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Ecocriticism and Shakespeare: Reading Ecophobia

Series: Literatures, Cultures, and the Environment

By: Simon C Estok (Author)

196 pages, 5 b/w illustrations


Paperback | Sep 2014 | #214930 | ISBN-13: 9781137446893
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £18.99 $23/€21 approx
Paperback | Mar 2011 | #214931 | ISBN-13: 9780230112568
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £59.99 $73/€67 approx

About this book

Ecocriticism and Shakespeare offers the term "ecophobia" as a way of understanding and organizing representations of contempt for the natural world. Estok argues that this vocabulary is both necessary to the developing area of ecocritical studies and for understandings of the representations of "Nature" in Shakespeare. Engaging close readings with theoretical sophistication, Ecocriticism and Shakespeare is a path-breaking contribution to both Shakespearean scholarship and the burgeoning field of ecocriticism. Refreshingly, Estok takes readers back to the radical possibilities ecocriticism began with to give new insight into a dramatist who had a lot to say about the natural world.

"For those of us who turn to him for intellectual provocation, this book is a more-than-welcome contribution to Shakespeare scholarship, to ecocriticism, and to critical theory."
– Dan Brayton, Middlebury College, USA, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment

"'Ecophobia' has already begun to gain currency, making Estok the first early modernist to have a perceptible impact on ecocriticism. This alone would make Ecocriticism and Shakespeare a milestone work, setting aside its other considerable merits. It balances the claims of historicism and presentism, activism and theoretical integrity more deftly than previous studies. It unearths fresh or unsung categories in Shakespearean criticism such as environmental fear, disgust, and sleep. It dares those who teach Shakespeare to practice an activist pedagogy that engages students in environmental politics."
Early Modern Literary Studies

"In this thorough and original study, Estok widens the scope of ecological criticism in two ways. Estok contributes to the emerging field of early modern ecological studies in an excellent investigation of Shakespeare and outlines a theory of ecophobia, tracing its genesis through gender and psychoanalytic thinking. Estok challenges us to think deeply about ecology, theory, and culture."
– Timothy Morton, Professor of English, University of California Davis, USA and author of The Ecological Thought

"In this ecology of reading and reading of ecology, Estok moves beyond the earlier studies of nature in Shakespeare to an important exploration of reading and representation that addresses the crisis in our environment and that provides another way to understand and resist alienation and stereotyping."
– Jonathan Hart, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Alberta, Canada

"A fresh and theoretically sophisticated analysis of Shakespearean drama through the lens of ecophobia. Estok's work is known for making the uncomfortable inaccuracies between theory and practice visible, highlighting the distinction between ecocriticism's activist origins and its institutionalization within the academy. He persistently brings questions of economic privilege, race, gender, sexuality, and nation to bear on environmental and literary topics."
– Greta Gaard, Associate Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, USA and author of The Nature of Home

"This is the book we have been awaiting from Simon Estok. Theoretically challenging to both Shakespeareans and ecocritics alike, its combinations of ethics and scholarship, close reading and polemics, originality and lucidity, make it essential reading for students and scholars who want to see cutting-edge criticism at work."
– Terry Gifford, Visiting Scholar, Centre for Writing and Environment, Bath Spa University, UK, and Senior Research Fellow and Profesor Honorifico, Filologia Inglesa, Universidad de Alicante, Spain and author of Green Voices, Reconnecting with John Muir, and Pastoral


1. Doing Ecocriticism with Shakespeare
2. Dramatizing Environmental Fear: King Lear's Unpredictable Natural Spaces and Domestic Places
3. Coriolanus and Ecocriticism: A Study in Confluent Theorizing
4. Pushing the Limits of Ecocriticism: Environment and Social Resistance in 2 Henry VI and 2 Henry IV
5. Monstrosity in Othello and Pericles: Race, Gender, and Ecophobia
6. Disgust, Metaphor, Women: Ecophobic Confluences
7. Staging Exotica and Ecophobia
8. The Ecocritical Unconscious: Early Modern Sleep as 'Go-between'

Coda: Ecocriticism on the Lip of a Lion

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Simon C. Estok is Professor of English and teaches ecocriticism, literary theory, and Shakespearean literature at Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea, where he is a Junior Fellow. Estok has published in such journals as PMLA, Mosaic, Configurations, English Studies in Canada, ISLE, and others and is the Associate Editor for CLCWeb.

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