The Hermeneutics of Allegory – Homer’s Odyssey in Context

Naturally, it’s important to understand what a piece of literature or poetry or art might mean (symbolically) – but then comes the next question – what am I meant to do with that?

Psychoanalysis and Critical Literary Theory

There are several important ways in which both Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis can serve as a model for literary analysis as for example looking for the subversive in women’s literature – i.e. that which is not explicitly stated (for any…

Beginnings and Endings in Renaissance Drama

The ‘Argument’ and ‘Prologue’ in Jonson’s Renaissance comedy, Volpone, likewise works similarly to the Greek chorus – the ‘Argument’ preparing the audience for key moments to come by summarising the plot and, as did the ghostly chorus in Kyd, implying that justice will be done when at the end ‘all are sold’. The Prologue adds to this by suggesting that ‘our play’ will be a ‘hit’ as the result of the dramatists’ salty ink – with which he intends to ‘rub your cheeks’ till ‘red with laughter’. This is a clear signal that the play is not tragedy but comedy and satire.

The Institution of Marriage in English Renaissance Drama

Understanding the institution of marriage in this way, it becomes readily apparent that the romantic love that we in the 21st century so favour in relationships was not a key factor in the Renaissance equation.

The Plusses and Minuses of New Criticism

Further, if we accept that a text is an ‘aesthetic object’ (however TS Eliot and others might have us define that) then if we are to take anything valuable away from our ‘aesthetic experience’ , we need to focus on what it tells us about ourselves.

The Birth of Tragedy and other Cultural Lies

For Nietzsche, transformation was not simply a matter suspending audience disbelief, but instead allowing the audience to actually enter the world of the Greek god Dionysus, in whose realm lies all primordial truths and with it, the tragic suffering inherent in comprehending these truths.

Structuralism and the ‘New Perspective’ on Literature

As a feminist looking at texts through structuralist eyes, I am also able to hone in on sex-inflected signifiers pointing to specific patriarchal cultural values I am keen to eliminate.