Shakespeare: A Critical Study of His Mind and Art

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Dowden's critical study of 1875 approaches Shakespeare from the human side, showing how Shakespeare the man is visible through his art. Moving from Shakespeare's early plays to his late period, and grouping the plays according to key stages in his career, the book traces the growth of Shakespeare's intellect and character from youth to full maturity. Dowden does not seek to align Shakespeare with any particular single character from his plays, but sees aspects of Shakespeare in many of his dramatic creations, demonstrating how Shakespeare represents many different sides of human life. The reader is provided with an insight into the questions at the forefront of Shakespeare's mind, his most intense moments of inspiration and his discoveries about human life. Outlining the differences between the youthful Shakespeare and Shakespeare as a mature and experienced man, the book enables us to better understand Shakespeare's character and genius.