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Emmalie Wells

Sister Robinson

ENG 252

May 25, 2018

Word Count: 1022

Article Analysis of Shakespeare Quarterly

I decided to take a look at Shakespeare Quarterly, the leading peer-reviewed journal in

Shakespearean studies. I read through the abstracts from Volume 67, Issue 1, and Volume 68

Issues 1-3.The topics of these abstracts and articles covered a variety of topics. I chose three

articles from 67.1., 68.1. and 68.3., and they covered a few different topics and concerns. The

articles I chose are: "All's Well That Ends Well" and the Art of Love," James Kuzner, V. 68

Issue 3, "A New Scholarly Song: Rereading Early Modern Race," Peter Erickson and Kim F

Hall, V. 67 Issue 1, and "Secret Art and Public Spectacles: The Parameters of Elizabethan

Magic," Stephen Orgel, V. 68 Issue 1. In this essay I will explore the topics and themes of these

articles, as well as the research methods, strategies of establishing importance, and how each

author, or authors, engage or acknowledged other scholars of the same topic.

The first article I will talk about is “‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ and the Art of Love.”

The author, James Kuzner, explored the themes of unrequited love, corrupt relationships, and

masochism, the disposition to get pleasure from one’s own pain and misery. James Kuzner is

Associate Professor of English at Brown University, and he specializes in early modern

literature. In this article, Kuzner uses a few different methods of gathering research and

presenting evidence. He first uses another play, called A Modest Mean to Marriage, to compare
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the theme of unrequited love to All’s Well That Ends Well. He also compares both plays to

another work, Venus in Furs. This pattern of using other authors works and stories to prove his

point is commonplace in his essay. At one point he even references Fifty Shades of Grey when

talking about masochism. He also refers to an essay written by Melissa Sanchez, a fellow

English scholar. Sanchez is writing about Helena of A Midsummers Nights Dream, but he

compares the two Helenas. Kuzner summarized Sanchez’s work before informing his readers

that he agrees with her and hopes to “add to what Sanchez offers(pp. 219).” This is also an

excellent example on how Kuzner acknowledges and engages other scholars in his works.

Another example of his evidence to support his claims is several lines and passages from the play

itself that he shares, then writing of his interpretation. Kuzner also constantly uses authoritative

language, stating his findings and interpretations as fact. All in all, this essay is a good example

of an analytical piece, a good reference for the understanding of and dissection of All’s Well

That Ends Well.

The next piece I want to dive into is "A New Scholarly Song: Rereading Early Modern

Race.” This essay was written by two former editors of Shakespeare Quarterly, Peter Erickson

and Kim F. Hall. Peter Erickson is a Shakespearean author known for his feminist criticism. Kim

F. Hall is a professor of English and Africana studies at Barnard College, and has a wide

repertoire of specialities that apply to this article she wrote with Peter Erickson, which is more

informational and persuasive than analytical. Their main point was that as a scholarly

community, not much has changed in way of viewing race. Much of how scholars and readers

alike view different races is the same or similar to the way it always has. Erickson and Hall use a

few ways to showcase their research and thought process. They use some history of racial

differences in the past few years, including the #BlackLivesMatter trend. There are also really
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long citations on the bottom of each page, containing both the references and works cited, and

further explanation of the authors thoughts and evidence. They try to engage their audience with

a four phase time frame to work things out. They use some of these works to concentrate on

directing people towards how they think we should regard race in scholarly studies and

approaches, including on how to continue studies on early modern racial views. They use a lot of

strong, assertive language throughout the essay, leaving no question on their knowledge and

authority.

The third and final article I analysed is "Secret Art and Public Spectacles: The Parameters

of Elizabethan Magic.” This article was written by Stephen Orgel, and was the most interesting

article I’ve read. Orgel is an English Professor at Stanford, and is best known as a Shakespearean

scholar, writing primarily about historical and political context in Renaissance literature. This

essay, however, branches out in a few ways. He also uses ample bottom of the page citations and

notes to showcase his evidence and further explain his thoughts, very much like Erickson and

Hall. He pulls from Shakespeare’s The Tempest and other similar works from various authors as

he goes about explaining the presence of magic in the Elizabethan Era. As for acknowledging

other scholars, he spends much of the essay discussing mathematician/philosopher/scientist John

Dee, a strong believer in conjuration. Orgel reveals that the Folger Shakespeare Library contains

a manuscript conjuring book, the one John Dee was fascinated with. He also uses a fair amount

of fantastical language to add to the theme of magic. Orgel also gives examples of “magical”

remedies, such as vervain as a cure for epilepsy, that worked in this Era and people viewed it as

magic. He ends with “...magic is everywhere(pp. 91).” This plain statement is an example of his

fact based views of Elizabethan Magic.


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As we can see, there is a wide variety of questions, topics and themes covered in

Shakespeare Quarterly. From race, to magic, to love, and everywhere in between, Shakespeare

Quarterly has got your back. I learned from this analysis that possibilities of issues in English

Studies are as wide as the sky is high. People who assume that English is a boring, useless or

uninteresting major with nothing good to discuss should read a few articles of Shakespeare

Quarterly. This journal takes well written analyses and publishes them for our enjoyment and

education. Shakespeare Quarterly should become every English scholar’s go to source for any

Shakespearean connections, articles or critiques.

Works Cited

Kuzner, James. “Alls Well That Ends Well and the Art of Love.” Shakespeare Quarterly, vol.
68,
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no. 3, 2017, pp. 215–240., doi:10.1353/shq.2017.0027.

Erickson, Peter, and Kim F. Hall. “‘A New Scholarly Song’: Rereading Early Modern Race.”
Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 67, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1–13., doi:10.1353/shq.2016.0002.

Orgel, Stephen. “Secret Arts and Public Spectacles: The Parameters of Elizabethan Magic.”
Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 68, no. 1, 2017, pp. 80–91., doi:10.1353/shq.2017.0004.