Shakespeare and the Emblem Writers (Illustrated)

Shakespeare and the Emblem Writers (Illustrated)

by Henry Green

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FEW only are the remarks absolutely needed by way of introduction to a work which within itself sufficiently explains and carries out a new method of illustration for the dramas of Shakespeare. As author, I commenced this volume because of various observations which, while reading several of the early Emblem writers, I had made on similarities of thought and expression between themselves and the great Poet; and I had sketched the whole outline, and had nearly filled it in, without knowing that the path pursued by me had in any instance been trodden by other amateurs and critics. From the writings of the profoundly learned Francis Douce, whose name ought never to be uttered without deep respect for his rare scholarship and generous regard to its interests, I first became aware that Shakespeare's direct quotation of Emblem mottoes, and direct description of Emblem devices, had in some degree been already pointed out to the attention of the literary public.

And right glad am I to observe that I have had precursors in my labours, and companions in my researches; and that, in addition to Francis Douce, writers of such repute as Langlois of Rouen, Charles Knight, Noel Humphreys, and Dr. Alfred Woltmann, of Berlin, have, each by an example or two, shown how, with admirable skill and yet with evident appropriation, our great Dramatist has interwoven among his own the materials which he had gathered from Emblem writers as their source.

To myself the fact is an assurance that neither from aiming at singularity of conjecture, nor from pretending to a more penetrating insight into Shakespeare's methods of composition, have I put before the world the following pages for judgment. Those pages are the results of genuine study,--a study I could not have so well pursued had not liberal-minded friends freely entrusted to my use the book-treasures which countervailed my own deficiencies. The results arrived at, though imperfect, are also, I believe, grounded on real similitudes between Shakespeare and his predecessors and contemporaries; and those similitudes, parallelisms, or adaptations of thought, by whichever name distinguished, often arose from the actual impression made on his mind and memory by the Emblematists whose works he had seen, read, and used.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940150807631
Publisher: Bronson Tweed Publishing
Publication date: 09/20/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 12 MB
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