John O'Meara

Shakespearean, neo-Romantic critic

John O'Meara Shakespeare Shakespearean Romanticism Literary Critic Novalis

Containing close readings of work by Beckett, Hemingway, and T.S.Eliot; Tennessee Williams, Chekhov, Arthur Miller, and Brecht; Plath, Hughes, and Robert Graves, and W.B. Yeats.

[from the dustjacket]

“it is as if when faced with the prospect of hopelessness, [our authors] would have to invoke the help of the one Power on Whom humankind can rely to see them through the worst. This is the Great Mother or Goddess Who is directly associated with the experience of Nature …” 

“beautifully and fluently written and ingenious in its combination of catastrophes” {Anthony Gash, Drama Head, the University of East Anglia}



An in-depth study of Robert Graves, the modern theory of myth and Ted Hughes, with further reference to Shakespeare and to Keats.

[from the dustjacket]

“How can we know the great Goddess again? How worthy are we of that mythical experience? How are we related to that experience in our deepest depravity? And why has the mythical experience grown so opaque to us in our post-Romantic, modern world? These are the main issues arising out of Western literary tradition that John O'Meara explores in this book …”


“A wonderful writer on myth"  {Robert A. Segal, author of Theorizing about Myth}

“[O’Meara’s] treatment of the ‘problem’ in Shakespeare as being far deeper than Hughes’s presentation of it is surely right … We are not dealing in Shakespeare with the mere re-opening of ourselves to the forces of sexuality and the like (albeit with some redemptive measures thrown in) … Hughes and those with him pay far too little credence to the Fall … {Richard Ramsbotham}


This Life, This Death: Wordsworth’s Poetic Destiny  (2011)


An extensive study of Wordsworth’s great life-crisis in relation to Nature, with additional reference to S.T. Coleridge, and to P.B. Shelley.


“Of this Wordsworth book, one recognizes its truth, its breadth of coverage and awareness, and above all its depth ...”  {Richard Ramsbotham, editor of Vernon Watkins, New Selected Poems, 2006} 


"a beautiful and moving work" {Michael Geis,    Jungian Psychiatrist, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, California}



“Will no one tell me what she sings?”

[from the dustjacket]

“the essential Wordsworth remains the one who turns his attention back, yearningly, to the 'visionary gleam' ... but Wordsworth the visionary poet is lost, and it concerns him all the more now that he feels he faces death and a new darkness, the darkness of the grave” … ”