Stephen Greenblatt (November 07, 1943 - ..)
Born: 7th November, 1943
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Critic
Region: Boston, Massachusetts, "The Swerve: How the World Became Modern", "Practicing New Historicism", "Hamlet in Purgatory"
Notable works: William Shakespeare

Stephen Greenblatt Facts

Biography

Stephen Greenblatt, in full Stephen Jay Greenblatt, (born November 7, 1943, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.), American scholar who was credited with establishing New Historicism, an approach to literary criticism that mandated the interpretation of literature in terms of the milieu from which it emerged, as the dominant mode of Anglo-American literary analysis by the end of the 20th century. He was considered to be among the preeminent scholars of Renaissance literature in the late 20th and early 21st centuries and was particularly noted for his analyses of William Shakespeare's works.

Greenblatt, the son of a lawyer and a housewife, was raised in Newton, Massachusetts. He attended Yale University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in English in 1964. His undergraduate thesis was published as Three Modern Satirists: Waugh, Orwell, and Huxley (1965). A Fulbright scholarship enabled him to attend the University of Cambridge, where he earned a further bachelor's degree (1966) and a master's degree (1969). Greenblatt then returned to Yale, where he completed his doctorate in English (1969). His thesis was published in expanded form as Sir Walter Ralegh: The Renaissance Man and His Roles (1973). Following his graduation, Greenblatt became an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley, where he eventually attained a full professorship in 1979. The next year he published Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare, a treatise on the creation of identity in opposition to cultural factors. In 1982 he cofounded Representations, a wide-ranging journal of culture.

The prevailing mode of literary analysis during Greenblatt's early years in academia, largely under the lingering influence of New Criticism, pointedly divested literary works of their historical context, instead exhorting formal analysis of the works themselves. However, influenced by, among other factors, lectures given by French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault that emphasized cultural explanations for ostensibly monolithic concepts such as "love," Greenblatt began to articulate an approach to literary criticism that accounted for external cultural and historical factors. In a 1982 essay he deemed this approach "new historicism" (using a phrase coined by Wesley Morris in 1972). He later expressed a preference for the term "cultural poetics." Greenblatt continued to expound on that approach in Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England (1987)--in which he famously asserted his desire to "speak with the dead" authors he studied. Further publications included Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture (1990) and Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World (1991). In 1997 Greenblatt became Harry Levin Professor of English at Harvard University, which three years later named him John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities.

In Practicing New Historicism (2000), Greenblatt and coauthor Catherine Gallagher mounted a rigorous defense of New Historicism in response to charges that it lacked definition, casting it as an empirical means of interpretation rather than a dogmatic theory. Greenblatt's Hamlet in Purgatory (2001) delved into Shakespeare's representations of ghosts against the background of the Protestant rejection of the Catholic concept of purgatory. He documented the life and times of Shakespeare in Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare (2004), and he assessed the influence of the 1417 rediscovery of On the Nature of Things, a poem by Lucretius (1st century bce) containing early suggestions about atomic structure, in The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (2011). The latter work received particular acclaim and won both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve (2017) focuses on the biblical origin story.

Greenblatt replaced M.H. Abrams as general editor of the Norton Anthology of English Literature for its eighth edition (2005); he vastly increased the number of female writers included in the compendium. He was also general editor of The Norton Shakespeare (1997; 2nd ed. 2008). He edited numerous other compilations and anthologies, including Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto (2009).

In 2003 he collaborated with playwright Charles Mee on Cardenio, a play that reimagined a lost work by Shakespeare with that name (known only from historical references). The play then became the basis of a project whereby translated versions were interpretively staged and performed by theatre companies worldwide. The original version was staged in 2008 at the American Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts.

Greenblatt was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1987) and the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2008). He served on the executive council of, and was vice president (2000-01) and president (2002) of, the Modern Language Association. In 2016 the Norwegian government awarded Greenblatt the Holberg Prize in honour of his body of work.

