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Textual Critique through the Artist's Eye: Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Hamlet and Ophelia (1858-59)

Moore, Luisa

Description

Nineteenth-century visual representations of Shakespeare’s characters offer modern scholars a window into the nuances of the Victorian reception of his plays, and much work has been done in contextualising these images in terms of such issues as Victorian bardolatry, cultural assumptions about gender, class and race, and contemporary theatrical practices. Scholars have shown somewhat less interest, however, in exploring how complex visual representation permits a kind of free play to subversive...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMoore, Luisa
dc.date.accessioned2019-12-09T04:18:56Z
dc.identifier.citationLuisa Moore (2019) Textual Critique through the Artist’s Eye: Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Hamlet and Ophelia (1858–59), Shakespeare, 15:2, 136-151, DOI: 10.1080/17450918.2018.1494623
dc.identifier.issn1745-0918
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/188513
dc.description.abstractNineteenth-century visual representations of Shakespeare’s characters offer modern scholars a window into the nuances of the Victorian reception of his plays, and much work has been done in contextualising these images in terms of such issues as Victorian bardolatry, cultural assumptions about gender, class and race, and contemporary theatrical practices. Scholars have shown somewhat less interest, however, in exploring how complex visual representation permits a kind of free play to subversive or “inappropriate” interpretations of characters’ implied interiority, interpretations which the artist might have disowned if fully articulated in prose. Stuart Sillars’ invention of the idea of the “Artist as Critic” paves the way for future scholars: this article contributes to this nascent methodology and further demonstrate its benefits. Taking as a case study Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s 1858–59 pen-and-ink drawing Hamlet and Ophelia, which portrays the opening of the “nunnery” scene, this paper will explore how the non-verbal, non-explicit mode of interpretation typical of visual art allowed Rossetti to subvert the sentimentalised Victorian reception of Hamlet. He drew (without, perhaps, being fully aware of what he was doing) something darker and more disturbing, more akin to the apparently innovative critique of Hamlet spearheaded by Wilson Knight in the 1930s.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherCarfax Publishing, Taylor & Francis Group
dc.rights© 2018 Luisa Moore
dc.sourceShakespeare
dc.subjectVisual art
dc.subjectartist
dc.subjectillustration
dc.subjectVictorian
dc.subjectcharacter analysis
dc.subjectliterary critique
dc.subjectcreative interpretation
dc.titleTextual Critique through the Artist's Eye: Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Hamlet and Ophelia (1858-59)
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume15
dc.date.issued2018-10-01
local.identifier.absfor200503 - British and Irish Literature
local.identifier.ariespublicationu3102795xPUB1377
local.publisher.urlhttps://www.tandfonline.com/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationMoore, Luisa, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue2
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage136
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage151
local.identifier.doi10.1080/17450918.2018.1494623
local.identifier.absseo950203 - Languages and Literature
dc.date.updated2019-07-28T08:17:50Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-85054325281
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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