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Shakespeare's Lyric StageMyth, Music, and Poetry in the Last Plays$
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Seth Lerer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226582405

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226582689.001.0001

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Aesthetic Judgment and the Audience in Cymbeline

Aesthetic Judgment and the Audience in Cymbeline

(p.140) 5 Aesthetic Judgment and the Audience in Cymbeline
Shakespeare's Lyric Stage

Seth Lerer

University of Chicago Press

This chapter presents Cymbeline as a play that dramatizes tensions between lyrical performance and the bad audience. Focusing on the figure of Cloten, the chapter sees him as a kind of Midas-like figure: one who judges poorly in the face of musical beauty. The chapter also argues that the poetry of the Roman lyricist Catullus features prominently in the play: as a source for speeches, but also as a model for a distinctively urbane Roman lyric tradition in a play politically concerned with the relationship of ancient Britain to the Empire.

Keywords:   Cymbeline, Cloten, Catullus, aesthetics, decapitation, Orpheus, harmony

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