Top 20 Stephen Greenblatt quotes

I've been at this for 40 years. And, as an academic, I've been content with relatively small audiences, with the thought that the audience I long for will find its way eventually to what I have written, provided that what I have written is good enough.
Academic
Audience
Audiences
Been
Content
Enough
Eventually
Find
Good
Long
Provided
Relatively
Small
Thought
I believe that nothing comes of nothing, even in Shakespeare. I wanted to know where he got the matter he was working with and what he did with that matter.
Believe
Did
Even
Got
He
I believe
I believe that
Know
Matter
Nothing
Shakespeare
Wanted
Where
Working
What I wanted to do was to get that sense of being in touch with this lost world while holding onto what draws readers and audiences there in the first place.
Audiences
Being
Draws
First
First place
Get
Holding
Lost
Onto
Place
Readers
Sense
Touch
Wanted
I wanted to hold onto and exploit the power of narrative. This is not only a book about a great storyteller, but there have to be stories about the storyteller.
About
Book
Exploit
Great
Hold
Narrative
Only
Onto
Power
Stories
Storyteller
Wanted
First of all, Shakespeare is about pleasure and interest. He was from the first moment he actually wrote something for the stage, and he remains so.
About
Actually
First
First of all
He
Interest
Moment
Pleasure
Remains
Shakespeare
Something
Stage
Wrote
I'm not spitting in my own soup, I love having spent my life thinking about these things-but you don't have to know anything about his life, even though I've just written a biography!
About
Anything
Biography
Even
Having
His
I love
Just
Know
Life
Love
My life
My own
Own
What we know is that Shakespeare wrote perhaps the most remarkable body of passionate love poetry in the English language to a young man.
Body
English
English language
Know
Language
Love
Man
Most
Passionate
Passionate love
Perhaps
Poetry
Remarkable
Shakespeare
Well it is certainly the case that the poems - which were in fact published during Shakespeare's lifetime - are weird if they began or originated in this form, as I think they did, because the poems get out of control.
Because
Began
Case
Certainly
Control
Did
Fact
Form
Get
I think
In fact
Lifetime
Originated
Out
It is not that Shakespeare's art is in technicolor and fancy, and that real life is black and white and tedious. The life that Shakespeare was living was the only life he had, and he had to use it to create what he was doing.
Art
Black
Black and white
Create
Doing
Fancy
Had
He
Life
Living
Only
Real
Real life
Shakespeare
What matters here are the works - finally without them his life would be uninteresting. What matters, that is, are the astonishing things that he left behind. If we can get the life in relation to the works, then it can take off.
Astonishing
Behind
Finally
Get
He
Here
His
Left
Life
Matters
Off
Relation
Take
Them
Now a Protestant confronting a Catholic ghost is exactly Shakespeare's way of grappling with what was not simply a general social problem but one lived out in his own life.
Catholic
Confronting
Exactly
General
Ghost
His
Life
Lived
Now
Out
Own
Problem
Protestant
Shakespeare
First of all, there was a volcano of words, an eruption of words that Shakespeare had never used before that had never been used in the English language before. It's astonishing. It pours out of him.
Astonishing
Been
Before
English
English language
First
First of all
Had
Him
Language
Never
Out
Shakespeare
Used
My father who in this case was an obsessive life-long storyteller, and by a very peculiar trick of my father's. My father would tell a very, very long story, and the punch line would be in Yiddish.
Case
Father
Line
Long
Long story
Obsessive
Peculiar
Punch
Punch line
Story
Storyteller
Tell
Trick
Very
I think the writing of literature should give pleasure. What else should it be about? It is not nuclear physics. It actually has to give pleasure or it is worth nothing.
About
Actually
Else
Give
I think
Literature
Nothing
Nuclear
Nuclear physics
Physics
Pleasure
Should
Think
Worth
But if Shakespeare himself is maybe about meaning and truth, I don't know, then he is certainly about pleasure and interest, we start with pleasure and interest, but maybe eventually it gets to meaning and truth.
About
Certainly
Eventually
Gets
He
Himself
Interest
Know
Maybe
Meaning
Pleasure
Shakespeare
Start
Then
I believe in broken, fractured, complicated narratives, but I believe in narratives as a vehicle for truth, not simply as a form of entertainment, though I love entertainment, but also a way of conveying what needs to be conveyed about the works that I care about.
About
Also
Believe
Broken
Care
Complicated
Conveyed
Entertainment
Form
Fractured
I believe
I believe in
I care
I love
The Shakespeare that Shakespeare became is the name that's attached to these astonishing objects that he left behind.
Astonishing
Attached
Became
Behind
He
Left
Name
Objects
Shakespeare
I believe that it is a whole lifetime of work on Shakespeare's part that enabled him to do what he did. But the question is how you can explain this whole lifetime in such a way to make it accessible and available to us, to me.
Accessible
Available
Believe
Did
Explain
He
Him
How
I believe
I believe that
Lifetime
Make
Me
Part
But I never listen to music while I'm writing.
Listen
Music
Never
While
Writing
No special writing rituals. And my desk is usually cluttered.
Cluttered
Desk
Rituals
Special
Writing

