Well-known as a critic, Northrop Frye is also a renowned educator. This book, for the first time, allows us access to his classroom. Here he discusses Shakespeare's comedies, histories and tragedies, and introduces us to a new category - Shakespeare's romances, those glittering, frightening, magical plays of the playwright's later years.
Dr. Frye presents lucid expositions of Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard II, Henry IV, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest, relating each of these works to others in the Shakespeare canon so that by the end of the book new light has been shed on all of Shakespeare's plays. Within this framework, Frye discusses many of the central elements of Shakespearean drama - from the traditions of comedy and tragedy to the historical background of the plays, from imagery and patterning to characterization, from the use of myth, folklore, and the supernatural to the anthropological roots of Shakespeare's ideas.
Northrop Frye on Shakespeare will be invaluable to any student of literature, but its clarity and accessibility will also attract anyone with an interest in Shakespearean drama. It is as useful to the playgoer as it is to the academic, and proves that literary criticism can be as amusing as it is rewarding.
About the author
Northrop Frye (1912-1991) was one of Canada's most distinguished men of letters. His first book, Fearful Symmetry, published in 1947, transformed the study of the poet William Blake, and over the next forty years he transformed the study of literature itself. Among his most influential books are Anatomy of Criticism (1957), The Educated Imagination (1963), The Bush Garden (1971), and The Great Code (1982). Northrop Frye on Shakespeare (1986) won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction. A professor at the University of Toronto, Frye gained an international reputation for his wide-reaching critical vision. He lectured at universities around the world and received many awards and honours, including thirty-six honorary degrees.
Other titles by Northrop Frye
The Educated Imagination
The Return of Eden
Five Essays on Milton's Epics
The Valley of Vision
Blake as Prophet and Revolutionary
Design for Learning
Reports Submitted to the Joint Committee of the Toronto Board of Education and the University of Toronto
University of Toronto Installation Lectures, 1958
The Bush Garden
Essays on the Canadian Imagination
Northrop Frye's Uncollected Prose
The Secular Scripture and Other Writings on Critical Theory, 1976–1991
Modern Classics: The Great Code
The Bible and Literature