By Steve Mentz
We'd like a poetic heritage of the sea, and Shakespeare may also help us locate one. There’s extra genuine salt within the performs than we'd anticipate. Shakespeare’s dramatic ocean spans the God-sea of the traditional international and the big blue vistas that early glossy mariners navigated. all through his occupation, from the hole shipwrecks of The Comedy of mistakes during the Tempest, Shakespeare’s performs determine the sea as stunning actual fact and mind-twisting image of switch and instability. To fathom Shakespeare’s ocean – to head right down to its backside - this book’s chapters concentrate on various things that people do with and in and close to the ocean: fathoming, protecting 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)
Here God-fugitives reach a place beyond rest. 34 At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean Two things. The real and final face of our world. And the limit of what we can imagine touching. Bursting back to air and light, we sing what we can and sell the rest, remembering what we can’t salvage. No insular Tahiti. Chapter 3 Swimming: The Comedy of Errors Pip saw the multitudinous, God-omnipresent, coral insects, that out of the firmament of waters heaved the colossal orbs. He saw God’s foot on the treadle of the loom, and spoke it; and therefore his shipmates called him mad.
1–2). His blind father’s entrance, however, pulls the rug out from beneath his stoic acceptance of human misery: “Who is’t can say ‘I am at the worst’? . 27, 29–30). 254SD). In three of these four examples, the fall emerges from silent stage action, not dialogue: language falters before the entrances of Gloucester (blind), Lear (mad), and Cordelia (dead). Edgar’s “fathom and half ” warning initiates a pattern in which extra-linguistic actions disrupt language’s attempts to create order. His open theatricality defers a reckoning with the sea, blindness, madness, and death, but by accepting and internalizing them, not constructing a stable place outside them.
299–300). At this moment, Iago resembles the sea. He no longer speaks the language of mariners who work on the waves, but instead represents the ocean as such: wordless, malign, opaque, amoral. His final lines vary the biblical cadences of his opening self-definition. Now that “I am not that I am” has modulated into “What you know, you know,” the evacuation of Iago’s humanity 32 At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean has become complete. He stretches out before us, at our mercy but finally untouchable.
At the Bottom of Shakespeare's Ocean (Shakespeare Now) by Steve Mentz