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312Comparative Drama interpreted as an ideal alternative to the surrounding moral miasma, with no mention of the critics who, from McBurney in 1959, have seen strong links of language and image between the lovers' speeches and the masochistic fantasies of Antonio. Kavenik even with demonstrable falsity claims that Jaffeir and Belvidera are consistently dissociated from the metaphors of dogs, predators, and vermin that characterize the more sordid characters (62-63). Yet, as I pointed out in 1989, Belvidera's last expression of love for her husband is to kneel, to scratch at the earth into which his ghost has just sunk, and to mutter "I'll dig, dig the Den up." She has become a dog, entering the mentality of the creature far more completely than Antonio ever does in his comic scamperings before Aquilina's whip. All in all, the most memorable feature of the Venice Preserv'd section is its attribution of "A plague on both your houses" to Malvolio (58). The discussion of The Beaux' Stratagem is similarly disappointing and contains the extraordinary claim that Archer is transformed from a gallant into a husband (89). Since in her introduction to the 1685-1714 period Kavenik had mentioned the rise of the moneyed interest, one might reasonably expect some attention to the well-known prominence of money in this play. But instead there is merely character-study of the Sullens, Archer, and Aimwell with no mention even of the structurally central parallel between the money-hunting gentlemen and the moneyhunting thieves. The one point that is made about money is simply in the context of plot summary: Archer and Aimwell have "spent their fortunes of £10,000 on pleasure" (92). Yet even this point is flawed; for, as Alan Roper showed in 1992, the sum of ten thousand pounds is derived from a dubious and indeed almost certainly erroneous resolution of a textual crux. It is probably unrealistic to expect that one person should master the texts and scholarship of so vast a period. Frances Kavenik is no stranger to collaboration; she should perhaps have considered it on this occasion. Shaftesbury is consistently misspelled as "Shaftsbury." DEREK HUGHES University of Warwick Theoharis C. Theoharis. Ibsen's Drama: Right Action and Tragic Joy. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996. Pp. ix + 310. $45.00. Ibsen placed "Julian among the philosophers" in the three-act play of that name, the first version of Emperor and Galilean. With a few exceptions, Ibsen interpreters have been most reluctant to do the same for the dramatist (despite his own stated preference for reading "the German philosophers") and have preferred him to remain with them in Reviews3 1 3 the less daunting humdrum of familiar psychological and social concerns . Ibsen's Drama: Right Action and Tragic Joy is a splendid exception in which Theoharis C. Theoharis is determined to prove that Ibsen's project, in the Realist Cycle, has very close affinities with the revolutionary philosophical project of Friedrich Nietzsche. He acknowledges that Ibsen first mentions Nietzsche, favorably, only in 1900, and that Nietzsche's only reference to Ibsen is, alas, to "that typical old maid" as one of a "species of malevolent 'idealism'" which "has the objective of poisoning the good conscience, the naturalness in sexual love" (292). Undaunted, Theoharis sees Ibsen sharing with Nietzsche a strong antipathy to "Aristotelian-Christian humanism" and a determination to replace this long cultural tradition with Nietzschean will-to-power and Dionysian joy. The book opens with chapters on "Action in Aristotle," drawing upon the Poetics and other writings, followed by a chapter entitled "Action in Nietzsche," based on a number of Nietzschean texts. This sets up the central philosophical contest or agon of the study, and one of the book's most thought-provoking insights is to see this agon enacted within Ibsen's dramatic structures. Thereafter the book is really one long, extraordinary study of The Master Builder with preliminary (though searching) shorter accounts of Ghosts and Rosmersholm. In these two plays, the struggle between Aristotelian and Nietzschean ideas of reality and of dramatic plotting signals defeat of the Nietzschean will and the triumph of Aristotelian guilt and submission. In The Master Builder, for...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 312-316
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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