G. Wilson Knight (George Richard Wilson Knight) Biography
(1897–1985), (George Richard Wilson Knight), The Wheel of Fire, The Imperial Theme, The Shakespearian Tempest
British critic, born in Sutton, Surrey, educated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He became Professor of English at the University of Leeds in 1956. The Wheel of Fire (1930) immediately gained him an international reputation. His concern with the underlying metaphorical structures of Shakespeare's plays transcended the constraints of more conventional approaches of the sort typically associated with A. C. Bradley, which tended to concentrate on linear developments of character and plot. His numerous other Shakespearian studies include The Imperial Theme (1931), which deals with the Roman plays; The Shakespearian Tempest (1932); The Crown of Life (1947), on the late plays; and The Mutual Flame (1955), a treatment of the poems. He also produced and acted in a number of Shakespeare's plays and presented a one-man show entitled ‘Shakespeare's Dramatic Challenge’. Principles of Shakespearian Production (1936) was among his influential books on the staging of the plays. Among his other works are The Starlit Dome (1941), a study of the Romantic poets; Lord Byron: Christian Virtues (1952); and Laureate of Peace (1954), his highly regarded book on Pope. Atlantic Crossing (1936) is autobiographical.