Mind, Nature, Heterodoxy, and Iconoclasm in the Winter’s Tale
Free Public Lecture
John Medley Building
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The argument of this presentation is that the mind's independence from determination by reality is presented as the source of tragedy in The Winter's Tale. Richard Striers argument is that the play treats this issue with philosophical precision but also with an overwhelming sense of pathology. The realm of "belief" is the focus. This realm is shown to be both a source of terrible danger and a source of potential redemption, and the play provides a mechanism for moving from one to the other. The relation of nature to the mind turns out to be the heart of the play's religious as well as its philosophical dimension.
Richard Strier is the Frank L. Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor emeritus from the English Department, Divinity School, and the College of the University of Chicago, is the author of The Unrepentant Renaissance from Petrarch to Shakespeare to Milton (2011) - which won the Robert Penn Warren-Cleanth Brooks Award for Literary Criticism - Resistant Structures: Particularity, Radicalism, and Renaissance Texts (1995); and Love Known: Theology and Experience in George Herbert's Poetry (1983).
He has co-edited a number of interdisciplinary collections including, most recently, Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation Among Disciplines and Professions (with Bradin Cormack and Martha Nussbaum); Writing and Political Engagement in Seventeenth-Century England (with Derek Hirst); Religion, Literature and Politics in Post-Reformation England, 1540-1688 (with Donna Hamilton); The Theatrical City: Culture, Theatre and Politics in London, 1576-1649 (with David L. Smith and David Bevington); and The Historical Renaissance: New Essays in Tudor and Stuart Literature and Culture (with Heather Dubrow). He has published essays on Shakespeare, Donne, Luther, Montaigne, and Milton, and on formalism and twentieth-century critical theory.