Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies

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Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 470 pages
Provides the first systematic and comprehensive account of the conventions governing soliloquies in Western drama from ancient times to the twentieth century. Over the course of theatrical history, there have been several kinds of soliloquies. Shakespeare's soliloquies are not only the most interesting and the most famous, but also the most misunderstood, and several chapters examine them in detail. The present study is based on a painstaking analysis of the actual practices of dramatists from each age of theatrical history. This investigation has uncovered evidence that refutes long-standing commonplaces about soliloquies in general, about Shakespeare's soliloquies in particular, and especially about the to be, or not to be episode. 'Shakespeare and the history of Soliloquies' casts new lights on historical changes in the artistic representation of human beings and, because representations cannot be entirely disentangled from perception, on historical changes in the ways human beings have perceived theselves.

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Contents

Acknowledgments
9
Introduction
13
The Representation of Thought and the Representation of Speech
35
From Antiquity to the Middle of the Sixteenth Century
62
The Late Sixteenth Century and Early Seventeenth Century
84
Shakespeares Soliloquies The Representation of Speech
119
SHOW ME THY THOUGHT
174
Shakespeares Soliloquies Audience Address and SelfAddress
199
7 To be or not to be
231
From the Late Seventeenth Century to the Twentieth Century
278
Shakespeares Soliloquies Transformed
325
10 The Celebrated Soliloquy
370
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
435
Works Cited
454
Index
466
Copyright

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