choice of casket actually challenges what many have identified as the
play’s predominantly romantic ethos.
We have very little evidence to support what might have gone on by way of
discussion within Shakespeare’s theatre. He left no analytical account of his
exchanges with his fellow actors, or of the ways in which the structures of particular plays
developed. The various texts of Hamlet that have survived offer some indication of
practical emendation, development of ideas and, even, alteration designed to provide
mediated through contemporary Elizabethan developments of the physiology of the brain, seems
to miss the point of Jonson’s axiom, which is as much moral and ethical as it is
physiological. It is also, perhaps, reminiscent of some of the instructional works on
rhetoric, such as Quintilian’s The Orator’s Education
that placed considerable emphasis on the instrumental as opposed to the material ‘body
language’ of the competent orator. 27
In the light of these observations, the image of an elephant
role of Apemantus in Timon’s feasting scene in the late play
Timon of Athens as a sophisticated version of the morality Vice figure, and he notes
The process of drawing the audience into the play has become
inseparable from the development of a complementary perspective that helps refine basic
issues and restructure basic positions; at the same time, the process of differentiation
between truth and appearance has become part of the dramatic mode itself. Dramatic images
Shakespeare, Jonson and the circulation of theatrical ideas
complicating his plays with developments that counter and refute his source
texts.’ Cf. also Murray J. Levith, Shakespeare’s Cues and
Prompts (London, 2007) , pp. 3–4.
Janet Clare, Shakespeare’s Stage Traffic:
Imitation, Borrowing and Competition in Renaissance Theatre (Cambridge, 2014) , p.
Ibid. , p. 9.
Ibid. , p. 18.
Ibid. , p. 20
an active resource is an indication of its abiding
utility for a reader such as Harvey, whereas the text’s production, susceptible to a
pragmatics of composition in the moment of its emergence as a theatre script, will utilise
textual material that it can both recall from the past and bring into alignment with its
audiences’ present concerns.
Commenting on the development of print technology during the sixteenth
century, the historian Patrick Collinson notes how print infiltrated the oral tradition so
historical developments that cannot simply be stripped away’. These caveats precede
one of Greenblatt’s most enduring statements:
I had dreamed of speaking with the dead, and even
now I do not abandon this dream. But the mistake was to imagine that I would hear a single
voice, the voice of the other. If I wanted to hear one, I had to hear the many voices of
the dead. And if I wanted to hear the voice of the other, I had to hear my own voice. The
speech of the dead, like my own speech, is not private
This book offers a new approach to engaging with the representation and aesthetics of provisional knowledge in Edmund Spenser’s writing via a focus on his use of spatial images. The study takes advantage of recent interdisciplinary interests in the spatial qualities of early modern thought and culture, and considers literature concerning the art of cosmography and navigation alongside imaginative literature in order to identify shared modes and preoccupations. The book looks to the work of cultural and historical geographers in order to gauge the roles that aesthetic subjectivity and the imagination play in the development of geographical knowledge – contexts ultimately employed by the study to achieve a better understanding of the place of Ireland in Spenser’s writing. The study also engages with recent ecocritical approaches to literary environments, such as coastlines, wetlands, and islands, in order to frame fresh readings of Spenser’s handling of mixed genres.
This book recognises the importance of the playwright and The Spanish Tragedy for the development of early modern theatre and beyond. It aims to familiarise readers with the play which, literally, set the stage for the Elizabethan revenge tragedy boom. The book revisits theories of revenge, and examines the play's latest editions, stage productions and screenplay adaptations. It takes the reader on a rewarding journey from Kyd's Proserpine to William Shakespeare's Prospero and brings personal editorial accounts on what it means to edit The Spanish Tragedy in the third millennium. The book argues that the lasting position of The Spanish Tragedy in the Low Countries is of interest from a politico-religious perspective. It advocates a shift in the critical approaches to The Spanish Tragedy, away 'from debating whether the play reflects Habsburg Spain or Renaissance Italy to considering how it portrays Mediterranean culture in relation to early modern England and its desire to play a role in the European colonial expansion'. The book further argues that The Spanish Tragedy, which has been regarded primarily as a 'blood and guts' revenge tragedy, was actually written to promote the Protestant politico-religious ethos, represented by Leicester, against Catholic Babylon/Spain under Philip II. Kyd combines aspects of the anti-Leicester tradition with elements of the Spanish Black Legend as expressed in Antonio Pérez's Las Relaciones in order to depict Spain under Philip II as the evil enemy of Protestant England.
This book provides an abundance of fresh insights into Shakespeare's life in relation to his lost family home, New Place. It first covers the first 6,000 years of the site, from its prehistoric beginnings through its development into a plot within the economic context of early medieval Stratford-upon-Avon, and the construction of the first timber-framed building. The book then describes the construction and distinctive features of Hugh Clopton's brick-and-timber house, the first New Place. Stratford-upon-Avon gave Shakespeare a deeply rooted love of family, loyal neighbours and friends, and although he came to enjoy a prominent social standing there, he probably had little or no time at all for its puritanical side. The book provides a cultural, religious and economic context for Shakespeare's upbringing; education, work, marriage, and early investments up to his son, Hamnet's death, and his father, John Shakespeare, being made a gentleman. It discusses the importance of New Place to Shakespeare and his family during the nineteen years he owned it and spent time there. The book also takes us to just beyond the death of Shakespeare's granddaughter, Elizabeth, Lady Bernard, the last direct descendant of Shakespeare to live in the house. It further gives an account of James Halliwell's acquisition of the site, his archaeology and how New Place has become an important focus for the local community, not least during the 'Dig for Shakespeare'.
This book explores, from a variety of critical perspectives, the playwright's place in Scotland and the place of Scotland in his work. The influence of Scotland on William Shakespeare's writing, and later on his reception, is set alongside the dramatic effects that Shakespeare's work had on the development of Scottish literature. The Shakespeare's work of Scottish literature stretches from the Globe to globalisation, and from Captain Jamy and King James to radical productions at the Citizens' Theatre in Glasgow. Shakespeare have strong Scottish connections by virtue of his theatre company's being brought under the sponsorship of the Scottish king James VI immediately after his accession to the English throne in 1603. Jonathan Goldberg and Alvin Kernan have traced the impact of royal patronage on Shakespeare's work after the Union, finding Scottish themes at play not just in Macbeth, but also in Cymbeline, King Lear, Hamlet, and in other plays. Then, the book outlines some of the issues and problems raised by Scotland and Scottish history for English readers in the last decade of Elizabeth's reign. Shakespeare wrote his English plays in Elizabeth's reign and his British plays after 1603, though Henry V, first performed in 1599, might be regarded as a proto-British play. Unlike Henry V, Shakespeare's most English play, where national identity is of the essence, in Macbeth, Scotland is a blot on the landscape. Shakespeare's political drama moves from a sense of England and Scotland as independent kingdoms into an alignment with the views of Unionist King James.