Shakespeare's storms

By Gwilym Jones

Shakespeare's storms


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1682-6
  • Pages: 216
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £14.99
  • Published Date: September 2016
  • BIC Category: Early Modern Literature, Literature, Literary studies: plays & playwrights, Literature: history & criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, LITERARY CRITICISM / Shakespeare, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: plays & playwrights, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism, Literature & literary studies / Shakespeare studies & criticism


Winner of the 2016 Shakespeare's Globe Book Award

The first comprehensive study of Shakespeare's storms. Whether the apocalyptic storm of King Lear or the fleeting thunder imagery of Hamlet, or the thunderbolt of Pericles, there is an instance of storm in every one of Shakespeare's plays.

This book explains the storm effects used in early modern playhouses, and how they filter into Shakespeare's dramatic language. With chapters on Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, Pericles and The Tempest, Jones traces the development of the storm over the second half of the playwright's career, when Shakespeare took the storm to new extremes. Interspersed are chapters on thunder, lightning, wind and rain, in which Jones reveals Shakespeare's meteorological understanding and offers nuanced readings of his imagery. Throughout, Shakespeare's Storms brings theatre history to bear on modern theories of literature and the environment.


'Jones is evocative in his attempts to imagine the volume and spectacle of these events in a quieter world, one "without traffic and aircraft noises or cinema or volume controls" in which a natural storm might have been "a touchstone of loudness."'
Elizabeth Scott-Baumann TLS, March 2016

'Gwilym Jones's Shakespeare's Storms offers an engaging and informative discussion of storms - and all of their constituent parts - and the theatrical presentations of those storms.'
Darlene Farabee, University of South Dakota, Renaissance Quarterly Vol LXIX, No. 3

'The book is masterfully organised into nine chapters that cover just about every aspect of storms in Shakespeare. Beginning with 'thunder' (a fine way to begin a book)'
Simon C. Estok, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Studies in Ecocriticism - February 2017

'Shakespeare's Storms is a remarkably well-plotted book.'
Edward J. Geisweidt, University of New Haven, Early Theatre 20.1

'Shakespeare's Storms' overall achievement is to prove the relevance of chasing something as seemingly ephemeral as the weather in order to reveal how such meteorological phenomena shape our relationship to the world around us. It is an original and fascinating study that will be of interest to scholars researching ecocriticism, performance history, and early modern drama from a range of thematic and practical approaches.'
Miranda Fay Thomas, Shakespeare's Globe, London, Symbolism 17



2016 Shakespeare's Globe Book Award


1. Thunder
2. Storm and the spectacular: Julius Caesar
3. Lightning
4. King Lear: storm and the event
5. Wind
6. Macbeth: supernatural storms, equivocal earthquakes
7. Rain
8. Pericles: storm and scripture
9. The Tempest: storm and theatrical reality


Gwilym Jones is Lecturer in English at the University of Westminster

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