Stephen Greenblatt essays

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The Better half Of Bath English Literature Essay
Writer Geoffrey Chaucer was born in 1342, when he was created is still mysterious. Chaucer became a knight and a member of the king's home. Chaucer ran many errands all around European countries. With increased understanding of contemporary society, it paved the way for The Canterbury Stories. Chaucer perished in October 1400 and buried in Westminster Abbey. Chaucer was one of the first to have gathered in what's now known as the Poet's Place in Westminster Abbey. The Canterbury Stories were written sometime between 1387 and 1400. Via all strolls of life; It really is a tale of a numerous of people..
Lanval and Friend Gawain as well as the Green Knight Essay illustrations
Jessica De France's Lanval can be described as remarkable brief narrative that engages you into a world filled with impractical elements, nevertheless enhances on the true that means of love, chivalry and nature through the years that King Arthur reigned. "Sir Gawain and The Green Knight" sadly does not offer an author that can be recognized although this legendary poem illustrates the dreadful adventure of a knight who also decides to protect the honor of young King Arthur against a supernatural staying in this malicious game of cat and mouse. Both of these pieces of literature..
Social Tension and the Pantheistic Call back to Nature Since illustrated in "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"
Through the Medieval age in England, a time of religious and social alter, the Catholic Church actively sought to out-root the pagan affects - at least try - and bring in new cultural norms and understanding of mother nature and the environment. Paganism and it is pantheistic and animistic sub-parts defined pre-Christian England since man first inhabited the island. These concepts contrast highly with the Christian "justifications to get dominating nature" (Kline 3). "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" shows this social/religious transition and conflict through the..
Milton's Satan Article example
Milton's Satan in Haven Lost can be described as complex character meant to be the evil estimate the legendary poem. Whenever possible Satan endeavors to weaken God as well as the Son of God that is the true main character of the history. Throughout the story Milton tells the readers that Satan can be an nasty character, he's meant to not have any redeeming attributes, and to be shown entirely as a great unsympathetic figure. Satan's greatest sins happen to be pride and vanity in thinking he can overthrow Our god, and in early part of the composition he is portrayed as self-centered..
Shakespeare's Rebuttal to Possibilities in Sonnet 96 Dissertation
Shakespeare's Rebuttal to Options in Sonnet 96Shakespeare's apostrophic "Sonnet 96, " one of the sonnets written for the blond young man, is organized similar to a rebuttal in an disagreement or debate. " In the first three quatrains, this individual describes a lot of possibilities, including the youth's earning nature and potential for mischief, only to refute them inside the couplet. inches He commences with concise one-line details in the initial quatrain, ways to a comparison utilizing the entire complainte in the second, and transitions to two-line..
Shakespeare's Rich II Essay: The Rape of a Region
Richard II  - The Rape of a LandBy bowing down to the needs of his topics, a full allows others to determine his activities and hence short-cuts the importance of his power. Paradoxically, failing to heed the desires of his topics transforms a king in a self-indulgent tyrant and propels his kingdom towards destroy and corrosion. Can a sovereign guideline his themes without considering their particular general well being? If a california king rules unconscionably, do his subjects have right to change him? William Shakespeare's Richard II thinks this authoritarian quandary at great size...
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