In a harsh, uncaring world the family is valued as a source of warmth and stability. At the same time, we are increasingly compelled to recognize that families can be oppressive both physically and emotionally. Now in paperback, Catherine Belsey's illustrated account of Shakespeare's plays, in conjunction with early modern images of Adam and Eve, locates the construction of family values in cultural history and politics. She shows the pleasures and anxieties generated in the period by the domestication of desire, parental love and cruelty and the relations between siblings and discusses how Shakespeare's plays explore these themes.
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