Shakespeare on Love and Lust by Maurice Charney (review)
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without the time to ponder the myriad details ofthe various editions, die editor concludes the section with his personal suggestions: "Cheney's Choice," or "a shorter Elizabethan poetry survival kit," lists classroom texts, reference works, biographies, histories and background, and critical studies. Part Two presents us with thirty-seven essays — and not a weak essay among diem — that discuss individual approaches to teaching Elizabethan poetry. But don't skip Prescott's thoroughly engaging introduction. Reading her brilliantly funny teaching anecdotes reminds me why I demanded so belligerendy to be in her Renaissance colloquium when I was an undergraduate at Barnard College: she makes the material accessible to her students widi unparalleled wit and sensitivity. Although Prescott confesses that "the organization ofthis collection has its own narrative unsetdedness" (63), the divisions are ultimately effective and make it easy to locate relevant essays. The categorical divisions are: Teaching Backgrounds; Selected Pedagogical Strategies, Courses, Units, Assignments; Critical and Theoretical Approaches; Teaching Specific Poems and Poets; and, new to die series, Teaching Critical Narratives of the Elizabethan Age. Among the contributors are Susanne Woods, Peter C. Herman, Mary Ellen Lamb, Margaret R Hannay, Heather Dubrow, Steven W. May, David Scott Kastan, Janel Mueller, Arthur F. Kinney, Michael Schoenfeldt, and Arthur F. Marotti. The topics ofthe essays represent an admirable range ofpractical approaches and theoretical models, from Clare R. Kinney's "Infinite Riches and Very Little Room: Speeding through Some Sonnets in the Introductory Historical Survey," to Mario DiGangi's "'Love Is Not (Heterosexual) Love': Historicizing Sexuality in Elizabethan Poetry." The excellence and die variety ofapproaches will, no doubt, make this volume appeal to a large number of readers. But what will make Approaches to Teaching Shorter Elizabethan Poetry virtually indispensable is the fact that, in setting out to instruct the instructor, it fills a regrettably vacant niche. Maurice Charney. Shakespeare on Love andLust. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. 234p. Dowling G. Campbell Northern Arizona University In Shakespeare on LoveandLust, Maurice Charney's opening adjectives describing love in Shakespeare as "complex and often contradictory" (9) are apt. Charney gets an extra degree ofdifficulty points, in my opinion, by including Shakespeare's poetry as well as plays in his study. He shows how Shakespeare's treatment oflove 9« * ROCKY MOUNTAIN REVIEW + SPRING 2001 varies from sympathy through amusement to agony. Taking cultural as well as literary perspectives, Charney shows how Shakespeare's love themes sound the depths oforiginal sin, which is about as deep as a critic can go. Charney does a good job ofsynthesizing Shakespeare's love prescription from sources that range from early comedies to tragedies. This prescription, as we might imagine, follows much ofwhat had longbeen established; but Charney also shows how the love in some plays, particularly HamUt, is deliberately ambiguous, mixing sexual passion with affection. I celebrate Charneys insight when he evaluates Hamlet's bawdy bantering with Ophelia. Explaining Hamlet's remarks, "Lady, shall I lie in your lap" and "Do you think I meant country matters," Charney concludes, "There's an obvious pun on 'country' as an imagined adjectival form of'cunt'" (77). This interpretation is notaone-play impulse. Later Charney analyses the "fustian riddle" in Twelfth Night, when Malvolio recognizes Olivia's 'Cs,' her 'Us,' and her 'Ts,' where she makes her "great Ps." Charney could have provided even more emphasis and justification with Hotspur's bantering with Kate in Henry IV. 1. The point is well taken and illustrated: the intertwining of sex with love in Shakespeare goes beyond traditional prescriptions. While I find no mention of Freud in Charney's book, this sex-love sensibility shows Shakespeare achieving new levels ofthe love-lust partnership that to me suggest a threshold for Freudian interpretations . Shakespeare's levels as Charney describes them help begin the cultural preparation process that would require three more centuries to establish a mindset receptive of Freud's sexual interpretations, which Sophocles, after all, initiated two millennia ago. Especially enlightening I think is Charney's treatment of"the old medieval and folkloric motif" that "one woman can easily be substituted for another without doing any harm" (67). Charney's comparison of this motifbetween Measurefor Measure and All's Well ThatEnds Well is cogent and...


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