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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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Conclusion: Shakespeare and the Postmodern Condition

Conclusion: Shakespeare and the Postmodern Condition

Chapter:
(p.213) Conclusion: Shakespeare and the Postmodern Condition
Source:
Shakespeare’s Universal Wolf
Author(s):

Hugh Grady

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198130048.003.0007

It is clear that the professionalist response to the insurgency of recent Shakespearean criticism has been to produce a domesticated, largely deradicalized version of the new historicism, stripped of much of its theoretical edge and committed to a return to positivist historicism with a new set of terms and topics to replace the now completely depleted and discredited store that had been supplied in 1943 by E. M. W. Tillyard. This book has emphasized the very ‘presentist’, theoretical aspects of cultural materialism and cultural poetics that are in danger of disappearing as the dust of the recent paradigm shift settles and we enter a period of ‘normal science’. The focus on reification in the Renaissance is closely linked to the perception that we are still living in a reified world following a good deal of the logic identified and problematized in William Shakespeare's texts. Some version of the critique of reification discussed here might be crucial in developing an ideologically new, post-Communist oppositional politics for the twenty-first century.

Keywords:   William Shakespeare, reification, new historicism, cultural materialism, cultural poetics, Renaissance, oppositional politics

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