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Looking for Sex in Shakespeare by Stanley Wells. One of the best-known and most versatile of Shakespearian scholars considers the extent to which sexual meaning in Shakespeare's writing relies on interpretation by actors, directors and critics.
Tracing interpretations of Shakespearian "bawdy" and "innuendo" from the eighteenth-century to the present, Stanley Wells pays special attention to interpretations of A Midsummer One of the best-known and most versatile of Shakespearian scholars considers the extent to which sexual meaning in Shakespeare's writing relies on interpretation by actors, directors and critics.
Tracing interpretations of Shakespearian "bawdy" and "innuendo" from the eighteenth-century to the present, Stanley Wells pays special attention to interpretations of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Sonnets and homosexual relationships in the plays. Get A Copy. Paperbacks. Published April 22nd by Cambridge University Press. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please up. To ask other readers questions about Looking for Sex in Shakespeareplease up.
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Sort order. Start your review of Looking for Sex in Shakespeare. Jun 10, Jeff Wax rated it it was amazing. With Looking for Sex in Shakespeare, Stanley Wells crafts a pertinent examination of a subject scholars and theatre artists have focused on, particularly in recent years: the function and substance of sex in the works of Shakespeare. In bringing this topic to the fore, Wells provides an intriguing text that contemplates new issues of formal and lexical semantics pertaining to the sexual connotations in Shakespeare.
Challenging prevailing expectations and interpretations, Wells examines sexual in With Looking for Sex in Shakespeare, Stanley Wells crafts a pertinent examination of a subject scholars and theatre artists have focused on, particularly in recent years: the function and substance of sex in the works of Shakespeare.
His analysis of criticism and adaptations provides insights into the scripts themselves, as well as culture in general. His scrutiny of earlier Shakespeare historians consolidates antecedent studies, the plays, the Sonnets, and postmodern criticism of discussions and controversies therein of homoeroticism in Shakespeare. Wells persuasively argues that, historically, scholars and critics of Shakespeare have often neglected or arbitrarily suppressed sexual meanings found within the plays, counteracting the ability of readers and spectators to discover valuable inferences and meanings related to sexuality.
According to Wells, the symbiotic relationship that exists between text, performer, and audience facilitates an opportunity to reconstitute archaic connotation with avant-garde meaning. Wells draws upon several well-known plays. This inferential correlation underscores the suitability of contemporary treatments of this spectacle. There is a doubleness in Troilus and Cressida that allows concurrent parallel possibilities in the relationship of Achilles and Patroclus: a homoerotic love relationship as well as shared value for heterosexual relationships that of the love between Achilles and Polyxena.
Wells acknowledges responses from critics with opposing extreme positions: A. P Rossiter and Jan Kott who refer specifically, perhaps even homophobically, to this homoerotic relationship, and W. Wells also points out that Troilus and Cressida was not staged before the twentieth century, a performance history leaving little ability to examine the play retrospectively. Perhaps the Victorians were not blindsided by the sex in Shakespeare; they may have heard the sexual meanings implicit in the texts as readily as we do today. Regrettably, however, subsequent interpreters have staged safer versions, sanitizing them to dilute their erotic potential and minimize their volatility.
This book is potentially useful to theatrical practitioners as well as theatre scholars and historians of gender and sexuality. Looking for Sex in Shakespeare is not a consummate text supplanting prior work on the subject. However, he combines close textual analysis of the plays with references to the annals of Shakespearean criticism and detailed production histories in ways that make this an exemplary consideration of expressions of desire in Shakespeare.
His book is a vital resource that serves to demystify sex in Shakespeare, enabling readers to look at Shakespeare, and indeed sex itself, anew. Jul 27, Matt rated it it was amazing. The second chapter of Wells' book is definitely the best. His discussion of the sonnets is one of the best, most useful I've ever read. The ending, however, comes very abruptly with assurances that there's more to say My only real complaint about this text is that Wells stops a bit short of fully exploring everything I wanted to hear him discuss.
Just a note: Scholars who disavow authorial intent may want to steer clear. I think it has a time and pla The second chapter of Wells' book is definitely the best. I think it has a time and place, and Wells does an excellent job of situating the argument for his purposes, but I'm not sure if it will ultimately change hearts and minds. That said, I found the argument convincing and fruitful, procedural questions aside. Apr 09, Ed rated it liked it Shelves: shakespeare. Based on three public lectures given by Stanley Wells, a delightful look at interpretations of sex and sexuality het and homo in everyone's favorite dramatist, poet and all around culture big dude.
He does a great job with the ambigious eroticism of the sonnets and shows how one can analyze and enjoy poetry at the same time. Beautifully written, funny, moving, well worth reading. Kristen McDermott rated it it was amazing Sep 16, Elizabeth rated it liked it Dec 31, Kim Gauthier rated it really liked it Dec 31, J Zeigler rated it it was amazing Dec 10, Eirwen rated it liked it Mar 20, Emilie rated it really liked it Nov 11, Mark rated it liked it Aug 28, Shawnia rated it it was amazing Jun 10, Lindsay rated it liked it Jul 02, Stefan Sture rated it really liked it Sep 15, Sarah Wingo rated it really liked it Jan 22, Todd Glaeser rated it liked it Sep 14, Megan Stembridge rated it really liked it Aug 01, Sarah rated it really liked it Aug 03, Robin Johnson is currently reading it Nov 04, Rodney Ulyate marked it as to-read May 23, Christina added it Sep 14, Nancy marked it as to-read Oct 05, Moira Russell added it Jul 12,Looking Real Sex Stanley
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Looking for Sex in Shakespeare