William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

By Harold Bloom | Go to book overview

Shakespeare’s Realism: Viola

Gary Taylor

“The real” may be imagined as a sphere: that is, a polygon of an infinite number of sides. (Of course, as the concept of infinity is itself a mathematical fiction, I am here defining reality in terms of fiction.) From among this multiplicity of aspects, each artist selects a few, which and how many according to his talents and his times. All art is synecdoche. Naturalist playwrights have elevated into law a handful of the more mechanical aspects of the real. Theirs is a realism by contagion: a figure sitting in a real chair smoking real cigarettes must himself be real. The naturalists reinforce the reality of the actor’s presence with the reality of his stage environment. But the set merely persists; after its initial assertion, it fades from our attention, it becomes truly redundant (in the pejorative sense). This is the bombast of naturalism, its inflated insistence upon a reality spectators are only too willing to concede—up to a point. Beyond that point the rhetoric of chairs and cigarettes cannot persuade us to go; it cannot prevent our remembering it’s only a play; it cannot forestall our seeing the rabbit as well as the duck. Art is not life. The painter’s materials are only two-dimensional; the sculptor’s materials cannot move; the play cannot last a lifetime, and yet, for so long as it does last, it must secure the attention of its audience. The artist compensates as he can for the limits of his material, foreshortening lines, polishing stone flesh, contorting time. Shakespeare creates by the marshalling of combinations in time, so that at any moment the brilliance of one quality obscures the absence of another. Naturalists therefore find it won-

From To Analyze Delight: A Hedonist Criticism of Shakespeare. © 1985 by Gary Taylor. University of Delaware Press, 1985.

-109-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Editor’s Note vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Shakespeare’s Many Sorts of Music 7
  • Malvolio and Class Ideology in Twelfth Night 19
  • Nature’s Bias 27
  • Choosing the Right Mate in Twelfth Night 41
  • Plays and Playing in Twelfth Night 47
  • The Principle of Recompense in Twelfth Night 61
  • Language, Theme, and Character in Twelfth Night 75
  • The Orchestration of Twelfth Night - The Rhythm of Restraint and Release 87
  • Shakespeare’s Realism- Viola 109
  • Shakespeare’s Poetical Character in Twelfth Night 129
  • Chronology 147
  • Contributors 149
  • Bibliography 151
  • Acknowledgments 155
  • Index 157
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 171

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.