Ecocriticism and Shakespeare: Reading Ecophobia by Simon C. Estok

By Simon C. Estok

This booklet bargains the time period “ecophobia” as a manner of figuring out and organizing representations of contempt for the traditional world.  Estok argues that this vocabulary is either essential to the constructing sector of ecocritical reviews and for understandings of the representations of “Nature” in Shakespeare.  enticing shut readings with theoretical sophistication make this ebook a path-breaking contribution to either Shakespearean scholarship and the burgeoning box of ecocriticism.

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Indd 34 3/1/2011 3:43:47 PM C O R I O L A N U S a n d E c o c r i t ic i s m 35 Yet, we need to remember, as Lisa Lowe reminds us, that this is a play “about the impossibility of achieving an absolute, singular manhood” (89); a play that radically questions both gender and sexual identity—indeed, the former through the latter, resulting in “emasculation and submission” (Lowe 94) for Coriolanus. If gender stability were not so front and center an issue in this play, Wells would surely have a viable point, but the fact that identity is such a slippery thing here makes the queer moments much more important than Wells seems willing to accept.

Vagrancy 296) It is like looking into the mirror and seeing someone else’s eyes instead of our own. Such is the horror of Lear, and it is resolutely environmental. indd 23 3/1/2011 3:43:44 PM 24 E c o c r i t ic i s m a n d Sh a k e s p e a r e from radical crossings of boundaries. The horrors of “out there” are brought home, as it were, in the play. The socially self-consuming monstrosity implicit in the many metaphors of cannibalism in Lear reiterates the spatial and environmental dimensions of the developing tragedy.

Indd 40 3/1/2011 3:43:48 PM C O R I O L A N U S a n d E c o c r i t ic i s m 41 The degree to which Coriolanus can play the parts he has learned is limited by his ability to remember those parts. 96) and the natural world that they signify, but we just do not get the victory of one side or the other. 184). ), it is very much against the text to claim, as Dollimore also does, that Coriolanus “is in fact the ideological effect of powers antecedent to and independent of him” (218). Such a claim insists on the victory of the constructionist side of the constructionist/essence binary, but it is precisely the absence of such a victory that enables the deep and crippling fissures in our hero.

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