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Search for:. If you like it, please share it! Like this: Like Loading Post to Cancel. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Shakespeare seems always to have connected nature to human creativity as William Wordsworth would later , and yet he also found in nature a form of relationality that high- lighted the limits of human agency. The transition from the former historical context to the latter environmental ethics sometimes feels a bit strained.
A Notebook on William Shakespeare by Sitwell Edith
Nevertheless, the work Martin has done reconstructing aspects of Renaissance deforestation, husbandry, and the relationship between militari- zation and the environment, among many other things, is truly impressive. His book should be consulted by anyone working on environment and ecology in the early modern period. Aimed especially at an undergraduate audience, Kastan combines deep historical learning, careful close reading, and a fast-paced prose style. The book also contains a steady stream of critical wisdom that I think scholars at any level could benefit from.
Comments like these are easy to pass through only half-noticed because Kastan drops them into the discussion without the stern gravitas typical of academic point making. Walsh does this by correlating the intra-Christian conflict represented on stage in plays by Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, William Rowley, and others to a specifically Renaissance, and specifically English, practice of toleration.
What makes his book important is the way it expands the critical vocabulary we use to talk about theater and religion. Finally, Staging Harmony: Music and Religious Change in Late Medieval and Early Modern English Drama by Katherine Steele Brokaw is a meticulously researched, originally conceived study of theater and religion that bridges the disciplinary gap between music and drama and the historical gap between the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Staging Harmony expertly weaves together knowledge about theatrical practice, religious controversy, music history, and the history of sensation to make an argument that will be of interest to scholars working in all of these fields.
Several books I received address this question. And he does it, moreover, in a way that manages to be closely engaged with current scholarly debates without feeling either derivative or combative. The book reminds us how useful the analytical tools of linguistics can be to the study of Renaissance drama.
Such tools tend to be exploited far more in Continental European scholarship than in Anglo-American scholarship. Over the last twenty years, a number of studies have shown how Renaissance plays drew on the language of economics. From this suggestive starting point, Sheerin delivers five smart readings of plays by Marlowe, Shakespeare, Thomas Dekker, and Jonson. Alchemy serves as the prime example of this throughout the book. When writers like Spenser, John Donne, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Margaret Cavendish use alchemical tropes, they are practic- ing a kind of disknowledge, an active pushing-aside of one kind of knowing in favor of another.
Poets Notebook by Sitwell Edith
Both deeply learned and impressively wide-ranging, Disknowledge will be required reading for anyone interested in the relationship between literature and the history of ideas in the early modern period. Moving with ease between a variety of novels and films, Hopkins investigates the distinct ways in which crime fiction both invokes and ironizes Shakespearean cultural value.
But No Hamlets is also very much engaged with current conversations in early modern studies, especially work on political theology and other strands of German theory that have become increasingly influential over the last fifteen to twenty years. In The Great William, Leinwand is not interested in politics or philosophy, but rather in creative practice.
Leinwand captures the intellectual and spiritual urgency with which these writers read Shakespeare, but he also shows that their reading was a profoundly embodied experience. The Great William is also distinguished by something I can only describe as genuine respect for the material at hand. He takes his subjects seriously as readers, writers, and thinkers. Other books I received insist on just the opposite, that Shakespeare can indeed be viewed as a unique kind of political thinker or philosopher.
For an academic reader, the book seems to veer sharply between scholarly commonplaces and methodologically rickety linkages Chanan is a former teacher and social policy researcher, not an academic.
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For Moore, Shakespeare is a political thinker as much as a playwright, one who holds, and advances through his drama, specific political beliefs. Arguing that the second tetralogy articulates a sustained philosophy of political legitimacy, the book is full of smart, original readings and suggestive linkages. This is exacerbated by the fact that Craig makes his argument without reference to any of the influential work on Shakespeare and politi- cal philosophy by scholars such as Paul Kottman, Julia Lupton, and James Kuzner, to name just a few.
Thomas P. Importantly, while Shakespearean dissensus is oriented toward democratic commu- nity, it is nevertheless very much prior to easily celebrated ideas like contract and consensus. Dissensus, in other words, marks an in-between space of political action, after sovereign absolutism but before republicanism or democracy.
