Shakespeare as Critic: In His Time and Ours: Literary, Social and Political conference 8-10 October 2009 | cfp.english.upenn.edu
by Jessica C. Murphy
ABOUT THE SEMINAR
Great writers are gifted with not merely powerful imaginations but also incisive intellects. The greatest among world writers, Shakespeare had both these gifts in greater measure than any other writer known to mankind. Given to seeing life steadily and seeing it whole Shakespeare screened and scrutinized every subject he presented on the stage showing it from all sides, throwing the dramatic searchlight on every nook and corner in the multi-dimensional structure of his plays, be they comedies, tragedies, histories, or romances. Among the more prominent aspects of Shakespeare’s picture of life which readily attract critical attention are the literary, social and political, for it is these, more than all others, that seem to have interested the dramatist most.
In all the phases of his career as dramatist and poet Shakespeare seems to have remained interested in the ongoing debates in his time about the theories of literature and language, structures of society, and paradoxes of politics, for time and again the bard of Stratford returns to these themes from Henry VI to Henry VIII, from The Taming of the Shrew to Timon of Athens, from Twelfth Night to The Tempest. Although one cannot mention a subject in Shakespeare which has not elicited considerable critical writing, one can still speak of those not hitherto treated together, nor made to reflect the common search light that critically illuminates the various themes as the sun illuminates the various universe.
It is with these ideas in view that the international seminar on Shakespeare has been planned to draw together eminent scholars and debate these prominent aspects of his work, showing how the three are not only distinct but interrelated as well, and also reveal the writer’s allround critical intelligence that does not fail to expose the sublime, as well as the sordid side of life and literature, social customs and conventions, their edicts and institutions. Hopefully, the debate will yield rewarding results of significance to the ever-growing Shakespeare scholarship
Please send your abstract to Professor S.P.S. Dahiya or prof bhim S. Dahiya at his email:
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org