This is a fascinating study revealing Shakespeare's career-long
engagement with the sea and his frequent use of maritime imagery.
We need a poetic history of the ocean, and Shakespeare can help us
find one. There's more real salt in the plays than we first expect.
Shakespeare's dramatic ocean spans the God-sea of the ancient world
and the immense blue vistas that early modern mariners navigated.
Throughout his career, from the opening shipwrecks of "The Comedy
of Errors" through "The Tempest", Shakespeare's plays figure the
ocean as shocking physical reality and mind-twisting symbol of
change and instability. To fathom Shakespeare's ocean - to go down
to its bottom - this book's chapters focus on different things that
humans do with and in and near the sea: fathoming, keeping watch,
swimming, beachcombing, fishing, and drowning. Mentz also sets
Shakespeare's sea-poetry against modern literary seascapes,
including the vast Pacific of "Moby-Dick", the rocky coast of
Charles Olson's "Maximus Poems", and the lyrical waters of the
postcolonial "Caribbean". Uncovering the depths of Shakespeare's
maritime world, this book draws out the centrality of the sea in
our literary culture. "Shakespeare Now!" is a series of short books
that engage imaginatively and often provocatively with the
possibilities of Shakespeare's plays. It goes back to the source -
the most living language imaginable - and recaptures the
excitement, audacity and surprise of Shakespeare. It will return
you to the plays with opened eyes.