By Gary Waller
Described as one among ShakespeareвЂ™s such a lot exciting performs, AllвЂ™s good That Ends Well has just recently all started to obtain the severe recognition it merits. famous as a very important element of improvement in ShakespeareвЂ™s occupation, this selection of new essays displays the transforming into curiosity within the play and offers a large diversity of techniques to it, together with ancient, feminist, performative and psychoanalytical criticisms.
In addition to 14 essays written by means of major students, the editorвЂ™s creation offers a considerable review of the playвЂ™s serious historical past, with a powerful specialize in functionality research and the impression that this has had on its reception and popularity. Demonstrating a number of methods to the play and furthering fresh debates, this booklet makes a worthy contribution to Shakespeare criticism.
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Additional info for All's Well, That Ends Well: New Critical Essays
The play allows its audience to indulge in the unlikely fantasy that seemingly impossible social barriers can be overcome by a gifted and idealistic young woman—and (we might note in passing) all in a couple of days. 79) and her successful treatment of the King. 8–10) seems to locate it near his heart. Neither commentators nor productions seemed to have seen the “fistula” as controversial until modern editors consulted historical medical references, and then it was noted (from at least as early as the mid-nineteenth century) that a fistula in Shakespeare’s time was more commonly found in or near the anus.
His determination that Bertram marry Helena arises initially from his promise to Helena, and only after Bertram has refused, from his insistence on his authority; and it is accompanied by an insistence that degree and rank are less important than inner worth. His sentiments are not especially original—but they are, to put it mildly, unusual for an absolutist King. g. 117) is inferior to merit, social realities were very different. ”26 Countess and King transgress hierarchy, the Countess by encouraging her young ward to pursue her own son; the King, by agreeing to let Helena marry Bertram and, further, by enriching her to compensate for her lack of birth and wealth.
But even the woman as “other” turns out to be a way of returning to the Mother figure. ”32 SHAKESPEARE’S CRITIQUE OF MASCULINITY As feminists have long claimed about psychoanalysis generally, such a reading focuses primarily on the male pattern—though as the next section 22 111 011 111 111 0111 0111 0111 111 All’s Well, That Ends Well will show, feminist critics have constructed equivalently powerful arguments centered on Helena and to some extent Diana. But the importance of Adelman’s argument—and those of other psychoanalytical readings of the play by Carol Neely and Coppélia Kahn—is not that it needs to be accepted in every detail but that it looks through the play at underlying psycho-social patterns and attempts to account for the allure of the play, and in particular the puzzling figure of Bertram.