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Shakespeare Beyond Science: When Poetry Was the World approaches Shakespeare as rhetorician. This means jettisoning the yearning to find the true meaning of Shakespeare's texts, as Shakespeare wrote at a time when poetry was not meant to be interpreted, but experienced as a window on the world. Sky Gilbert looks at Shakespeare in the context of the style wars that obsessed the early modern period, placing Shakespeare on the side of Lyly, Nashe, Sturm and the Greek rhetorician Hermogenes, against the new forward-looking more scientific approach to literature, as expressed by early modern philosopher Petrus Ramus (whose followers in England were Sydney and Gabriel Harvey). In the end Shakespeare was 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.
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About the Author
Sky Gilbert is a poet, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, theatre director, and drag queen extraordinaire, and one of Canada’s most controversial artistic forces. He was co-founder and artistic director of Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre -- one of the world’s largest gay and lesbian theatres -- from 1979 to 1997. He has had more than 40 plays produced, and written 7 critically acclaimed novels and three award winning poetry collections. He has received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards (The Whore’s Revenge, Suzie Goo, Private Secretary, The Situationists) as well as the Pauline McGibbon Award, and The Silver Ticket Award. There is a street in Toronto named after him: ‘Sky Gilbert Lane.’ His play about the criminalization of AIDS — It’s All Tru — will be published by Playwrights Canada Press in 2020. The workshop of his one act opera about Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s Criminal (with music by Dustin Peters) was performed in April 2019 to critical acclaim https://barczablog.com/2019/04/27/workshop-of-shakespeares-criminal/ . Dr. Gilbert is a professor of creative writing and theatre at the University of Guelph.