Andy Mousley

in Re-Humanising Shakespeare

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780748623181
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652211 | DOI:

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This chapter tries to end in the simultaneously idealistic and practical spirit of literary humanism, with a thumbnail sketch, adapted from Gonzalo, of what life might be like. Although one might benefit from the idleness recommended by Gonzalo, it might be difficult to avoid ‘sweat’ altogether. Shakespeare presents strong images of common humanity, both in the plays discussed in previous chapters and in those not discussed, such as Gonzalo's utopian vision in The Tempest, as well as Lear's famous epiphany on the heath. It may be that the egalitarian concept of a common humanity is not enough to withstand the pressures and/or pleasures of individuality, diversity, cultural difference and the tendency for people to be explicably or inexplicably drawn to some more than others.

Keywords: literary humanism; Gonzalo; Shakespeare; common humanity; utopian vision; Tempest; egalitarian concept

Chapter.  948 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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