Misreading Shakespeare: Modern Playwrights and the Quest for Originality

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Misreading Shakespeare: Modern Playwrights and the Quest for Originality


A dynamic new study in literary and dramatic influence, Misreading Shakespeare defines and explores the relation between two modern plays-Edward Bond's Lear and Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead-and Shakespeare's King Lear and Hamlet. While some see the modern plays as derivative, others claim that they are as original
as the Shakespearean plays. The effort to define and explore this relationship is a challenge for critics and readers alike. Here, Wagdi Zeid, a playwright
and professor of Shakespeare and drama, puts forth
a theoretical perspective derived from W. Jackson
Bate and Harold Bloom's theories of influence.

Zeid's study manages to defi ne and explore not
only this intriguing and ambiguous relationship but
the concept of originality itself. Furthermore, while
theorists like Bate and Bloom are wholly concerned
with just general statements and concepts, Misreading
Shakespeare goes inside the dramatic texts themselves,
and this practical aspect makes a big difference. Also, neither Bate nor Bloom has tried to apply his theory to dramatic texts.
Misreading Shakespeare
offers readers both theory and practice.
Misreading Shakespeare was written for an
eclectic audience, including scholars of drama, theatre,
Shakespeare, and literary theory and criticism;
playwrights and other writers striving for originality;
and theatrical artists and audiences alike.

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