By Steve Mentz
We want a poetic heritage of the sea, and Shakespeare might help us locate one. There’s extra genuine salt within the performs than we would count on. Shakespeare’s dramatic ocean spans the God-sea of the traditional international and the mammoth blue vistas that early smooth mariners navigated. all through his occupation, from the outlet shipwrecks of The Comedy of error in the course of the Tempest, Shakespeare’s performs determine the sea as surprising actual fact and mind-twisting image of switch and instability. To fathom Shakespeare’s ocean – to move right down to its backside - this book’s chapters specialize in various things that people do with and in and close to the ocean: fathoming, conserving watch, swimming, beachcombing, fishing, and drowning. Mentz additionally units Shakespeare’s sea-poetry opposed to smooth literary sea-scapes, together with the gigantic Pacific of Moby-Dick, the rocky coast of Charles Olson’s Maximus Poems, and the lyrical waters of the postcolonial Caribbean. Uncovering the depths of Shakespeare’s maritime international, this ebook attracts out the centrality of the ocean in our literary culture.>
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Additional info for At the Bottom of Shakespeare's Ocean (Shakespeare Now)
No king can control the sea. After this scene, Edgar’s waters spill onto the rest of the play, so that in its second half King Lear becomes, strangely, a maritime play. More precisely, in its insistence on looking at human suffering as nakedly as possible, the play paints a maritime picture. 9–11). 3), Lear’s agony brings him, and his play, to the water’s edge. 108–9). The kingdom has become a sea and its buildings a fathom and half flood: in this world, Lear should learn to swim. In the play’s remaining acts, other characters see the kingdom’s disorder in maritime terms.
His nihilistic “not” is the seaman’s knot with which he manipulates his general. ) Against the stable landfall of Othello’s poetic music, Iago sounds maritime discord in ragged prose. 360). Reading Othello as a maritime play means taking ship with Iago. 157) link him to Spain, the greatest seagoing empire of the early seventeenth century, advertises his connection to the maritime world in a collection of epithets and phrases. 17) to draw Othello back. 338–9). 60). 150). 155), turn on watery figures.
But even in the first half of this speech, where his “drop of patience” opposes itself to the 30 At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean rain of “sores and shames” from heaven, Othello’s resistance to watery inconstancy remains. He recognizes that Desdemona (like Venice) represents a combination of land and water, and that mixture unsettles him even as he craves it. Like Maximus of Gloucester’s “salmon of / wisdom,” Othello leaps “ecstatically” into his love’s arms, and his system ruptures when plunged into a foreign element.
At the Bottom of Shakespeare's Ocean (Shakespeare Now) by Steve Mentz