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Shakespeare’s Universal WolfStudies in Early Modern Reification$
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Hugh Grady

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198130048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198130048.001.0001

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Introduction: A Postmodernist Shakespeare: The Current Critical Context

Introduction: A Postmodernist Shakespeare: The Current Critical Context

(p.1) Introduction: A Postmodernist Shakespeare: The Current Critical Context
Shakespeare’s Universal Wolf

Hugh Grady

Oxford University Press

The influence of Postmodernism in Shakespeare studies has been multidimensional. In textualist deconstruction, to take one of the first of the newer critical paradigms, Postmodernist assumptions have operated as part of the anti-hierarchical, relativizing textuality at the heart of the method. In various forms of feminism, its influence can be felt in terms of the desacralization inherent in posing uncomfortable political questions and anti-hierarchical analyses to so revered a figure as William Shakespeare. This book deals with reification — the property of social systems to act through their own objective logic, as if they possessed an autonomous intentionality — in Shakespeare's most celebrated works. The concepts of new historicism, cultural materialism, humanism, and subjectivity are also discussed.

Keywords:   Postmodernism, William Shakespeare, textuality, new historicism, cultural materialism, humanism, subjectivity, reification

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