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Critical Approaches to Shakespeare: Some Initial Observations.

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  • Essay length: 6826 words
  • Submitted: 12/02/2004
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GCSE Other Shakespeare Plays

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Critical Approaches to Shakespeare: Some Initial Observations

[This text was last revised on November 19, 2001]

Introduction

An earlier introductory note to some basic principles of literary interpretation ("On Scholarship and Literary Interpretation"), stressed that literary interpretation or literary criticism is, in many ways, an anarchic conversational activity with the practical purpose of enriching our shared understanding of a particular text. The value of any particular interpretative observations, or of a methodology upon which those observations are based, is judged by the results, as adjudicated by a group of intelligent conversationalists who have read and thought about the text under discussion. Hence, there is no one privileged way of organizing and presenting one's views. As that previous note mentioned, there are some basic rules about how the conversation should proceed, but these do not require a shared adherence to a single way of reading a text. In fact, the conversational basis for really useful literary interpretation finds its justification in the contrast between different ways of reading a text or some portion of it, because conversation is the best forum in which such differences confront each other and the participants profit from a discussion

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