Shakespeare's plays survive and thrive from age to age in large part due to the incomparably mimetic "rightness" of his characters. However, the various schools of post-modern literary criticism - New Historicist, Cultural Materialist, most variations of cultural theory as applied to literature - definitively deny the possibility of an essential humanity, the very concept on which discussions of character and mimesis must stand. The work of Martin Buber contributes a means of moderating that conversation. Buber, a self-described "believing" humanist, sought and achieved a semantic framework capable of describing the intersection of man, fellow man, and spirit while obviating insofar as possible the complication of any specific religious or ideological identification. Such a system opens a channel for the examination of dramatized humanity in Shakespeare. While many scholars and critics have presumed or pretended to "know" the meanings of the plays, have practiced exegesis on a character, a play, or the full canon, this paper is concerned with applying Buber's terms and their implications toward a useful understanding of the actions, speeches, and implied human "being" represented in Shakespeare's dramatic characters.
|Advisor:||Ruiter, David A.|
|Commitee:||Dick, John R., Weber, Ronald J.|
|School:||The University of Texas at El Paso|
|Department:||Eng. & Amer. Lit|
|School Location:||United States -- Texas|
|Source:||MAI 47/03M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Philosophy, British and Irish literature|
|Keywords:||Essentialism, Human nature, Humanist, Martin Buber, Mimesis, William Shakespeare|
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