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Arguing that belief in a universal human nature was as important to Shakespeare as to every other Renaissance writer, this book questions the central principle of postmodern Shakespeare criticism. Postmodernists insist that the notion of a defining human essence was alien to Shakespeare and his contemporaries and as radical anti-essentialists, the Elizabethans were, in effect, postmodernists before their time. Challenging this claim, this book demonstrates that for Shakespeare, as for every other humanist writer in this period, the key to all wise action was 'the knowledge of our selves and our human condition.'
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