Green Shakespeare: From Ecopolitics to Ecocriticism

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The Tempest pays much attention to wood in scattered allusions to the plant world, and perhaps especially in the form of the logs that Caliban and then Ferdinand spend much time carrying and stacking for Prospero. Egan writes, "This recurrent arboreal imagery has a very [End Page ] real point in the play, for Prospero's main activity since his arrival on the island has been its deforestation" The answer appears to be colonization" —57 , and he shows how willful deforestation, to deny hiding places to the "rebels," accompanied the Elizabethan colonization of Ireland.

Caliban's "carrying of logs is not only a menial duty but also a mark that the world from which he comes is being destroyed" Egan attends carefully to the words "climate" and "weather" in The Winter's Tale — the second appearing six times, including the compound "weather-bitten" and the plural "weathers," more than in any other play.

From Ecopolitics to Ecocriticism, 1st Edition

Characteristically, the season of Sicilia is winter, notwithstanding its geographical whereabouts in the world. The oracle's proclamation, after Perdita's exile, that "the king shall live without an heir if that which is lost be not found" 3. The child, of course, is recovered and returned to Sicilia by her Bohemian lover Florizel.

About the play's final act, Egan comments, "in inadvertently bringing Perdita back to Sicilia, Florizel has allegorically brought the weather of spring with him.


Understood in just the way that Geoffrey Bullough rejected. The Winter's Tale is archetypally Green in its insistence that human productive capacities and the Earth's are interdependent" Shakespeare's point is that human folly and blindness nearly killed the world of Sicilia, but that goodness, wisdom, and innocence were able to restore it.

May planet Earth be so lucky.

(DOC) "Shakespeare and Ecocriticism Reconsidered" | Jennifer Munroe -

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Green Shakespeare: From ecopolitics to ecocriticism (Accents on Shakespeare Series)

Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Ecocriticism, a theoretical movement examining cultural constructions of Nature in their social and political contexts, is making an increasingly important contribution to our understanding of Shakespeare's plays. Crossing the boundaries of literary and cultural studies to draw in politics, philosophy and ecology, this volume not only introduces one of the most lively areas of contemporary Shakespeare studies, but also puts forward a convincing case for Shakespeare's continuing relevance to contemporary theory.

I hope he succeeds in his purpose and that his book will be widely read and its lessons understood.

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