The Myth of Deliverance: Reflections on Shakespeare's Problem Comedies

By Northrop Frye Introduction by A.C. Hamilton

© 1993

In these essays Northrop Frye addresses a question which preoccupied him throughout his long and distinguished career – the conception of comedy, particularly Shakespearean comedy, and its relation to human experience.

In most forms of comedy, and certainly in the New Comedy with which Shakespeare was concerned, the emphasis is on moving towards a climax in which the end incorporates the beginning. Such a climax is a vision of deliverance or expanded energy and freedom. Frye draws on the Aristotelian notion of reversal, or peripeteia, to analyse the three plays commonly known as the 'problem comedies': Measure for MeasureAll's Well That Ends Well, and Troilus and Cressida, showing how they anticipate the romances of Shakespeare's final period.

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Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.9in x 0.3in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP001760

  • PUBLISHED APR 1993

    From: $20.21

    Regular Price: $26.95

    ISBN 9780802077813
  • PUBLISHED APR 1993

    From: $39.75

    Regular Price: $53.00

Quick Overview

Frye draws on the Aristotelian notion of reversal, or peripeteia, to analyse the three plays commonly known as the 'problem comedies': Measure for MeasureAll's Well That Ends Well, and Troilus and Cressida, showing how they anticipate the romances of Shakespeare's final period.

The Myth of Deliverance: Reflections on Shakespeare's Problem Comedies

By Northrop Frye Introduction by A.C. Hamilton

© 1993

In these essays Northrop Frye addresses a question which preoccupied him throughout his long and distinguished career – the conception of comedy, particularly Shakespearean comedy, and its relation to human experience.

In most forms of comedy, and certainly in the New Comedy with which Shakespeare was concerned, the emphasis is on moving towards a climax in which the end incorporates the beginning. Such a climax is a vision of deliverance or expanded energy and freedom. Frye draws on the Aristotelian notion of reversal, or peripeteia, to analyse the three plays commonly known as the 'problem comedies': Measure for MeasureAll's Well That Ends Well, and Troilus and Cressida, showing how they anticipate the romances of Shakespeare's final period.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.9in x 0.3in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Northrop Frye (1912-1991) was one of the twentieth century's most influential English scholars and literary critics. Northrop Frye was a professor in the Department of English at Victoria University in the University of Toronto from 1939 until his death. His works include Words with Power and Anatomy of Criticism.



    A.C. Hamilton is Cappon Professor of English at Queen’s University.