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Lecture 39

ENGL 4723 Lecture 39: Pericles Notes (Week 14)

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ENGL 4723
Edward J Jones

Pericles History and tragedy, and romance and comedy linked together. Shakespeare’s first romance out of four. Committing incest, why would you put it into a riddle and ask someone to solve it? Romance is natural progression for Shakespeare, disenchanted with romantic comedy. Able to enhance on the stage, romance invites into the mix. Romantic love—an anachronism at this time—19 Century notion. Marriage contract. Opportunity for characters to explore love in a different way, affection outside of the box, requited and unrequited (norm) love because of marriage contracts that they have no say in. Unrequited love dominant theme [comedy as a way to present an ideal situation] originally hate each other, grow to like each other… Social expectations and constraints on matters of the heart—genre of romance becomes and escape, idealism (Pericles identity of goodness) (stock character portrayal)—implausibility, fantasy—far away places, missing “kids” must be found—Romantic MOTIFS, highly influenced by Church. Genre of excess with realistic components that are barely discernable. Buy into the context of play and put aside own experiences—production, constantly being asked to stretch the imagination—exotic things—sea, body of water separating events. th John Gower—14 Century poet, friend of Chaucer—Shakespeare exploits him, as audience know who he is. Good poetic passages throughout play, not consistent. Romance is masque-like— SPECTACLE to cause implausibility for Romance—movement from implausible to plausible. Don’t need a great plot if you have great visuals/spectacle. Romance in terms of a quest—why all the changing of location? Fulfill the quest motif. Knight errant—travelling knights in search of resolving problems, making the world a better place—code of chivalry. World in conflict—battle between good an devil. Affairs of the heart—knights attached to damsels (in distres
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