Coventry Patmore

General Description

Date: 1839
Genre: critical essay


◦ Fredeman 198-200

Scholarly Commentary


This is Patmore's earliest prose writing still extant; it was written when he was 16 years old. WMR thought highly of the essay, which makes an original argument about Shakespeare's play. (But as the note to the essay suggests, Patmore's insight was anticipated by an essay published in the Westminster Review 41 (March 1844) 1-37, written by the scholar George Fletcher.)

Printing History

It was printed in The Germ 3, pages 99-110.


At the conclusion of the essay Patmore briefly recapitulates some of the most important commentators on the play: Dryden's An Essay of Dramatic Poesy (1668), Johnson's Observations on Macbeth (1745), Coleridge's 1813 Lectures on Shakespeare and Education as well as his Notes on Macbeth (first published in 1836 in The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and A. W. von Schlegel's Ueber dramatische Kunst und Literatur (1809-1811).

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: patmore003.raw.xml