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p. 181. Worldlocked

  • Bart van Es


‘World’ looks at the ‘world’ of Shakespearean comedy, isolating the distinctive way that its stories play out in space. There is something dreamlike about all Shakespeare’s comedies—whether they are set in forests, courts, or cities—and more than anything else this is a consequence of their locational elasticity, bending properties of space and time. Many Shakespearean comedies start in a court and move out to the country: they end in this wild space outside the bounds of civilization, but with the promise of a festive return. Some, however, employ a more dynamic structure, where two distinct places are put in contrapuntal dialogue, which is distinctive to Shakespeare.

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