Download At the Bottom of Shakespeare's Ocean (Shakespeare Now) by Steve Mentz PDF

By Steve Mentz

We'd like a poetic historical past of the sea, and Shakespeare may help us locate one. There’s extra actual salt within the performs than we would anticipate. Shakespeare’s dramatic ocean spans the God-sea of the traditional international and the tremendous blue vistas that early glossy mariners navigated. all through his profession, from the hole shipwrecks of The Comedy of error throughout the Tempest, Shakespeare’s performs determine the sea as stunning actual truth and mind-twisting image of swap and instability. To fathom Shakespeare’s ocean – to head all the way down to its backside - this book’s chapters concentrate on various things that people do with and in and close to the ocean: fathoming, preserving watch, swimming, beachcombing, fishing, and drowning. Mentz additionally units Shakespeare’s sea-poetry opposed to sleek literary sea-scapes, together with the great 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 booklet 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)

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His poems instead show the sea infiltrating a human imagination, seeping into its corners, making it inhospitable and wet. The solution for Maximus, which Othello never finds, is to let the waters in and remake once-stable meanings into something more fluid. Looking at the sea means being bounded by something you cannot understand. ” The intermingling of ocean and human never becomes comfortable, but it does not lead to murder. The sea-storm in Othello creates a crisis of meaning that hastens the play’s insistent drive toward violence.

What we end up looking at, instead, is the water itself. Chapter 2 Keeping Watch: Othello The sea was born of the earth without the sweet union of love . . (Charles Olson, The Maximus Poems) It’s sea water that mads Othello. Salt is what he can’t understand. Surrounded by ocean on the venereal island of Cyprus, delivered from the sea-storm that sinks the Turks, caught between his newly traveled wife and the ancient who is saltier than he appears, Othello cannot accommodate changing seas. His desperate longing for calm after tempest, port after storm, represents an attempt to pass through oceanic disorder into a calm world.

Mourning the loss of his family, the Syracusan Antipholus sees the ocean as an overidentity, a massive containing wholeness that frustrates his ability to know himself: I to the world am like a drop of water That in the ocean seeks to find another drip, Who, falling there to find his fellow forth, (Unseen, inquisitive) confounds himself. So I, to find a mother and a brother, In quest of them, unhappy, lose myself. 35–40) 42 At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean The ocean’s flexibility, the physical unity between any one drop and the whole sea, “confounds” Antipholus because it simultaneously defines him and frustrates definition.

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