Tag Archives: Last Plays

“No full-length Shakespearian tragedy reaches the intensity of these three acts; they move with a whirling, sickening, speed.”

The Winter’s Tale Act Three, Part Two By Dennis Abrams  ———————- First off, some highlights from Mark Van Doren, without the most often used quotes from the play: “’The Winter’s Tale’ tells of grievous divisions between friend and friend (Leontes … Continue reading

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“I have drunk, and seen the spider.”

The Winter’s Tale Act Two, Part One By Dennis Abrams ———————————- Act Two:  Hermione is with her son Mamillius when Leontes rushes in, having heard of Polixenes’s and Camillo’s escape to Bohemia. Taking this as proof of his former friend’s … Continue reading

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“We cannot come to the end of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, because every time we achieve a new perspective, other fresh vistas appear that evade our expectations.”

The Winter’s Tale An Introduction By Dennis Abrams —————————– The title may seem all too appropriate given the weather we’ve been having for the last week, but to call something a “winter’s tale” was actually Jacobean slang for something fanciful … Continue reading

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“‘Cymbeline’, it seems to me, is the most extraordinary play that Shakespeare ever wrote. How does he do it? Staggering!”

Cymbeline Act Five, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ———————————— Let’s end with this from Garber: “Imogen/Fidele’s double identity as woman and boy, Briton and Roman, resurfaces in the climactic political scene of the play (5.6), a scene not unlike the … Continue reading

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“Hang there like fruit, my soul/Till the tree die.”

Cymbeline Act Five, Part One By Dennis Abrams ———————————————- Act Five:  Deep breath:  Convinced that Imogen is dead, Posthumus repents and joins the British side: disguised as a peasant, he saves Iachimo (who doesn’t recognize him).  Belarius and his “sons” … Continue reading

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“We have almost as great an affection for Imogen as she had for Posthumus; and she deserves it better. Of all Shakespeare’s women she is perhaps the most tender and the most artless.”

Cymbeline Act Three, Part Two By Dennis Abrams —————————— From Bloom: “Posthumus, even as an ideogram, is no fun. Shakespeare knew that a play must give pleasure, yet he portrays Posthumus as a very painful character, whose name refers both … Continue reading

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“For mine’s beyond beyond…”

Cymbeline Act Three, Part One By Dennis Abrams ——————————– Act Three:  In Britain, Cymbeline has refused to pay the annual tribute to Rome, to which the Roman ambassador Lucius responds by declaring war. Meanwhile, Pisanio has received a letter from … Continue reading

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