The Forms of Things UnknownMark Stavig $48.00
Published in 1995 | 340 pages | cloth | ISBN: 978-0-8207-0264-3
“Stavig wisely emphasizes that systematizing metaphorical patterns is not a science; he painstakingly endeavors to be suggestive, not dogmatic. . . . All readers will benefit from the nuggets of interpretation throughout the book and especially from the fertile investigation of interplay between cyclic and hierarchical patterns of Shakespeare's imagery.” — Shakespeare Quarterly
“Perhaps most of all . . . it contains many helpful hints for other classroom teachers of Shakespeare, most of whom face today rows of students who do not understand why creative writers, if they have anything at all to say, don't just say it but get all involved in metaphor and simile. . . . It is a pleasure to recommend without qualification Mark Stavig's The Form of Things Unknown.” — Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance
“The diagrams are extraordinary: richly annotated concentric circles representing elements, humors, the zodiac, the church calendar, etc., followed more surprisingly by graphs of different parts of the plays which Stavig then narratively unpacks for us.” — Studies in English Literary Studies"
While recent criticism has tended to oversimplify Shakespeare's handling of gender by seeing him as a supporter or opponent of patriarchy, Stavig finds a more complex conception in Shakespeare's psychology of love and in his depiction of society, nature, and the cosmos. This study examines patterns of metaphor reflective of that time and worldview, placing the plays within this context.
MARK STAVIG is professor of English at Colorado College.