Cover image for Shakespearean Resurrection: The Art of Almost Raising the Dead By Sean Benson

Shakespearean Resurrection

The Art of Almost Raising the Dead

Sean Benson

BUY

$70.00 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-8207-0416-6

229 pages
6" × 9"
2009

Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies

Shakespearean Resurrection

The Art of Almost Raising the Dead

Sean Benson

This engaging book demonstrates Shakespeare’s abiding interest in the theatrical potential of the Christian resurrection from the dead. In fourteen of Shakespeare’s plays, characters who have been lost, sometimes for years, suddenly reappear seemingly returning from the dead. In the classical recognition scene, such moments are explained away in naturalistic terms a character was lost at sea but survived, or abducted and escaped, and so on. Shakespeare never invalidates such explanations, but in his manipulation of classical conventions he parallels these moments with the recognition scenes from the Gospels, repeatedly evoking Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

 

  • Description
  • Bio
  • Subjects
This engaging book demonstrates Shakespeare’s abiding interest in the theatrical potential of the Christian resurrection from the dead. In fourteen of Shakespeare’s plays, characters who have been lost, sometimes for years, suddenly reappear seemingly returning from the dead. In the classical recognition scene, such moments are explained away in naturalistic terms a character was lost at sea but survived, or abducted and escaped, and so on. Shakespeare never invalidates such explanations, but in his manipulation of classical conventions he parallels these moments with the recognition scenes from the Gospels, repeatedly evoking Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

Benson’s close study of the plays, as well as the classical and biblical sources that Shakespeare fuses into his recognition scenes, clearly elucidates the ways in which the playwright explored his abiding interest in the human desire to transcend death and to live reunited and reconciled with others. In his manipulation of resurrection imagery, Shakespeare conflates the material with the immaterial, the religious with the secular, and the sacred with the profane.

Sean Benson is professor of English at University of Dubuque. He currently serves on the executive board for the South Central Renaissance Conference and on the Reader Advisory Board for Explorations in Renaissance Culture.

Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list and be notified about new titles, journals and catalogs.