Re-Visions of Shakespeare: Essays in Honor of Robert Ornstein

Re-Visions of Shakespeare: Essays in Honor of Robert Ornstein

Re-Visions of Shakespeare: Essays in Honor of Robert Ornstein

Re-Visions of Shakespeare: Essays in Honor of Robert Ornstein

Synopsis

Re-Visions of Shakespeare: Essays in Honor of Robert Ornstein is a tribute to one of the most prominent Shakespeareans in the last half of the twentieth century, past president of the Shakespeare Association of America, and author of Shakespeare's Comedies: From Roman Farce to Romantic Mystery, and Other texts. Twelve original contributions by an international group of scholars, including some of the most prominent working in Shakespeare studies today, use a variety of theoretical perspectives to address issues of contemporary import in the dramatic texts. Janus-like, the collection suggests the directions of Shakespeare studies at the outset of the new millennium while considering their roots in the last.

Excerpt

Evelyn Gajowski

The work of our predecessors is a part of who we are and what
we do today.

—Anthony Dawson, Presidential Address, Shakespeare Association
of America, Minneapolis, Minn., 22 March 2002

One of my most vivid memories from graduate school is sitting in class in the very first course in which I had enrolled, on Shakespeare’s comedies and histories, and listening to Robert Ornstein comment that four of Shakespeare’s plays—Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Cymbeline, and The Winter’s Tale—dramatize the problem of “the true woman falsely accused” of infidelity. This comment, casually dropped in lecture, was the seed of what was to become my second monograph (in progress). On a later occasion, this time during one of our conferences during office hours, he mentioned that Shakespeare’s female protagonists were more psychologically grounded, realistic, and mature in heterosexual relations than the male protagonists. in the midst of my dissertation as I was, that adroitly placed comment gave shape to my inchoate, random thoughts on Juliet, Desdemona, and Cleopatra. Such was the influence of the mentor on the student. Years later, James Hazen, a colleague of mine at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (and, like Bob, a University of Wisconsin Ph.D.), remarked that he could discern a continuous line of scholarly influence from Hardin Craig through Madeleine Doran through Robert Ornstein, and finally, to me. Initially, I was dumbstruck. Eventually, I had the good sense to be flattered.

Given the opportunity to reflect on both the arc of Ornstein’s scholarship and the influence of his work, it is pleasurable to note that his contribution to the discipline of Shakespeare studies has been enormous, profound, and lasting. in addition to editing anthologies of dramatic texts and collections of essays, on the one . . .

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