Shakespeare's Comic Changes: The Time-Lapse Metaphor As Plot Device

Shakespeare's Comic Changes: The Time-Lapse Metaphor As Plot Device by Roger L. Cox epub pdf fb2

Title: Shakespeare's Comic Changes: The Time-Lapse Metaphor As Plot Device
Author: Roger L. Cox
ISBN10: 0820313084
ISBN13: 978-0820313085
Publisher: Univ of Georgia Pr (June 1, 1991)
Language: English
Subcategory: Dramas & Plays
Size PDF: 1243 kb
Size Fb2: 1773 kb
Rating: 3.7/5
Votes: 321
Pages: 256 pages
Other Format: mbr rtf lrf azw

Shakespeare's Comic Changes: The Time-Lapse Metaphor As Plot Device by Roger L. Cox


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Perhaps the central question about Shakespeare's comedies is whether they form a single group we can meaningfully call "Shakespearean comedy". The problem arises in locating a unifying principle that is not so broad as to lack interpretive value. In "Shakespeare's Comic Changes", Roger Cox argues that the thread connecting almost all of Shakespeare's comedies is a plot in which character change is presented metaphorically instead of realistically. Violating classical dramatic rules about the consistency of character, Shakespeare offers character changes that are improbable and unrealistic. These changes, says Cox, relate to normal character development in the same way that metaphor relates to literal statement: they involve not a gradual progression from one level of awareness to another but rather a juxtaposition of radically different perspectives in the process of acquiring self-knowledge. Shakespeare's comic characters manage both to keep their identity and to undergo significant change. In his comedies, Shakespeare's chief means for representing character change is what Cox calls the "time-lapse metaphor". Two contrasting views of a given character emerge in time-order: first, a fairly realistic view of the character as flawed and in conflict with society; then, an idealized view of the same character "reformed". The time-lapse metaphor thus becomes the very basis for the plot, Cox argues. In using it, Shakespeare reveals the nature of the transformed self and its relation to others and also explores the meaning of time in human experience.