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p. 654. Timelocked

  • Bart van Es

Abstract

‘Time’ considers the strange ways in which Shakespeare manipulates time. In 1570, Lodovico Castelvetro stated that the perfect comedy should be restricted to events lasting no longer than twelve hours and, according to Aelius Donatus, there were four parts to a good comedy: the prologue, the protasis, the epitasis, and the catastrophe. The combination of Castelvetro and Donatus thus provided a formula for a faultless comedy. Clocks, seasons, and the process of aging ceaselessly fascinate Shakespeare as comic dramatist. In the comedies, the normal laws of time are suspended. This manipulation of time is an exceptional achievement that sets the comedies apart from other plays.

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