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The Mysteries of the Heights
Publication Date: May 2014
Price: £29.99
Extent: 120 pp (tbc)
Format: Demy HB
Subject: Literary Criticism

A Study of Titus Andronicus,
Hamlet and Macbeth

Arnab Baul

This book attempts to look into the problematic trajectories of Shakespeare's use of violence in three of his tragedies—Titus Andronicus, Hamlet and Macbeth and considers the possibility of their contemporary interpretations. The strategy of Shakespeare's use of violence varies from play to play. If in Titus Andronicus the naked display of brutality between warring tribal fractions is reminiscent of violence of interethnic wars, Hamlet shows the birth of a new politics of power, germinating from violent acts of fratricide. Macbeth, on the other hand, links violence with Scottish and English historiography of seventeenth century and tease out general patterns of political violence. Instead of focussing only the visible, subjective acts of physical violence in the three plays, to measure their macabre properties, the book expounds the covert potentials of a violent system and its repressive apparatus, to highlight the ubiquitous nature of violence. By combining theoretically informed criticism with in-depth textual analysis, with a view to understand dubious issues that are linked with Shakespeare's use of violence —ideology, politics and strategies of governance, the book is a serious study of violence as it corrodes Shakespeare's time as it does with ours.

Arnab Baul is an Assistant Professor in English at Surya Sen College, University of North Bengal, India.

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