Spring 1987 • Vol. IX No. 2 Book Reviews |

Stages of Understanding: Frye’s Lectures on Shakespeare

Northrop Frye on Shakespeare edited by Robert Sandler. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1986. 186 pages. $17.95.   Many of us who teach would regard the ephemeral nature of our lectures to be their redeeming feature. Conscious of the need to "cover" Macbeth or King Lear in fifty minutes (which may involve summarizing dense areas of Renaissance thought as context, or introducing students to generic, textual, and linguistic matters), we arrive unhappily at crude formulations or resort to grandly rhetorical closures. Perhaps, too, we evade—by simply failing to raise—the difficult questions. Northrop Frye's lectures on Shakespeare to undergraduates at Victoria College, University of Toronto, demonstrate that it is possible for a scholar to shape rich and complex readings to the demands of the lecture hall. Transcribed and modified for publication under the title Northrop Frye on Shakespeare, the lectures are at once an admirably clear introduction to and a sophis

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