Images of Shakespeare: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the International Shakespeare Association, 1986,ed. by Werner Habicht, D. J. Palmer, and Roger Pringle (review)
- Comparative Drama
- Western Michigan University
- Volume 24, Number 2, Summer 1990
- pp. 184-185
- View Citation
- Additional Information
184Comparative Drama Mullini to bring together a number of related aspects of the Tudor drama. Her pragmatic treatment of them makes this book an important contribution to the scholarship of the subject. It deserves to be widely read and considered, not least for the possibilities for further research which it contains. PETER HAPPÉ Alresford, Hants. Habicht, Werner, D. J. Palmer, and Roger Pringle, eds. Images of Shakespeare: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the International Shakespeare Association, 1986. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1988. Pp. 357. $45.00. "Images of Shakespeare" took a variety of forms at the 1986 Congress of the International Shakespeare Association in West Berlin: pictorial, verbal, theatrical, textual, cultural. The plurality of approaches to the conference theme was reflected in the range of papers collected in this volume which represents the record of the Congress. Included are S. Schoenbaum on artists' images and Barbara Arnett Melchiori on Victorian illustrations; Giorgio Melchiori on metaphor in King Lear and John Dixon Hunt on paragone in Timon of Athens; Jill L. Levenson on stage images of Romeo and Juliet, Maik Hamburger on several productions of Twelfth Nicht, and Jay L. Halio on contemporary set design; Steven Urkowitz on "Five Women Eleven Ways: Changing Images of Shakespearean Characters in the Earliest Texts" and Peter Wenzel on German translations; and E. A. J. Honigmann on the playwright as businessman. These are just a few of the twenty-nine contributions to this rich collection, which themselves represent only a selection of the lectures and papers presented and discussed at the third World Congress. The collection is distinguished not only for its variety but also for its quality, with essays individually and collectively reflecting contemporary critical currents and provoking new ideas. J.-M. Maguin's "Holding Forth and Holding Back: Operation Modes of the Dramatist's Imagination" explores the dichotomic nature of the process of creating dramatic art; the interplay of "muting or telling, concealing or showing" reveals a "profile of the dramatist's imagination." Kathleen E. McLuskie's "The Emperor of Russia Was My Father': Gender and Theatrical Power" speaks of the difference between essential and contingent notions of woman and proposes ways in which dramatic representation, with its "shifting relationship between visual and verbal and between narrative and individual scenes," interacts with cultural assumptions to present female identity. Marilyn L. Williamson, in "The Comedies in Historical Context," brings Michel Foucault's discourse on sexuality to her analysis of Shakespeare's comedies in relation to history, to Elizabethan and Jacobean social structures, and to the ideology of power. Stanley Wells, who, with Gary Taylor, recently produced the Complete Oxford Shakespeare , discusses assumptions about acting editions and scholarly editions, in effect detailing the problems facing an editor of a "standard" edition of Shakespeare's plays. Reviews185 Russell Jackson's survey of Victorian Hamlets serves as prelude to Wilhelm Hortmann's analysis of Hamlet productions since Helmut Kohl and the Christian Democrats came to office in West Germany in 1983. Hortmann's essay is one of several that confirm Shakespeare's continuing status as a cultural institution not only in England and the United States but in other parts of the world as well. There are papers on Shakespeare in Germany (Klaus Bartenschlager), Czechoslovakia (Martin Proch ázka), India (S. Viswanathan), and Japan (Tetsuo Kishi), the last of particular interest to Shakespeareans preparing for the 1991 Congress in Tokyo. Royal Shakespeare Company director Adrian Noble concludes the volume with comments on his experience in directing As You Like It and on the challenges that face contemporary directors of Shakespeare's plays. His invitation to enter the Forest of Arden might have served as the prelude to this volume rather than its conclusion. For it lures us into the imaginary world of Shakespearean theater, a world celebrated by the Third Congress and by this volume, which will "live/ to bear his image and renew his glories." If I may be permitted one cavil—and that a personal one: it is a pity that the names and paper titles of all who participated in seminars were not included in the appendix, which lists lectures, papers, and seminars and their chairpersons. The Congress was fuller still than these...