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Shakespeare and the Economic Imperative Peter F. Grav (University of Toronto, Canada)

Shakespeare and the Economic Imperative By Peter F. Grav (University of Toronto, Canada)

Shakespeare and the Economic Imperative by Peter F. Grav (University of Toronto, Canada)


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Summary

Working from the perspective of the new economic criticism, this study uses close reading and historical contextualization to examine the relationship between interpersonal relationships and economics in the plays of Shakespeare.

Shakespeare and the Economic Imperative Summary

Shakespeare and the Economic Imperative: What's aught but as 'tis valued? by Peter F. Grav (University of Toronto, Canada)

Despite the volume of work Shakespeare produced, surprisingly few of his plays directly concern money and the economic mindset. Shakespeare and the Economic Imperative examines the five plays that do address monetary issues (The Comedy of Errors, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure and Timon of Athens), plays in which Shakespeare's view of how economic determinants shape interpersonal relationships progressively darkens. In short, what thematically starts out in farce ends in nihilistic tragedy. Working within the critical stream of new economic criticism, this book uses formal analysis to interrogate how words are used - how words and metaphoric patterns from the quantifiable dealings of commerce transform into signifiers of qualitative values and how the endemic employment of discursive tropes based on mercantile principles debases human relationships. This examination is complemented by historical socio-economic contextualization, as it seems evident that the societies depicted in these plays reflect the changing world in which Shakespeare lived and wrote.

About Peter F. Grav (University of Toronto, Canada)

Dr. Peter F. Grav currently lectures at the School of Graduate Studies and the Department of English at the University of Toronto. He received his undergraduate degrees in Education and English Literature at the University of Ottawa and his Master's and PhD in English Literature at the University of Toronto.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: The wind that bloweth all the world besides - desire for gold

Chapter One: The Merchants of Ephesus and How Money Never Really Mattered

Chapter Two: Shakespeare's England: The Merry Wives of Windsor's Bourgeois Cash Values

Chapter Three: My purse, my person: Conflating the Economic and the Personal in The Merchant of Venice

Chapter Four: The Exchange Economy of Measure for Measure: You will needs buy and sell men and women like beasts:

Chapter Five: Reconciling the Two Timons: Shakespeare's Philanthropist and Middleton's Prodigal

Conclusion: What's aught but as 'tis valued?

Notes

Index

Additional information

NLS9780415542173
9780415542173
0415542170
Shakespeare and the Economic Imperative: What's aught but as 'tis valued? by Peter F. Grav (University of Toronto, Canada)
New
Paperback
Taylor & Francis Ltd
2012-02-23
216
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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