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382 Comparative Drama to Jumpers and Travesties, the former her favorite, operating “on a subtly zany level of reality,” as it pits “moral philosophy against logical positivism.” She commends his use of scenic imagery. Although her approach is not psycho- or socio-linguistic, she provides, in my opinion, intriguing data for linking Stoppard’s late exposure to English with highly successful and original theatrical technique. Stoppard, as she points out, is a native Czech speaker who has advised his critics, “It is possibly of significance that I missed the first four years speaking English.” After his very early childhood in Czechoslovakia, he lived in the polyglot communities of Singapore and Darjeeling until, with his mother’s remarriage to a British officer and the end of World War II, he was immersed in insular English monolingualism. I would suggest that these biographical accidents may have a direct connection with his scenic imagery, his visual non sequiturs and, of course, non sequiturs qua non sequiturs. That is, Stoppard like, say, Brecht, has a highly visual sense of language. If an object is named, it must be made visible. But, as a non-native speaker, Stoppard is (or has had the experience of being) less likely to hear correctly what is named. Such a speaker, hearing a homonym or a near-homonym will visualize the wrong referent. The result may be ludicrous. (Think what other non-native speakers like Apollinaire or Ionesco, say, have done with this ploy.) Stoppard’s stage humor, even his quasi-surreal metaphysics, may be related to mistaken reflexes of visualization. Londre cites Every Good Boy Deserves Favour where the Soviet political prisoner is incarcerated with a genuine mental patient who plays a triangle in an imagined orchestra. Stoppard regales the audience with remarks about French whores and gigolos (horns and piccolos) and a trombone thrown to a dog. All in all, this is a tidy guide. But it was unsettling to find four typo­ graphical errors in a book published by Ungar. MARILYN GADDIS ROSE State University of New York at Binghamton Camille Wells Slights. The Casuistical Tradition in Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert, and Milton. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981. Pp. xix + 307. $21.00. In her penetrating analysis of the part played by conscience in facing circumstances of moral dilemma, Camille Wells Slights has executed a virtual hat trick for criticism of early seventeenth century literature; she has produced a study that will stand in three fields, simultaneously and with prestige: literary history, ethical history, and theological pragmatism. This book equates casuistry with “case divinity” and defines it as “the branch of theology that attempts to provide the perplexed human con­ science with a means of reconciling the obligations of religious faith with the demands of particular human situations.” She points out that in a broad sense “casuistry is the process of applying fundamental moral prin­ ciples to the activities of daily living,” and then she focuses upon the historical English period covering the last decade of the sixteenth century Reviews 383 and the first seven decades of the seventeenth, a time when the phe­ nomenon of casuistical thought served as “a response to the crisis of conscience and authority that was fundamental to the religious and political experience of the period.” Readers of Comparative Drama will appreciate this book’s treatment of the place of conscience in Shakespeare and Milton, for there is where careful and precise consideration is given to one of the most basic forms of dramatic conflict: the fundamental discrepancy between the ideal and the practical. But readers should not ignore the chapters on John Donne and George Herbert. Slights is at her best when she describes how Her­ bert intentionally and characteristically assumes the role of learner rather than instructor in his poem “The Elixer” in order paradoxically to rein­ force his lesson on approaching deity through common service. It is in the chapter “Cases of Conscience in Shakespeare’s Tragedies” that the author provides her fullest coverage of the classic dramatic dilemma: morality versus everyday practical necessity. She takes strong exception to some previously published scholars’ viewpoints, notably Wylie Sypher’s 1950 interpretation of Measure for Measure and Eleanor Prosser’s 1967...


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pp. 382-383
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