Two Worlds and Their Ways by Ivy Compton-Burnett

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By Ivy Compton-Burnett

Sefton and his sister Clemence are dispatched to split boarding faculties. Their father's moment marriage, in addition to their mother's economies, presents ideal possibilities for mockery, and residential turns into a resource of disgrace. extra wretched is their mother's insistence that they excel. Their determined potential to delight her incite grownup opprobrium, yet how did the kids learn how to lie to? the following staccato discussion, brittle aphorisms and an excoriating wit are used to remarkable and subversive influence ruthlessly to reveal the injuries underneath the outside of kinfolk life.

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Sample text

In his lectures, translated into English in 1846, Schlegel identifies characterization as one of Shakespeare’s most dominant qualities: Never, perhaps, was there so comprehensive a talent for characterization as Shakspeare. It . . grasps every diversity of range, age and sex, down to the lispings of infancy. . the king and the beggar, the hero and the pickpocket, the sage and the idiot, speak and act with equal truthfulness; not only does he transport himself to distant ages and foreign nations .

Of Richard II, Dowden notes: Life is to Richard a show, a succession of images; and to put himself into accord with the aesthetic requirements of his position is Richard’s first necessity. He is equal to playing any part gracefully which he is called upon by circumstances to enact. But when he has exhausted the aesthetic satisfaction to be derived from the situations of life, he is left with nothing further to do. He is an amateur in living; not an artist. (1875: 195) By contrast, Bolingbroke is a practical, self-controlled and powerful figure.

Thus Richard III is seen to ‘display the working out of God’s plan to restore England to prosperity’ (1969: 205); ‘Shakespeare conceived his second tetralogy as one great unit’ (1969: 240) and this ‘epic’ run of plays must therefore be treated as ‘a single organism’ (1969: 242); and Genre 35 ‘Richard II does its work in proclaiming the great theme of the whole cycle of Shakespeare’s History Plays: the beginning in prosperity, the distortion of prosperity by a crime, civil war, and ultimate renewal of prosperity’ (1969: 267).

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