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Attribution and Tribute in Pericles

  • Richard Hillman

Abstract

The figure of Gower in Pericles used to embarrass with his quaintness; nowadays, as often as not, he dazzles with his theatrical savoir faire. His choric role is increasingly recognised as a functional part of the play’s dramatic method, while the function itself has become the chief subject of debate, most of which concerns the issue of mediation: does the Chorus create alienation or engagement, and exactly how?1 The proliferation of aesthetic arguments reflects a welcome tendency to approach the play as a textual entity, whatever its circumstances of composition and however ‘incoherent’ its style. At the same time, the poststructuralist problematisation of authorship as a concept can be invoked to avoid even positing an assumption of responsibility by a single dramatist — presumably Shakespeare — for the work’s final form. And this absence of an author, after years of author-hunting, throws into relief the metadramatic investment of the Chorus — the play’s most stable presence, after all, and inevitably the audience’s confidant — with precisely that responsibility, and so with authority over the narrative and its meanings.

Keywords

Book VIII Textual Entity Stable Presence Henry Versus Power Attribution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Richard Hillman 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Hillman
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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