Shakespeare's Rhetoric of Comic Character
First published in 1985.
In this revisionist history of comic characterization, Karen Newman argues that, contrary to received opinion, Shakespeare was not the first comic dramatist to create self-conscious characters who seem 'lifelike' or 'realistic'. His comic practice is firmly set within a comic tradition which stretches from Plautus and Menander to playwrights of the Italian Renaissance.
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As You Like It and Twelfth Night
8 Mistaking in Much Ado
9 Shakespeares rhetoric of consciousness
Index of plays discussed
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action Angelo Angelo’s soliloquy Antipholus of Syracuse Arden edition argues audience Beatrice behavior Benedick Berowne Cesario characterization Charisios Claudio Comedy of Errors comic characters comic plots comic soliloquy complex conventions courtly creating critics discovery disguise dramatic dramatists Drusilla Duke Duke’s E. M. W. Tillyard Elizabethan emphasize essay Evanthius example features of dialogue fiction Flamminio Gl’Ingannati Hamlet Hero Hero’s imagined inner debate intrigue Isabella Italian comedy Knemon language Lelia lifelike lines linguistic London Love’s lovers Lucrezio M. C. Bradbrook Malvolio marriage Measure for Measure Menander Menander’s metaphor Midsummer Night’s Dream mind mistaken identity mistaken identity plot monologue Olivia person Plautine Plautus play play’s problem comedies pronouns prosopopoeia Pseudolus psychological recognized Renaissance comedy represent rhetoric of consciousness rhetorical questions role romance Rosalind Salingar scene self—address sense Shakespeare Shakespeare Survey Shakespeare’s characters soliloquy Sosia suggests Terence Terence’s theme thou tradition tragedy trans Twelfth Night Viola words