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Shakespeare the Thinker

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  117 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
A. D. Nuttall’s study of Shakespeare’s intellectual preoccupations is a literary tour de force and comes to crown the distinguished career of a Shakespeare scholar. Certain questions engross Shakespeare from his early plays to the late romances: the nature of motive, cause, personal identity and relation, the proper status of imagination, ethics and subjectivity, language ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published April 23rd 2007 by Yale University Press
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Matthew Flowers
Sep 05, 2007 Matthew Flowers rated it really liked it
This is an in depth examination about the way Shakespeare's mind moved throughout his life by examining the best guessed order of his plays. If you can read between the lines you'll find good evidence as to why Shakespeare has lasted and will continue to last. My personal favorite is the examination of The Tempest and how Shakespeare wrote himself in that play. definitely worth reading if you are a Shakespeare fan.
Oct 27, 2008 Richard marked it as to-read-3rd
Unfinished. Notes so far.

Excellent discussion of The Taming of the Shrew
p. 71: If one asks a reasonably literate person, "Who in the plays of Shakespeare binds a woman, strikes her, and makes her cry?" the chances are that you will get the answer "Petruchio". The correct answer is "Katherina". She does all this to Bianca at Act II, Scene i, lines 1-24. ... Petruchio never strikes Katherina. There is one moment when she strikes him and he responds "I swear I'll cuff you, if you strike again" (I
Nov 10, 2014 Sammy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
What utter silliness. (I realise this view will be seen as - at best - naive, and - at worst - idiotic.) The late A.D. Nuttall was clearly a brilliant man, but this is a scatterbrained examination of the plays, that offers very little in the way of substantive thought.

Nuttall is at his best when examining Shakespeare the man. He comes out fighting fit when examining character, and particularly the middle tragedies, such as "Julius Caesar". Perhaps the most interesting parts are in the opening c
Dec 31, 2007 Steven added it
an amazing and beautiful study of the Shakespeare the philosopher
Richard Martin
Feb 04, 2016 Richard Martin rated it really liked it
Due to its length (app. 700 pgs.), this would best considered a reference tool. An excellent index gives explicit detail to each work. I chose five favorite plays rather than the entire book. Nuttall provides copious cross-references among the plays. His choice of topics is unique. For example: "King Lear"-- nothingness and redemption; "Taming of the Shrew" -- "breaking" (as in horses or Falcons) as opposed to "taming" and an alliance of Katherine and Petruchio; "MacBeth" -- the weird sisters as ...more
Mark Valentine
Jan 16, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-d-nuttall
Nuttall's study works as an academic course in Shakespeare and his plays. He moves through each play, makes incredibly rich connections between them and works from the era, and interprets with insight and wisdom.

His premise, as the title states, traces most of the modern discoveries in psychology, art, drama, sociology, religion and politics first moved through Shakespeare's mind and pen. I am inspired from the slow, deliberate reading and now wish to read all of Shakespeare's plays and then ba
Jake Maguire
Sep 02, 2010 Jake Maguire rated it liked it
Shelves: shakespeare
It didn't make the right connections for me in terms of the authorship question.
I still feel the writer of the plays was not the actor/business man from Stratford.
Having said that, this book is actually very intellectually packed, and ultimately worth reading.
I found much of the information very helpful, even with my "Oxfordian" views.

Jack Graham
Jul 17, 2012 Jack Graham rated it liked it
Very thought provoking. I came away feeling educated, with my views on at least one play profoundly changed. On the whole, however, I am uncomvinced by Nuttal's perspective. Still, it was beautifully written and valuable.
Mar 07, 2009 Ed marked it as to-read
Shelves: shakespeariana
As his birth/death day approacheth, my thoughts turneth to the mysterious Mr. Shake-speare. This book holds great promise.
Kay Kirkpatrick
Apr 09, 2008 Kay Kirkpatrick rated it it was amazing
I loved this book--it was a wonderful supplement to my Shakespeare kick last spring. More at:
Jul 02, 2007 Michael rated it it was amazing
The best book about Shakespeare I've read. Six stars.

(Though I haven't read that crazy Hughes book yet!)
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Nov 05, 2007 laura rated it liked it
interesting view.
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Anthony David Nuttall was an English literary critic and academic.

Nuttall was educated at Hereford Cathedral School, Watford Grammar School for Boys and Merton College, Oxford, where he studied both Classical Moderations and English Literature. As a postgraduate he wrote a B.Litt thesis on Shakespeare's The Tempest subsequently published as Two Concepts of Allegory (1968), and considered by some t
More about A.D. Nuttall...

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