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Shakespeare Beyond Science: When Poetry Was the World
Guernica Editions, Fall 2020
158 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN13: 9781771835039
ISBN10: 1771835036
$20.00 Canada, $17.95 US, £11.95 UK

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Shakespeare wrote at a unique historical turning point: the world was understood through poetry -- rather than through the science of observing it. In Shakespeare Beyond Science: When Poetry Was the World, Sky Gilbert's radical new research locates Shakespeare as a disciple of the Greek rhetorician Hermogenes, and a student of the Neo-Platonist Johannes Sturm. No, not just another ‘interpretation' of the meaning of Shakespeare's work. Instead, a radical approach to Shakespeare as magician and rhetorician, as a post-structuralist, more concerned with form than content, and confident of the dangerous magical power of words not only to persuade but to construct our consciousness.
Appreciation for Shakespeare traditionally rests on detaching his work from the language; on confirming that Shakespeare is more than simply a poet. Technically speaking, Shakespeare was not merely a poet. He was a dramatist who wrote poetic plays with vibrant characters and engaging plots. But speech is language, and -- especially in a medieval context -- speech is rhetoric. And Shakespeare, himself a rhetorician, would have considered human speech to be the primary element of his work.

Books by Sky Gilbert

Shakespeare Beyond Science: When Poetry Was the World small things: a random selection of anti-essays