- Shakespeare's late romances
The late romances, often simply called the romances, are a grouping of what many scholars believe to be
William Shakespeare's later plays, including " Pericles, Prince of Tyre"; " Cymbeline"; " The Winter's Tale"; and "The Tempest". " The Two Noble Kinsmen" is sometimes included in this grouping. The term was first used in regard to these works in Edward Dowden's "Shakespeare: A Critical Study of His Mind and Art" (1875).
The category of Shakespearean romance arise from a hesitation among critics to categorize them as comedies (though all but "Cymbeline", which was listed among the tragedies, were considered so by
John Hemingesand Henry Condellwhen they edited the First Folio), because they bear similarities with medieval romance literatureand are different from comedies in many ways. Shakespeare's romances share the following features:
*A redemptive plotline with a happy ending involving the re-uniting of long-separated family members;
*Magic and other fantastical elements;
deus ex machina", often manifesting as a Roman god (such as Jupiter in "Cymbeline" or Diana in "Pericles");
*A mixture of "civilized" and "
pastoral" scenes (such as the gentry and the island residents in "The Tempest");
*"...and the poetry is a return to the lyrical style of the early plays, though more mellow and profound." [F. E. Halliday, "A Shakespeare Companion 1564-1964," Baltimore, Penguin, 1964; p. 419.]
Shakespeare's romances were also influenced by two major developments in theatre in the early years of the seventeenth century. One was the innovation in
tragicomedyinitiated by John Fletcher and developed in the early Beaumont and Fletchercollaborations. The other was the extreme elaboration of the courtly masquebeing conducted at the same time by Ben Jonsonand Inigo Jones. [See: " The Masque of Blackness;" " The Masque of Queens."]
The distinctiveness of the late romances has been questioned – the plays certainly share commonalities with earlier Shakespearean works like "
Twelfth Night", with earlier romances by other authors back to the ancient world, and with works in genres like pastoral. Yet Shakespeare's late plays have a distinctive aura to them, with elements of tragicomedy and masque blended with elements of comedy and romance and pastoral – not into a chaos as might be expected, but into coherent, dramatically effective and appealing plays.
[http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/rjregan/literaryromance.htm Literary Romance] in a larger context is a genre related to
List of plays
Shakespeare's late romances include:
Pericles, Prince of Tyre," ca. 1603-1608
Cymbeline," ca. 1608-1609
The Winter's Tale," ca. 1604-1610
*"The Tempest," ca. 1611
The Two Noble Kinsmen," ca. 1612-13 [F. E. Halliday, "Shakespeare Companion," pp. 419, 507-8. See also Hallett Smith on the "many links between this and the previous plays...," in: "The Riverside Shakespeare," G. Blakemore Evans, textual editor; Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1974; p. 1640.]
The Norton Shakespeare describes "Henry VIII" (ca. 1612-13) as being characteristic of the late romances, but still considers it one of the histories.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Shakespeare, William — (baptized April 26, 1564, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, Eng. died April 23, 1616, Stratford upon Avon) British poet and playwright, often considered the greatest writer in world literature. He spent his early life in Stratford upon Avon,… … Universalium
Shakespeare's plays — William Shakespeare s plays have the reputation of being among the greatest in the English language and in Western literature. Traditionally divided into the genres of tragedy, history, and comedy, they have been translated into every major… … Wikipedia
Shakespeare's life — There are few facts known with certainty about William Shakespeare s life. The best documented facts are that Shakespeare was baptised in Stratford upon Avon in Warwickshire, England, 26 April 1564, at age 18 married Anne Hathaway, had three… … Wikipedia
Shakespeare's style — borrowed from the conventions of the day, while at the same time adapting them to his needs.OverviewShakespeare s first plays were written in the conventional style of the day. He wrote them in a stylised language that does not always spring… … Wikipedia
Shakespeare's sonnets — … Wikipedia
Shakespeare's influence — William S. The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed (National Portrait Gallery, London, currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.). Born baptised 26 April 2011rth date unknown) Stratford upon Avon,… … Wikipedia
SHAKESPEARE, William — (1564 1616) William Shakespeare was one of early modern England s most successful and celebrated playwrights, and since the eighteenth century he has often been regarded as England s, perhaps the modern world s, greatest writer. There is… … Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary
Sexuality of William Shakespeare — The sexuality of William Shakespeare has been debated numerous times over the years. Even though he married Anne Hathaway and had three children, circumstantial evidence suggests he had affairs with other women or may have taken an erotic… … Wikipedia
Chronology of Shakespeare's plays — This article presents a possible chronological listing of the plays of William Shakespeare. Contents 1 Difficulty of creating a precise chronology 2 Chronology 3 Plays by Shakespeare … Wikipedia
BBC Television Shakespeare — DVD Box Set Also known as The Shakespeare Collection (UK) The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare (US) Genre … Wikipedia