Review of Metaphysics 52 (3):701-703 (1999)

Abstract
David Lowenthal offers a serious treatment of the idea that Shakespeare was a serious thinker, indeed a philosopher who chose to develop his ideas in dramatic form. Readers accustomed to contemporary Shakespeare criticism may be puzzled by Lowenthal’s book. He makes no effort to historicize his discussion of Shakespeare and never invokes the unholy trinity of race, class, and gender in analyzing the plays. Compared to new historicist, feminist, Marxist, and deconstructionist critics of Shakespeare, Lowenthal may seem to be a naive reader; he is looking for what he can read out of the plays, not what he can read into them. Grounding himself in the older tradition of Shakespeare criticism, from Ben Jonson to Samuel Johnson, from Samuel Taylor Coleridge to A. C. Bradley, Lowenthal views the playwright as a source of genuine wisdom. He assumes that Shakespeare knew what he was doing and was fully in control of his dramatic material, shaping his plays into artistic wholes that allow him to raise fundamental questions about the human condition.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph199952333
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