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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Tragic Imagination: “Othello” and “The Winter's Tale”
by Barnhart, Luke, M.A., Lehigh University, 2012, 41; 1511577
Abstract (Summary)

This paper explores the destructive, violent potential of the imagination in Shakespeare's Othello and The Winter's Tale, particularly as that potential is embodied by the plays' insanely jealous husbands, Othello and Leontes. Drawing on Montaigne's essay "Of the Power of the Imagination" (1572–1574), I claim that the violence of what I call the tragic imagination is enacted most potently by a fear of impotence, an imagined emasculation, which is produced in Othello and Leontes by their fervent belief that they have been made cuckolds. The conclusion of this paper is concerned with the redemption of the tragic imagination in The Winter's Tale as it is made possible through the critical bond of Hermione and Paulina and their powerful counter-imaginative project.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lay, Jenna D.
School: Lehigh University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: MAI 50/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Modern literature, Theater, British and Irish literature
Keywords: Imagination, Impotence, Othello, Shakespeare, William, The Winter's Tale, Tragedy
Publication Number: 1511577
ISBN: 978-1-267-37273-4
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