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This is an excellent and potentially very influential argument. I do worry, though, about the programmatic way in which Wilson frames his project. Still, Worldly Shakespeare is a bold and original work of literary criticism and anyone interested in Shakespeare, philosophy, and politics will do well to read it. The study is marked by a willingness to think alongside other critics and theorists while still staking out territory in which to make new claims. Kuzner shows us, in crystal-clear prose, how Shakespeare articulates a particular kind of skepticism—not one that questions knowledge or belief per se, but rather one that questions the capacity of the individual to engage successfully in the labor of knowledge acquisition all by themselves.
Shakespeare, in other words, advances a kind of epistemological weakness, but he makes that weakness livable by representing knowledge as a form of social interaction. Shakespeare as a Way of Life is an intellectually invigorating study that takes the philosophical effects of the plays and poems seriously without losing sight of the fundamentally literary and dramatic mechanisms through which those effects are achieved. A life is never a life apart. The book centers on , a year in which Shakespeare worked on three major plays: King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopa- tra.
It was a moment of creative transition for Shakespeare and cultural transition for Britain.
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Shapiro weaves those two stories together brilliantly. But The Year of Lear never feels like scholarly fan fiction. This is a tough balance to strike, but Shapiro accomplishes it. Pitched for a broad readership, the book gives a thoroughly researched overview of what we know about the extant portraits of Shakespeare, including those that are cur- rently disputed.
Drawing on textual studies, book history, and the digital humanities, each of these studies practices an intellectually versatile theater history. There are a number of possible answers. This argument runs counter not only to other textual schools of thought, but also, in a more general way, to a deeply entrenched desire, dating back at least to Alfred Harbage, to view Shakespeare primarily as a popular dramatist.
Of course, this is pre- cisely the kind of debate a major book of this sort should trigger. Shakespeare, Court Dramatist is the work of a master scholar and merits careful attention from anyone interested in the history of English Renaissance drama. Instead, he offers something closer to a narrative history of the Revels Office from Thomas Cawarden to Tilney, along with two very use- ful appendices that document Court entertainments and Revels officers.
Throughout the book, Streitberger is locked into close conversation with E. Chambers, whose still-influential account of the Revels Office and the offices of the Works and Wardrobe Streitberger sets out to revise point by point. The tone may be left over from a Ph. I very much look forward to reading more of his work. With this established, Steggle turns to the titles of ten lost plays, and with the help of a variety of sophisticated digital resources, including chiefly EEBO-TCP, generates data that helps us surmise what those plays might have looked like, including how their plots unfolded and the kinds of characters they featured.
The study is speculative, of course, but well informed and consistently methodologically self-aware. Great Shakespeare Actors reads more like a series of encyclopedia entries than a monograph with a conceptual through-line. The three-legged thematic stool of print, performance, and gender situates Elizabe- than country-house entertainments in an up-to-date critical frame and nicely counterpoints older studies that have tended to focus on mythography, sources, and Court micropolitics.
With very little previous work done in this area, the new information Kolkovich presents about the functions and effects of printed entertainments—as collectables, as sources of rumor and gossip, as news—will be of interest to many early modernists. Through careful discussions of a range of interesting texts and figures, he shows that before theater history was a modern academic dis- cipline, with specialist training and empiricist methods, it was a largely amateur pursuit that included among its practitioners booksellers, bibliographers, antiquarians, journalists, and theater professionals.
Brotton introduces readers to English merchants and adventurers who spent time in Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and the Moroccan Sultanate, and recounts a number of fascinating ambassadorial visits. The book is scholarly but accessibly written. It will appeal to both academic and nonacademic audiences. Working with a range of plays and masques by Jonson, George Chapman, Philip Massinger, Shakespeare, Middleton, Dekker, and others, Hollis shows how playwrights interrogated the colonial project through ingenious spatial substitutions, fre- quently projecting elements of the New World into London itself.
Sullivan Jr. In Monuments and Literary Posterity in Early Modern Drama, Brian Chalk makes the simple but provocative assertion that playwrights wanted to be remembered. While much attention has been given to tropes of memorialization in lyric poetry, Chalk shows that playwrights like Marlowe, Jonson, John Webster, Shakespeare, and Fletcher also engaged with the objects and practices of cultural memory, revealing an abiding interest in the future of their plays. The future meant many different things and operated at many different scales for early modern writers, but as Barret explains, it always ends up telling us some- thing significant about how the present was viewed.
Barret also explores the formal dimension of literary futurity, the way writing about what-comes-later requires, but also creates, certain gram- matical, syntactical, and rhetorical structures.
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