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Wilderness of Tigers

Michael Neill: Shakespeare’s Latin, 19 March 2015

Shakespeare and Classical Antiquity 
by Colin Burrow.
Oxford, 281 pp., £16.99, September 2013, 978 0 19 968479 3
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... satire and romantic tragedy. It was such violations of classical decorum that so affronted Philip Sidney and caused him to rail against his contemporaries’ taste for ‘mongrel tragi-comedy’. Shakespeare liked nothing better than to tease or confound his audience’s expectations: he renders the tragic effect of Othello even more cruel by means of ...

In the Shady Wood

Michael Neill: Staging the Forest, 22 March 2018

The Shakespearean Forest 
by Anne Barton.
Cambridge, 185 pp., £75, August 2017, 978 0 521 57344 3
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... trees and bushes seem to have been used to satisfy the audience’s sense of a forested landscape. Philip Henslowe’s list of stage properties for the Rose Theatre included a ‘bay tree’, ‘Tantalus’ tree’, and a ‘tree of golden apples’. In plays such as Lyly’s Galatea, Barton writes, ‘an entire woodland region’ seems to have been suggested ...

Unmuscular Legs

E.S. Turner, 22 August 1996

The Dictionary of National Biography 1986-1990 
edited by C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 607 pp., £50, June 1996, 0 19 865212 7
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... Sir Sacheverell has ever been made freeman of Lima?) Swimming against the current of the times, Philip Ziegler forbears to speculate on the precise nature of Wallis Simpson’s appeal to her monarch. There is little doubt that if the subjects of this volume had had to wait to be considered for a decennial harvesting, as used to be the way, quite a number of ...

Am I a spaceman?

Adam Phillips: Wilhelm Reich, 20 October 2011

Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex 
by Christopher Turner.
Fourth Estate, 532 pp., £25, August 2011, 978 0 00 718157 5
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... of the man emerges rather than a diagnosis. With the notable exception of Charles Rycroft and Philip Rieff, Reich has not been well served by biographers and critics; like all psychoanalytic mavericks he has either been unduly denigrated or too highly prized. Reich as portrayed in Turner’s book is an unusually shrewd, intelligent and driven man who, at ...

Pink and Bare

Bee Wilson: Nicole Kidman, 8 February 2007

Nicole Kidman 
by David Thomson.
Bloomsbury, 311 pp., £18.99, September 2006, 0 7475 7710 2
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... face and torso recognisably attached. In The Human Stain (2003), the ill-conceived adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel, in which we are supposed to believe that Anthony Hopkins is a black man and Kidman a humble janitor, we see the Kidman rear from a different angle as she ‘is stretched out quite naked, amber, curved, ripe and Giorgione-esque’. In ...

Diary

Marina Warner: Medea, 3 December 2015

... usually discounted as childish make-believe. It has been most powerfully adopted by writers like Philip Pullman who are read principally by children. It also serves the crucial mythic purpose of mapping limits and prohibitions, demarcating the centre ground where fathers don’t eat their children, brothers don’t marry their sisters, and mothers don’t ...

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