William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

By Harold Bloom | Go to book overview

Shakespeare’s Poetical Character
in Twelfth Night

Geoffrey H. Hartman

Writing about Shakespeare promotes a sympathy with extremes. One such extreme is the impressionism of a critic like A. C. Bradley, when he tries to hold together, synoptically, Feste the fool and Shakespeare himself, both as actor and magical author. Bradley notes that the Fool in Lear has a song not dissimilar to the one that concludes Twelfih Night and leaves Feste at the finish line. “But that’s all one, our play is done. …” After everything has been sorted out, and the proper pairings are arranged, verbal and structural rhythms converge to frame a sort of closure—though playing is never done, as the next and final verse suggests: “And we’ll strive to please you every day.” Bradley, having come to the end of an essay on Feste, extends Twelfth Night speculatively beyond the fool’s song, and imagines Shakespeare leaving the theater:

The same Shakespeare who perhaps had hummed the old song,
half-ruefully and half-cheerfully, to its accordant air, as he
walked home alone to his lodging from the theatre or even from
some noble’s mansion; he who, looking down from an immea-
surable height on the mind of the public and the noble, had yet
to be their servant and jester, and to depend upon their favour;
not wholly uncorrupted by this dependence, but yet superior to
it and, also determined, like Feste, to lay by the sixpences it
brought him, until at last he could say the word, “Our revels
now are ended,” and could break—was it a magician’s staff or a
Fool’s bauble?

From Shakespeare and the Question of Theory, edited by Patricia Parker and Geoffrey H. Hartman. © 1985 by Geoffrey H. Hartman. Methuen, 1985.

-129-

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.