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The Shakespearean Moment and Its Place in the Poetry of the 17th Century
The Shakespearean Moment and Its Place in the Poetry of the 17th Century Author:Patrick Cruttwell My Cruttwell brilliantly identifies as "the Shakespearean Moment" that poetic revolution, following a major "shift of thought and feeling" in the 1590's, which produced by 1640 some of the greatest works of English poetry and drama. At the center of this creativity lay the poetic drama, which flourished during those decades into one of the great... more » ages of world drama, with Shakespeare as its master. In the non-dramatic works of the period there is also an essentially dramatic note making possible the richly significant and various literature we find in the works of Donne and other contemporaries of Shakespeare. The nature of the underlying forces that produced this complex greatness, and the transformations these forces underwent in the course of the seventeenth century, are Mr. Cruttwell's main subject.
This subject involves a large prospect of major works of the seventeenth century and much probing analysis of their style and spirit, an analysis in which Mr. Cruttwell shows much originality and penetration. But his subject is ultimately much larger than literature itself. It involves the forces of cultural and social revolution which underlay the transition from he medieval past, through the complex "Shakespearean moment," to a world on the brink of the modern. In the dramatic, ironic, and tragic sensibility of the writers of the period 1590-1640, Mr. Cruttwell sees reflected a traditional spiritual and cultural unity. Many new counter-movements-notably Puritanism, the new science, classicism, and rationalism-eventually produced a "split" in the age, wich terminated the "Shakespearean moment."
Seen in relation to this provocative thesis, the major authors of the period are set in new perspectives and new light is thrown on Shakespeare, Marlowe, Donne, Milton, Herbert of Cherbury, Marvell, Dryden and many others.
Very good for age. Not yellowing appreciably. Surprisingly little wear for being around so long.« less