English Research Seminar – Rhodri Lewis (Princeton)

Tragedy, History, Irony: Shakespeare and Others

The paper we will discuss comprises the first chapter of a book-in-progress, provisionally titled Shakespeare’s Tragic Art. Within it, I attempt to reconstruct ideas of tragedy—both as a theory and a literary-dramatic practice—as they were understood by the early moderns, to demonstrate some of the ways in which Shakespeare interacted with (and subverted) these ideas, and to explain how an awareness of these interactions might reshape our appreciations of Shakespeare’s tragic plays.

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