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Shakespeare's Festive Comedy: A Study of Dramatic Form and Its Relation to Social Custom by [Cesar Lombardi Barber, Stephen Greenblatt]

Shakespeare's Festive Comedy: A Study of Dramatic Form and Its Relation to Social Custom Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Winner of the 1961 George Jean Nathan Award for Drama Criticism"

"Well-considered, subtly thought-out commentaries that move easily between structural analysis of the larger actions and sensitive dissection of local textures . . . a first-rate work of impressive imagination." ―
Modern Philology --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Shakespeare's Festive Comedy is the best book on the subject that I know. The book is well and clearly written, and I should think would fascinate the general readers. I think it is indispensable for students of Shakespeare's comedy."―Francis Fergusson

"I can think of no other book that has had such a powerful influence on the ways in which Shakespeare has been taught over the past thirty years.
Shakespeare's Festive Comedy was a book ahead of its time. Barber revolutionized the ways that Shakespeareans thought of comedy in relation to its social setting―especially festive comedy. Others have built on his argument but nobody has really improved on his keen, central insight."―James Shapiro, Columbia University

"C. L. Barber is the most compelling of the anthropological critics and his book,
Shakespeare's Festive Comedy, is to my mind far and away the most illuminating yet to appear on its subject. He is compelling for many reasons―a mind both intricate and deft, a sensitivity quick to the accommodation of esthetic form to the intricacies of psychological function, a humanity benignly tolerant and inclusive. . . . The especial merit of Barber's criticism lies in its sensitive exploration of the individual working out of the release-clarification formula in five separate plays. Each, he discovers, 'tends to focus on a particular kind of folly that is released along with love―witty masquerade in Love's Labour's Lost, delusive fantasy in A Midsummer Night's Dream, romance in As You Like It, and in The Merchant of Venice, prodigality balanced against usuary.' Twelfth Night, to complete the list, focuses on misrule and its complementary folly of time-serving."―Arthur M. Eastman, in A Short History of Shakespearean Criticism --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B005DI9RBC
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Princeton University Press; Revised edition (October 3, 2011)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 3, 2011
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1252 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 322 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 8 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
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5.0 out of 5 stars Critical academic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 20, 2018
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Reviewed in Spain on May 28, 2017
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