Fertility and Infertility: Shakespeare's Anti-deforestation Stance An Ecocritical Reading of Cymbeline

نوع المستند : المقالة الأصلية


Cairo University


      Ecocriticism is a field of study concerned with the reciprocal relationship between the environment and literature. It shows how both nature and culture, on one hand, and literature, on the other hand, influence one another. The aim of the eco-critical approach to literature is to spot light on environmental crises trying to find solutions for them. Although multiple literary works were studied in the light of the eco-critical approach, yet very few of Shakespeare’s works were examined, which is the aim of this research paper. This paper offers an eco-critical reading of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline (1603) focusing on Shakespeare’s implicit response to the environmental crisis of deforestation through employing images of fertility and infertility. Through these images, Shakespeare aims at transmitting a clear message that man and nature are inter-connected, and that, in order to restore balance to the ecosystem, both should be kept in harmony. Despite the fact that Shakespeare and others were not able to solve the deforestation problem, yet Shakespeare had shown his eco-consciousness through addressing this crisis in his play, Cymbeline.

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