THE UNITY OF SHAKESPEARE

In Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and even in the comedy of Congreve and Wycherley, there is almost no analysis of the particular society of the times, except in so far as it records the rise of the City families, and their ambition to ally themselves with needy peerages and to acquire country estates. Even that rise of the City, in Eastward Hoe and MichaelmasTerm, is treated lightly as a foible of the age, and not as a symptom of social decay and change. It is indeed in the lack of this sense of a "changing world", of corruptions and abuses peculiar to their own time, that the Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatists are blessed. We feel that they believed in their own age, in a way in which no nineteenth- or twentieth-century writer of the greatest seriousness has been able to believe in his age. And accepting their age, they were in a position to concentrate their attention, to their respective abilities, upon the common characteristics of humanity in all ages, rather than upon the differences. We can partly criticize their age through our study of them, but they did not so criticize it themselves. In the work of Shakespeare as a whole, there is to be read the profoundest, and

-63-

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Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Note 5
  • Select Bibliography Of Prose Writings 6
  • Contents 7
  • Part 1 - Literary Criticism 9
  • The Function of Criticism 11
  • Criticism 13
  • The Experience of Literature 17
  • Tradition 21
  • Tradition and the Individual Talent 23
  • Poetry and Philosophy 35
  • Romantic" and "Classic 40
  • Journalism and Literature 42
  • The Appreciation of Poetry 46
  • The Critic of Poetry 48
  • "Difficult" Poetry 50
  • Poetic Imagery 53
  • Metrical Innovation 54
  • Auditory Imagination 55
  • Part 2 - Dramatic Criticism 57
  • Poetic Drama 59
  • Greek Drama 61
  • The Pattern of Shakespeare 62
  • The Unity of Shakespeare 63
  • Ben Jonson 66
  • Middleton's "Changeling" 67
  • Part 3 - Individual Authors 69
  • Dissociation of Sensibility 71
  • Marvell 73
  • Blake 76
  • Coleridge 81
  • Wordsworth 83
  • Arnold 85
  • Walter Pater and "Marius The Epicurean" 88
  • Tennyson 93
  • Thomas Hardy 94
  • The Pensées of Pascal 96
  • Baudelaire 116
  • Part 4 - Religion and Society 127
  • Christianity and Society 129
  • Christian" or "Pagan 131
  • War 133
  • Private Religions 134
  • The Reformation of Society 135
  • The Strait Gate 137
  • A Christian Community 138
  • Society and the Arts 142
  • Religion and Literature 145
  • Church and State 147
  • Conformity to Nature 151
  • Modern Education 154
  • The Decay of the Music-Hall 157
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