakespeare and the Poets' War
"The many readers who justly admired and learned from All of Shakespearewill find this a worthy successor on an important and underinvestigated subject. Written in Maurice Charney's classically clear, direct, and engaging style, one comes away from this book with one's understanding quietly transformed." -- Michael Goldman, Princeton University
Offers insights about Shakespeare's attitude toward aging and his own growing old...highly recommended.
"Offers insights about Shakespeare's attitude toward aging and his own growing old...highly recommended. " -- Choice , June 2010
"Offers insights about Shakespeare's attitude toward aging and his own growing old...highly recommended. " -- Choice, June 2010
Maurice Charney illuminates every Shakespearean topic to which he turns his attention. In this study, he deals with Shakespeare's varied portrayals of old age and the aging process, tracing the many losses and the few, though precious, gains that Shakespeare associated with getting old. The key is Charney's acute sensitivity to language and the shadings of meaning in Shakespeare's rich vocabulary. Proposing typologies that clarify the full range of what it meant, for Shakespeare, to grow old, Charney confirms the playwright's deep wisdom about the range of human experience.
"Maurice Charney illuminates every Shakespearean topic to which he turns his attention. In this study, he deals with Shakespeare's varied portrayals of old age and the aging process, tracing the many losses and the few, though precious, gains that Shakespeare associated with getting old. The key is Charney's acute sensitivity to language and the shadings of meaning in Shakespeare's rich vocabulary. Proposing typologies that clarify the full range of what it meant, for Shakespeare, to grow old, Charney confirms the playwright's deep wisdom about the range of human experience." -- Harry Keyishian, Fairleigh Dickinson University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2010
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Summaries
Main Description
Shakespeare was acutely aware of our intimate struggles with aging. His dramatic characters either prosper or suffer according to their relationship with maturity, and his sonnets eloquently explore time's ravaging effects. "Wrinkled deep in time" is how the queen describes herself in Antony and Cleopatra, and at the end of King Lear, there is a tragic sense that both the king and Gloucester have acquired a wisdom they otherwise lacked at the beginning of the play. Even Juliet matures considerably before she drinks Friar Lawrence's potion, and Macbeth and his wife prematurely grow old from their murderous schemes. Drawing on historical documents and the dramatist's own complex depictions, Maurice Charney conducts an original investigation into patterns of aging in Shakespeare, exploring the fulfillment or distress of Shakespeare's characters in combination with their mental and physical decline. Comparing the characterizations of elderly kings and queens, older lovers, patriarchal men, matriarchal women, and the senex-the stereotypical old man of Roman comedy-with the history of life expectancy in Shakespeare's England, Charney uncovers similarities and differences between our contemporary attitudes toward aging and aging as it was understood more than four hundred years ago. From this dynamic examination, a new perspective on Shakespeare emerges, one that celebrates and deepens our knowledge of his subtler themes and characters.
Main Description
Shakespeare was acutely aware of our intimate struggles with aging. His dramatic characters either prosper or suffer according to their relationship with maturity, and his sonnets eloquently explore time's ravaging effects. "Wrinkled deep in time" is how the queen describes herself in Antony and Cleopatra , and at the end of King Lear , there is a tragic sense that both the king and Gloucester have acquired a wisdom they otherwise lacked at the beginning of the play. Even Juliet matures considerably before she drinks Friar Lawrence's potion, and Macbeth and his wife prematurely grow old from their murderous schemes. Drawing on historical documents and the dramatist's own complex depictions, Maurice Charney conducts an original investigation into patterns of aging in Shakespeare, exploring the fulfillment or distress of Shakespeare's characters in combination with their mental and physical decline. Comparing the characterizations of elderly kings and queens, older lovers, patriarchal men, matriarchal women, and the senex& -the stereotypical old man of Roman comedy& -with the history of life expectancy in Shakespeare's England, Charney uncovers similarities and differences between our contemporary attitudes toward aging and aging as it was understood more than four hundred years ago. From this dynamic examination, a new perspective on Shakespeare emerges, one that celebrates and deepens our knowledge of his subtler themes and characters.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Drawing on historical documents and the dramatist's own complex depictions, renowned Shakespeare scholar Maurice Charney launches a wholly original examination of aging in Shakespeare, identifying how the process provides either fulfillment or distress in conjunction with mental and physical decline.

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