Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 1172001 Lectures$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

F.M.L. Thompson

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262795

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262795.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 01 June 2020

A World Elsewhere: Shakespeare’s Sense of an Exit

A World Elsewhere: Shakespeare’s Sense of an Exit

SHAKESPEARE LECTURE

Chapter:
(p.165) A World Elsewhere: Shakespeare’s Sense of an Exit
Source:
Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 117
Author(s):

RICHARD WILSON

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197262795.003.0005

Shakespeare, it has been claimed, was the first to translate into English words the laws of vanishing-point perspective. So, according to art historians, Edgar's projection in King Lear of the view of the Channel from ‘the extreme verge’ of Dover Cliff was unprecedented in its analysis of how the planes of space diminish in proportion to distance. Decades before other writers conceptualised space as a continuum, Shakespeare had internalised the scale which determines how from a distance ‘fishermen, that walk upon the beach, / Appear like mice’, enough to define such a reductive way of seeing as ‘deficient sight’. By staging ‘the question of its own limits’ with this paradox of vision as a form of blindness, his play seems to sense something terrifying in the great unseen space which would soon surround the theatre of the baroque, and into which an exit would be the equivalent of a sentence of death.

Keywords:   vanishing-point perspective, space, distance, King Lear, Edgar, Shakespeare, exit

British Academy Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.