Download Citizen Shakespeare: Freemen and Aliens in the Language of by John Michael Archer (auth.) PDF

By John Michael Archer (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1349529702

ISBN-13: 9781349529704

ISBN-10: 1403981299

ISBN-13: 9781403981295

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Extra info for Citizen Shakespeare: Freemen and Aliens in the Language of the Plays

Example text

And a play need not be set in a city or town to sustain such urban language. ”8 Antithesis, however, implies relation. It is necessary to look at a much wider range of plays than the near-city comedies to judge the place of the city on Shakespeare’s comic stage. The Comedy of Errors, one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, combines city language with an explicit city setting in Ephesus, which is ruled by Duke Solinus. At the beginning of the play, Egeon of Syracuse has been arrested as an alien because of a bloody trade dispute between his city and that of the duke.

144) House-breaking, accidental, threatened, and wholly imagined, has finally transformed Ephesian Antipholus from a citizen into an outsider. The change is less a conversion than a reversion to an earlier state. In the final act, where both Antipholi come together with their father Egeon, we discover what we already knew without fully recognizing: Antipholus of Ephesus was not always an Ephesian. 368), and then fought for it. Now he cries for justice, Even for the service that long since I did thee When I bestrid thee in the wars, and took Deep scars to save thy life.

Plot, character, and place have conspired to install a totally mimetic theater. The despotism of mimesis over drama seems absurdly benign, of course. But Aristotle’s lexis, Spitzer’s historical semantics, and Berger’s “verbal traces” all address the way language resists representation to effect new realities in the productive field of the dramatic event. Although concerned with the city and with city-dwellers, previous critical work in the field neglects the specific categories of London citizenship and livery company membership that I have described earlier.

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