By Steve Mentz
We want a poetic background of the sea, and Shakespeare can assist us locate one. There’s extra genuine salt within the performs than we'd anticipate. Shakespeare’s dramatic ocean spans the God-sea of the traditional global and the massive blue vistas that early sleek mariners navigated. all through his profession, from the hole shipwrecks of The Comedy of mistakes in the course of the Tempest, Shakespeare’s performs determine the sea as surprising actual truth and mind-twisting image of switch and instability. To fathom Shakespeare’s ocean – to head all the way down to its backside - this book’s chapters specialise in various things that people do with and in and close to the ocean: fathoming, holding watch, swimming, beachcombing, fishing, and drowning. Mentz additionally units Shakespeare’s sea-poetry opposed to smooth literary sea-scapes, together with the mammoth 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 global, this ebook attracts out the centrality of the ocean in our literary culture.>
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Extra info for At the Bottom of Shakespeare's Ocean (Shakespeare Now)
As early as his first scene, Othello’s language resists liquefaction. 25–8). His fear of being housed, circumscribed, and confined gets juxtaposed against an external “sea’s worth,” a foreign space of “rich and strange” treasures. This vast, mercantile ocean supports Othello’s heroic sense of self, as does the storm that sinks the Turkish fleet, but it doesn’t penetrate his character. Like sexuality, perhaps, it’s valuable, but it’s not his. 59). Like other warrior heroes, Othello represents himself as a sword, and as such he fears water.
Moby-Dick) Nothing works like immersion. The sea touches human bodies most intimately through the halting and laborious art of swimming. We know it when we’re in it – or at least we feel like we know it. Depictions of swimming expose the awkward fit between human bodies and the ocean. It’s impossible to know what kind of swimmer Shakespeare himself was, growing up on the Avon river. Recreational swimming was still exotic in Elizabethan England, like other Continental arts, and it was even banned at Cambridge in 1571.
His fear of being housed, circumscribed, and confined gets juxtaposed against an external “sea’s worth,” a foreign space of “rich and strange” treasures. This vast, mercantile ocean supports Othello’s heroic sense of self, as does the storm that sinks the Turkish fleet, but it doesn’t penetrate his character. Like sexuality, perhaps, it’s valuable, but it’s not his. 59). Like other warrior heroes, Othello represents himself as a sword, and as such he fears water. 132). 30), and she recognizes the impact of jealousy on him in strikingly liquid terms: “Something .