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Editors: Willy Maley and Andrew Murphy

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.

John Drakakis

, and Elizabeth I’s attempts to expel, ‘blackamoors’. 69 If Shylock’s blackness is metaphorical, and is a product of discourse, there is no mistaking Othello’s. The disparity between the ‘noble Moor’ and his physical appearance could not be more extreme, and it presented a serious challenge to the accepted notion of a ‘national identity’ that the play projects onto Venice. That the Venetian conception of a national identity is rendered problematical from the outset may be seen in the ease with which Desdemona’s father

in Shakespeare’s resources

This collection of essays explores tragedy, the most versatile of Renaissance literary genres, revealing its astonishing thematic, stylistic and emotional range. Each chapter consists of a case study, offering not only a definition of a particular kind of Renaissance tragedy but also new research into an important example of that genre. There is only one chapter on Shakespeare; instead contributors attend to subgenres of tragedy – biblical tragedy and closet drama, for example – in which Shakespeare did not engage and others in which the nature of his influence is interrogated, producing original critical readings of individual plays which show how interventions in these subgenres can be mapped onto debates surrounding numerous important issues, including national identity, the nature of divine authority, early modern youth culture, gender and ethics, as well as questions relating to sovereignty and political intervention. The chapters also highlight the rich range of styles adopted by the early modern tragic dramatists and show how opportunely the genre as a whole is positioned for speaking truth to power. Collectively, these essays reassess the various sub-genres of Renaissance tragedy in ways which respond to the radical changes that have affected the critical landscape over the last few decades.

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Felicity Dunworth

Reformation and its attendant issues of national identity created a complex series of dramatic possibilities for the mother figure which allowed her to function as a religious and political emblem that developed in complexity and dramatic value in the period. Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatisations of motherhood accommodated significant shifts in emphasis as English culture responded to the availability of classical and European texts and to

in Mothers and meaning on the early modern English stage
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The case of Jonson’s Sejanus
John E. Curran, Jr

This chapter examines Jonson’s Sejanus as exemplifying the tension generally distinguishing Renaissance English tragedies on Roman subjects: that between the accurate dramatic reconstruction of history and the building up of decorous stateliness and didacticism. Arguments from Roman history intensified the imperatives of historiography along with those of instruction and grandeur, and these imperatives tended to come into conflict. Three features Jonson and other dramatists imagined as characteristic of the Roman mind include a pronounced sense of national identity and history, a preoccupation with forms and processes of government, and a reliance on Stoic moral philosophy. The chapter also touches on Shakespeare’s Roman tragedies, Lodge’s Wounds of Civil War, Massinger’s Roman Actor, and the anonymous Statelie Tragedie of Claudius Tiberius Nero.

in The genres of Renaissance tragedy
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Queen Elizabeth, and Joan La Pucelle in 1 Henry VI
Ben Spiller

English heroine. In addition I will consider how the play simultaneously vilifies Joan, invites admiration for her, and allows her to be seen as something of a scapegoat. The notion of national identity will also form an integral part of my chapter, as the cloudy distinction between the French and English in 1 Henry VI problematises the depiction of the two nations

in Goddesses and Queens
Dynastic policy and colonial expansion in revenge tragedy
Clara Calvo

differentiated nations with an individualised national identity. 12 In spite of religious and racial differences, the Mediterranean in early modern Europe was, through trade and war, a theatre of contact and exchange. 13 Mediterranean countries shared a common cultural space that fostered familiarity and downplayed cultural alterity, at least amongst Christian states, but also, occasionally if the arts or commerce were involved, with the

in Doing Kyd
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Nicoleta Cinpoeş

gained a new currency in a world fuelled by war, conflict, cruelty, death, corruption and injustice. Just as in the 1590s, in the twenty-first century Kyd’s play is sharing the stages with Titus Andronicus (another play which has undergone a huge upsurge in interest). Productions engage head on with state politics, domination, religion, national identity, lack of hope. Whether set in the corporate world that tramples over

in Doing Kyd
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Then with Scotland first begin
Willy Maley and Andrew Murphy

ensures that Macbeth has become known as ‘the Scottish play’, its title taboo, its Scottishness a touchy subject. How ‘Scottish’ is Macbeth , and what happens between page, stage, and screen? The ‘Scottish play’ is, paradoxically, unlikely to be discussed in relation to national identity, and for three related reasons, to do with genre, geography, and history: (1) ever since the First Folio of 1623

in Shakespeare and Scotland
Shakespeare and King James
Neil Rhodes

. Specifically, the issue of the union between England and Scotland, half begun in 1603 and half undone in 1998, is bound to colour the discussion. In Shakespeare’s lifetime, as now, a momentous shift in relations between the two countries prompted new reflections about national identity on both sides of the border. 1 For Shakespeare himself, supported in the later part of his career by Scottish patronage in the person of

in Shakespeare and Scotland