David Lucking sees Shakespeare?s plays as negotiating tensions between a number of alternative, and sometimes mutually antagonistic perspectives. Some of these perspectives are associated with particular languages, cultures and texts, while others involve philosophical issues such as ... the nature of personal ontology and distinctions between reality and dream, being and nothingness. In elaborating his insights Lucking draws extensive comparisons with Lucretius? De Rerum Natura, and between Sophocles? Theban plays and King Lear, and he also pays close attention to A Midsummer Night?s Dream, Henry V, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, and Antony and Cleopatra. Re-assessing a wide range of earlier commentary, his nine essays confirm the lasting value of apposite contextualization in tandem with detailed close reading.
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