The Green Shakespeare: An Ecocritical Reading | | Hacettepe Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Dergisi
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The Green Shakespeare: An Ecocritical Reading



The physical environment has always been a major concern of inquiry and research for scientists. Yet, throughout history, it has also been of interest to men of letters. Science has made this inquiry through the pragmatics of scientific methodology involving experimentation, observation, measurement and other procedures so that we may learn about the environment. As for literature, it has been concerned with the environment through a mimetic and exegetical representation. So, the environment has become a common ground where both literature and science converge in order to instruct and enlighten us so that we may live in a sustainable harmony with the natural world. In this respect, by arousing our interest, literature contributes indirectly to the enhancement of our environmental sensitivity. Besides its mimetic practice, literature is also involved in various processes of exegesis, which constitute the basis of the current ecocritical theory and gesture to a new field of study. This new field has aptly been called the environmental humanities. Historically, although the ecocritical theory and its pragmatics have been a recent concern of literary scholarship, the mimetic interest in the natural world has always been a recurrent fact ever since the beginnings of literary writings. Indeed, through its varied representations of nature, literature has enabled us to reshape and broaden our sense of a sustainable environment. Moreover, by problematizing and discussing environmental issues, it has urged us to revisit our cultural values and assumptions about nature and its conservation. Therefore, literary studies with relation to environmental representation in texts can be instructive and upgrade our awareness of the natural world. In this respect, one may wonder whether, for instance, Shakespeares depiction of the natural world, and his use of ecological settings and landscapes in some of his plays can be read in terms of an environmental awareness. Hence, this article is an attempt to demonstrate how some of Shakespeares plays are embedded with ecological implications and subtexts. In this regard, besides brief references to his other plays, especially As You Like It, The Winters Tale, and The Tempest will be the main focus of the article.

Anahtar Kelimeler

: Shakespeare, ecocriticism, Shakespeare and environment, Shakespeare and ecology, environmental studies