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Palgrave Macmillan

Evolving Hamlet

Seventeenth-Century English Tragedy and the Ethics of Natural Selection

ISBN 9780230320659
Publication Date March 2011
Formats Ebook (EPUB) Hardcover Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Cognitive Studies in Literature and Performance

Where science has often been used to explore the questions raised by art, this book does the reverse, suggesting that art can address a problem raised by science: the deep challenge to ethics posed by Darwin's discovery that we are intentional beings living in an unintentional world. Using Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth, among others, Angus Fletcher shows how the physical experience of art can transform Darwin's discouraging theory into a practice-based ethics that establishes pluralism, curiosity, and cooperation as the basis of progressive life.

Angus Fletcher is an Assistant Professor of Critical Studies at USC.

Introduction: The Descent of Ethics * Faustus, Macbeth, and The Riddle of Tomorrow * Partial Belief in Julius Caesar and Hamlet * Othello and the Subject of Ocular Proof * The Indian Emperor and the Reason of New World Conflict * Cartesian Pity and the New Shakespeare * King Lear and the Endurance of Tragedy * The Progress of Ethics


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