Shakespeare's Imagery and What It Tells Us

Shakespeare's Imagery and What It Tells Us

Shakespeare's Imagery and What It Tells Us

Shakespeare's Imagery and What It Tells Us

Excerpt

The following study is an attempt to point out several directions in which the detailed examination of Shakespeare's images seems to me to throw new light on the poet and his work.

These are merely a very limited selection of literally dozens of directions which might be chosen, and along the lines of which I believe there is fascinating and most repaying work for scholars for years to come.

The richness and possibilities of the material I have been working with are so great that I have been forced strictly to limit the points I touch upon in this book, which is, as I hope and intend, the first only of three studies which I have planned, on various aspects of this subject.

This first study deals chiefly with suggestions as to light thrown by the imagery (I) on Shakespeare's personality, temperament and thought, (2) on the themes and characters of the plays. The other books will be chiefly concerned with questions of authorship considered in the light of this freshly collected evidence, and with the background of Shakespeare's mind and the origins of his imagery.

The material on which they are all alike based is the whole of Shakespeare's images, as well as—for the purposes of comparison — the images from a large number of plays by his contemporaries. These I have been gradually collecting, sorting and classifying during the last seven or eight years. When I have finished some of the deductions I am drawing from it, I hope eventually . . .

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