Shakespeare's Tragedies Re-Viewed: a Spectator's Role

My sequence of essays on Shakespeare's audiences has been consolidated into a print version in press at Peter Lang which was published on 30 August 2015 under the title: Shakespeare's Tragedies Re-Viewed: a Spectator's Role. It radically revises interpretation of the tragedies in the light of audience approval, as dictated by Lope de Vega in his witty poetic treatise On the New Art of Writing Plays. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is compared to Lope de Vega's. Hamlet is treated as a detective story. It is suggested that Othello be renamed Iago, as his is the dominant part. Richard III and Macbeth are treated as examples of Cinthio's new genre "tragedy with a happy ending." Lear is defined as a study of the perils and potentialities of retirement. Cleopatra is celebrated as the ultimate Shakespearean achievement in positive characterization, and Cymbeline is seen as the sequel to her play in a trilogy starting with Julius Caesar, one in which Octavius is defeated by the pending new world view of Christianity.

 Hugh Macrae Richmond
back to Faculty Books