Shakespeare’s Last Plays: Essays in Literature and Politics

Stephen W. Smith and Travis Cutright, eds., Shakespeare’s Last Plays: Essays in Literature and Politics (Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2002)

Summary from the Publisher:

What were Shakespeare’s final thoughts on history, tragedy, and comedy? Shakespeare’s Last Plays focuses much needed scholarly attention on Shakespeare’s “Late Romances.” The work—a collection of newly commissioned essays by leading scholars of classical political philosophy and literature—offers careful textual analysis of Pericles: Prince of Tyre, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, All is True, and The Two Noble Kinsmen. The essays reveal how Shakespeare’s thought in these final works compliments, challenges, fulfills, or transforms previously held conceptions of the playwright and his political-philosophical views.

Table of Contents:

Shakespeare’s The Tempest: Tragicomedy and The Philosophic Hero / Paul A. Cantor
The Consolation of Romance: Providence in Shakespeare’s Late Plays / Richard Harp
Cymbeline in Context: The Regime Issues / John E. Alvis
Shakespeare Against the Skeptics: Nature and Grace in The Winter’s Tale / David N. Beauregard
Henry VIII on Trial: Confronting Malice and Conscience in Shakespeare’s All Is True / Gerard B. Wegemer
Shakespeare’s Realism in The Tempest / Peter Augustine Lawler
Pericles and “Marina”: T.S. Eliot’s Search for the Transcendent in Late Shakespeare / John Freeh
Tragedy and Comedy in Shakespeare’s Poetic Vision in The Winter’s Tale / Mary P. Nichols
The Displaced Nativity in Cymbeline / Glenn C. Arbery
Prospero’s Second Sailing: Machiavelli, Shakespeare, and the Politics of The Tempest / Nathan Schlueter
The Soul of the Sojourner: Pericles, Prince of Tyre / Leo Paul S. de Alvarez
“Fresh piece of excellent witchcraft”: Contemporary Theory and Shakespeare’s Romances / R. V. Young.

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