Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 8-9

A number of generous friends and colleagues — Eric Bentley, Erwin Glikes, Robert Hanning, Martin Meisel, Daniel Seltzer, and Edward Tayler — have helped me by reading my...

Contents

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pp. 10-13

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I. Introduction: Shakespeare's Bodies

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pp. 14-22

When I talk about "meaning" in this book—as I often do—what I have in mind is the unique significance of our experience of a work of art. All experiences are unique...

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II. The Unsounded Self

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pp. 23-43

My students have a quick, one might say instinctive, response to Venus and Adonis. The poem is queer, they insist. And like the intelligent young men they are, they make...

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III. Romeo and Juliet: The Meaning of a Theatrical Experience

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pp. 44-55

Everything in Romeo and Juliet is intense, impatient, threatening, explosive. We are caught up in speed, heat, desire, riots, running, jumping, rapid-fire puns, dirty jokes, extravagance, compressed and...

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IV. Falstaff Asleep

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pp. 56-68

Our body is both our history and our kingdom. We inherit it, we are responsible for it and to it, its boundaries are sacred, it tells a story we struggle to understand. Where the body is concerned...

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V. Henry V: The Strain of Rule

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pp. 69-84

Henry V is a play of great addresses. They make for a vital bond of pleasure that joins us to the play; it is absolutely essential to any satisfying production that the actors...

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VI. Hamlet and Our Problems

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pp. 85-104

Henry V, by virtue of his public role, is forced to be something of an actor—hence his apprenticeship at roleplaying in Henry IV. But every private man is an actor too—for our...

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VII. The Worst of King Lear

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pp. 105-119

At the end of IV, I of King Lear, Gloucester directs l\ Edgar to take him to Dover. His words, like so many in the play, seem to have a wide and...

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VIII. Coriolanus and the Crowd

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pp. 120-134

If it is worthwhile to study our relation to the actor's specific tasks and triumphs in a play as part of Shakespeare's design, it is equally valuable to pay careful attention to his...

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IX. The Winters Tale and The Tempest

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pp. 135-163

I remember an admired teacher saying to his class that there is a point in life when we discover that nature has lost interest in us. We who heard him were undergraduates, and though we must have...

APPENDIX A

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pp. 164-169

APPENDIX B

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pp. 170-174

APPENDIX C

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pp. 175-185

Index

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pp. 186-187