A New Mimesis: Shakespeare and the Representation of Reality

A. D. Nuttall, A New Mimesis: Shakespeare and the Representation of Reality (London: Methuen, 1983)

Summary from the Publisher:

In pursuit of a powerful, common-sense argument about realism, renowned scholar A. D. Nuttall discusses English eighteenth-century and French neo-classical conceptions of realism, and considers Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and both parts of King Henry IV as a prolonged feat of mimesis, with particular emphasis on Shakespeare’s perception of society and culture as subject to historical change. Shakespeare is chosen as the great example of realism because he addresses not only the stable characteristics but also the flux of things, and he is thus seen as a perceiver of that flux and not a mere specimen. An acknowledged classic of literary studies, A New Mimesis is reissued here with a new preface by the author.

Table of Contents:

The Priority of Language to Meaning
The Dissolution of Mimesis
Eighteenth-Century Perceptions of Shakespeare
The Two Languages of Criticism
Shakespeare’s Imitation of the World
The Merchant of Venice and Othello
Prince Hal and Falstaff
The New Mimesis

Yale University Press
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