Shakespeare’s Art of Entanglement : The Tempest’s Tragicomic Dramaturgy of Knotting and Untying

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2023
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Shakespeare. Routledge. 2023, 19(3), pp. 269-295. ISSN 1745-0918. eISSN 1745-0926. Available under: doi: 10.1080/17450918.2021.2018029
Zusammenfassung

This article proposes that via its dense knot imagery and actions of (un)tying knots on stage, The Tempest offers metadramaturgic commentary on the playwright's task of (dis)entanglement, the skill of creating and resolving a complex dramatic action. Early modern tragedy and comedy theory derived from Aristotle's Poetics helps to understand how Prospero's magically devised play, to a degree congruous with The Tempest itself, in its tragicomic mode creates and partly unties an exquisitely tied knot. Rather than pursuing a purely formalist concern, my new formalist reading of The Tempest examines how the knot as an image-cluster itself ties together various early modern concerns, such as the knot knowledge of seafaring, the Tudor and Stuart predilection for knot gardens, bondage in the contexts of colonialism and European courts, mutual binding in the imagery of romance and marriage, and the practice of delivery as an untying of the child and its sublimation in discourses of science and magic.

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800 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft
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Aristotle, knot imagery, virgin knot, marriage knot, labyrinth, new formalism
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ISO 690WALD, Christina, 2023. Shakespeare’s Art of Entanglement : The Tempest’s Tragicomic Dramaturgy of Knotting and Untying. In: Shakespeare. Routledge. 2023, 19(3), pp. 269-295. ISSN 1745-0918. eISSN 1745-0926. Available under: doi: 10.1080/17450918.2021.2018029
BibTex
@article{Wald2023Shake-57266,
  year={2023},
  doi={10.1080/17450918.2021.2018029},
  title={Shakespeare’s Art of Entanglement : The Tempest’s Tragicomic Dramaturgy of Knotting and Untying},
  number={3},
  volume={19},
  issn={1745-0918},
  journal={Shakespeare},
  pages={269--295},
  author={Wald, Christina}
}
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