Shakespeare's Theater of Likeness
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|The word "like" occurs some 2,400 times in the writings
ascribed to Shakespeare. So many occurrences of the word
suggest that Shakespeare's is a theater of likeness, "as you
like it." This book demonstrates that part of the enduring
value of Shakespeare's art is his poetry of likeness here, in
the "land of unlikeness," where human beings invent their
likenesses. It shows that Shakespeare's theater is also Shake-
speare's theory of the psychology of likeness and unlikeness
in the human striving for the most elusive (and allusive) of
all attainments, an individual identity.
"This is an extraordinary book, an examination like no other
of Shakespeare's plays, a brilliant study . . . that will help
shape for the next generation the way the world reads Shake-
speare. It is long, dense, exciting, and exact. . . . But those
to whom this method is congenial will treasure this work and
will come to a new understanding of where Shakespeare's
great power resides."
- Mark Taylor, Professor of English, Manhattan College.
"Professor Shoaf has picked up on Shakespeare's use of the
word 'like' with its interesting ambiguities. . . . I can imagine
this book being cited by Shakespeare critics and scholars in
all kinds of contexts for years and years. . . . This book looks
like a winner." - Norman N. Holland, Marston-Milbauer Professor of English,
University of Florida.
I find this book to be a valuable and useful contribution to
the understanding of Shakespeare. It is original and stimu-
lating."- Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities,