An Analysis Of Rabkin's Venice Preserved

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He then began to look at the play Venice Preserved. He provides a brief summary of the play and then goes on to say “Clearly the plot is constructed to exploit conflicting loyalties, rival claims”. At first the play seems like a model of ambivalence even containing on each side symmetrical betrayals. Rabkin proceeds to present many similarities in this work to Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth yet these allusions appear to be misleading. Venice Preserved is more significantly modelled on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. He then goes over the many parallels between the characters in this play and those from Julius Caesar. Shakespeare however had a much more complex understanding of the world as evident from these. The conspirators in Otway’s play for …show more content…
In this chapter Rabkin looks at The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale, as well as others. He discusses the recent fashion to emphasize the metadramatic signs in the romances, in effect interpreting the plays as autobiographical. In The Tempest the implication that Prospero is analogous to the author serves as a reminder that the audience is experiencing art, not life. He goes on to talk about Northrop Frye’s interpretation of The Tempest from 1947 and his argument that the only true subject of the plays is the art itself. He also spoke of the introduction the The Tempest written by Frank Kermode. In this Kermode argues that the art in The Tempest is exclusively “an aspect of the nature dramatized by the play” and dismisses the interpretation that the play is autobiographical. Both of these views can be convincingly argued to be true. For a more comprehensive understanding one must recognize the truth in both the “nature of art, and the artifice of nature”. He proceeds to talk about the novels of Thomas Mann looking at points of correspondence between the later works of both writers. Rabkin attempts here to reconcile the differences in the approaches used by Frye and Kermode in analyzing these works. He goes over a brief summary of the book The Holy Sinner written in 1955 by Mann. He then talks about many of the similarities in this work that evoke thoughts of Shakespeare’s later works. Some of …show more content…
It is retrospective and “consciously allusive” to the earlier works of the author. He speaks about Rosalie’s delight in recognizing the similarities of the last blooms of autumn and the first blooms of spring. Shakespeare makes a point very similar in The Winter’s Tale about the art-nature issue with the sheep shearing scene. One of my favorite lines of this book is here where Rabkin points out that “life and death alike are to be celebrated as processes inextricably intertwined”. Both Shakespeare and Mann centered on paradoxical themes in their later work. He closes by reviewing some of the paradoxical themes present in Shakespeare’s earlier work in which two extreme opposing views may be established both equally valid. He then goes on to review the later plays where we need not choose one or the other but just accept the complex tapestry of paradox and

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