In the interpretation of Shakespeare, wordplay has often been considered inconsequential, frequently reduced to a decorative "quibble." But in this book, Patricia Parker argues that attention to Shakespearean wordplay reveals unexpected linkages, not only within and between plays but also between the plays and their contemporary culture. Combining feminist and historical approaches with attention to the "matter" of language as well as of race and gender, Parker's "edification from the margins" illuminates much that has been overlooked, both in Shakespeare and in early modern culture. This book, a re-examination of popular and less familiar texts, is intended for all students of Shakespeare and the early modern period. Patricia Parker is the author of "Inescapable Romance and Literary Fat Ladies: Rhetoric, Gender, Property".
Acknowledgments Introduction: Edification from the Margins: Language, Culture, Context 1: Preposterous Estates, Preposterous Events: From Late to Early Shakespeare 2: The Bible and the Marketplace: The Comedy of Errors 3: "Rude Mechanicals": A Midsummer Night's Dream and Shakespearean Joinery 4: "Illegitimate Construction": Translation, Adultery, and Mechanical Reproduction in The Merry Wives of Windsor 5: "Conveyers Are You All": Translating, Conveying, Representing, and Seconding in the Histories and Hamlet 6: Dilation and Inflation: All's Well That Ends Well, Troilus and Cressida, and Shakespearean Increase 7: Othello and Hamlet: Spying, Discovery, Secret Faults Notes Index