By W. David Shaw
In The Ghost in the back of the Masks, W. David Shaw traces
Shakespeare’s effect on 9 Victorian poets: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning,
Christina Rossetti, Thomas Hardy, Matthew Arnold, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Algernon Swinburne,
Arthur Hugh Clough, and George Meredith. usually, he writes, the transparency of Shakespeare's
effect on Victorian poets and the measure in their engagement with Shakespeare exist in
inverse ratio. rather than imitating a play by way of Shakespeare or purely quoting his traces, a
Victorian poet may well include extra elusive parts of rhetoric and elegance, adapting them to his or
her personal ends.
Shaw argues that the main Shakespearean characteristic of the
Victorian poets isn't their dependancy to any specific trope or determine of speech yet their
reticence, the classical restraint in their nice monologues, and their unexpected descent from
grandeur to simplicity. He explores such themes as man-made legislations as opposed to usual correct, Stoic
fatalism as opposed to self-reliance, and the sanity of lunatics, fans, and poets as opposed to the madness
of common minds.