Sanders , W & Jac

Shakespeare's Magnanimity
  • Shakespeare's Magnanimity

  • The field of Shakespearean studies is cluttered with the fossils of past discussion, and somehow we have to pick our way around them. In the opening scene to this unusual book, these obstructive entities are brought to life and engage in lively argument. Four essays on Hamlet, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus follow, all of which freshen the air: unfamiliar, unspecialised, free-ranging and openly argumentative, but tied at all points to the original text. Shakespeare wrote out of, and about, a common humanity, and it is with humanity, common and uncommon, that we must read or watch him. This book is accordingly addressed to the academic or the new student.

Wilbur Sanders (1936-2002) was born and brought up in New Zealand, and graduated from Melbourne University. He went on to become a lecturer and fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge, retiring in 2001. His books include The Dramatist and the Recieved Idea (1968), John Donne's Poetry (1971), and two novels, Like the Big Wolves (1985) and Hector's Folly (1995). Howard Jacobson has written fourteen novels and five works of non-fiction. He won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse award in 2000 for The Mighty Walzer and then again in 2013 for Zoo Time. In 2010 he won the Man Booker Prize for The Finkler Question and was also shortlisted for the prize in 2014 for his most recent novel, J. Howard Jacobson’s first book, Shakespeare’s Magnanimity, written with the scholar Wilbur Sanders, was a study of four Shakespearean heroes. Many books later he has returned to Shakespeare with Shylock is My Name, a contemporary interpretation of The Merchant of Venice.

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