Download A Marxist Study of Shakespeare’s Comedies by Elliot Krieger PDF

By Elliot Krieger

ISBN-10: 1349046566

ISBN-13: 9781349046560

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It follows that Hermia first notes Lysander's desertion as a verbal absence: What, out of hearing gone? No sound, no word? Alack, where are you? Speak, and if you hear ... (II. ii. I 52~ 3) and that she finds him again by pursuing his language: Thou are not by mine eye, Lysander, found; Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound. (III. ii. I8I~2) Helena interprets the adoration suddenly offered her as nothing but words, and therefore as nothing: These vows are Hermia's. Will you give her o'er?

The ironic reading criticizes the aristocratic protagonists for not living up to their ideals, but it does not criticize the aristocratic ideals as such, for it fails to see that the ideals emerge from and express the needs of a particular social class. Irony is, therefore, itself a second-world strategy, in that it attempts to fix a dialectical process in one objective moment in time and in one arrangement in space: irony tends, very much like the aristocratic language in The Merchant of Venice and elsewhere in Shakespeare's works, to arrest time through rhetorical contemplation of an object, emotion, or condition.

Shakespeare designs the return to Venice-the trial, which interrupts the marriage rites of Bassanio and Portia, Gratiano and Nerissa-to emphasize the continuity between rather than the disjunction of the dramatic worlds: whereas when Bassanio journeys from Belmont back to Venice he returns to the material world of time and money, when Portia makes the same journey she does so as a retreat to a second world. Portia begins her "retreat" to Venice by developing a paranoid fantasy; she performs a verbal act of dream-like economic compression in order to incorporate Shylock's attack on Antonio into her own soul.

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