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A CRITICAL STUDY OF
HIS MIND AND ART
EDWARD DOWDEN, LL.D.
FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE
IN THE UNIVERSITY OF DUBLIN
With an Introduction and a brief
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH
HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
NEW YORK AND LONDON
Copyright, 1918, by Harper & Brothers
Published June, 1918
INTRODUCTION TO NEW EDITION.
FEW books of a critical nature dealing with Shakspere have so utterly possessed the vitality of Dowden's Shakspere-His Mind and Art. Few books have so thoroughly fulfilled the hope of their author that it might bring readers to a discipleship to the subject of the criticism. This has been accomplished, for the reason that Professor Dowden honestly attempted to make Shakspere stand out as a living artist, working in the real stuff of human life. “Shakspere did not, in the fashion of idealists, hastily abandon the life which seemed to entail a certain spiritual loss; he recognized the reality of external objective duties and claims, duties to his father, to his family, to his own future self; he accepted the logic of facts; he compelled the lower and provisional life of player and playwright to become servant of his higher life, as far as circumstances permitted; and he carefully and steadily applied himself to effecting his deliverance from that provisional life at the earliest suitable period.” Professor Dowden has tried consistently to trace the growth of intellect and character from youth to maturity, constantly observing in Shakspere a “sufficient recognition of external fact, external claims and obligations.”
Starting with the conscious purpose of conceiving the varied and subtle personality of Shakspere, Professor