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Poor Naked Wretches: Shakespeare’s Working People
by Stephen Unwin
Reaktion Books, 2022
Cloth: 978-1-78914-661-5 | eISBN: 978-1-78914-662-2

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Disputing the notion that William Shakespeare scorned the rabble, an illuminating look at the complex working people of his plays.
 
Was Shakespeare a snob? Poor Naked Wretches challenges the idea that one of the greatest writers of the English language despised working people, showing that he portrayed them with as much insight, compassion, and purpose as the rich and powerful. Moreover, working people play an important role in his dramatic method. Stephen Unwin reads Shakespeare anew, exploring the astonishing variety of working people in his plays, as well as the vast range of cultural sources from which they were drawn. Unwin argues that the robust realism of these characters, their independence of mind, and their engagement in the great issues of the day, make them much more than mere comic relief. Compassionate, cogent, and wry, Poor Naked Wretches grants these often-overlooked figures the dignity and respect they deserve.

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