Onstage and Offstage Worlds in Shakespeare's Plays (Paperback)
(This book cannot be returned.)
Originally published in 1989, this book focuses on the handling of the relationship between the onstage world and the offstage world, between the world that Shakespeare shows us and the one he tells us about. It is developed in two parts. Initially examined is the way reports are used in Shakespeare to relate the offstage and onstage worlds, building from simple examples within individual scenes in various plays to related sequences of reports which can be evaluated as part of broader strategies effecting the structure of a whole play. In the second part the author examines the ways in which several, or all, of these strategies work in individual plays, and what combined effect the prominent employment of them has in shaping the effect of the plays. In all cases the author is concerned to indicate why Shakespeare chose to handle matters as he does rather than in other ways available in the sources or in the speculative alternative methods which can be imaginatively constructed.