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Steve Sohmer

satirical books (which he was not), and Harvey as co-respondent. 10 But none of the transgressions proposed – ‘licentiousness’, ‘offence against morality’, ‘pornographic’, ‘sexual subjects’, homosexuality – is wholly persuasive. 11 (See ‘Why the Bishops Burned the Books’ in ‘Longer notes’ below for a more likely explanation.) As the recent histories of

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Derricke’s Image of Irelande and the Mirror for Magistrates tradition
Scott Lucas

’s wicked transgression and Worcester’s deplorable willingness to carry out his king’s act of savage injustice against innocent Irish youths. In this poem, it is the English who commit undeniably cruel and illegal acts against the Irish, and it is the Irish –albeit the Anglo-Norman Irish – who are described as the ‘noble’ victims of unjust English rule. 25 It is, in fact, the cruelty and misrule of English leaders that the Mirror identifies in several places as the true catalysts for the ferocious popular

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Open Access (free)
Behind the screen
Chloe Porter

This book has suggested that early modern playwrights are preoccupied with processes of making, unmaking and remaking in light of the transgressive implications of ‘finish’. The resulting emphasis on unfinished processes of construction in plays speaks strongly to the notion of early modern drama as ‘an art of incompletion: a form of display that flaunts the limits of

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama
Abstract only
The Americans
Elisabeth Bronfen

with mistaken identities that the Jenningses repeatedly stage is predicated on the concealment of their actual social status, cross-dressing in The Americans is not in regard to a blurring of gender and class designations. Instead, by donning costumes, wigs, and glasses, the two undercover spies successfully perform a wide array of American citizens. In so doing, they are not only able to play parts that allow them to enjoy acts of transgression, even if, as this serial drama progresses, these are increasingly accompanied by anxiety. By putting plurality on display

in Serial Shakespeare
A cultural history
Author: Indira Ghose

This book examines laughter in the Shakespearean theatre, in the context of a cultural history of early modern laughter, and looks at various strands of the early modern discourse on laughter, ranging from medical treatises and courtesy manuals to Puritan tracts and jestbook literature. It argues that few cultural phenomena have undergone as radical a change in meaning as laughter, a paradigm shift that can be traced back to the early modern period, which saw some remarkable changes in the culture of laughter. Hitherto, laughter had been mainly regarded as a social corrective that mocked those who transgressed societal norms. The evolving cult of courtly manners that spread throughout Renaissance Europe stigmatised derisive laughter as a sign of vulgarity. Laughter became bound up with questions of taste and class identity. At the same time, humanist thinkers revalorised the status of recreation and pleasure. These developments left their trace on the early modern theatre, where laughter was retailed as a commodity in an emerging entertainment industry. William Shakespeare's plays both reflect and shape these changes, particularly in his adaptation of the Erasmian wise fool as a stage figure and in the sceptical strain of thought that is encapsulated in the laughter evoked in the plays.

The ‘jest unseen’ of love letters in Two Gentlemen of Verona and El perro del
Susanne L. Wofford

also ends with a cross-rank marriage: celebrated and accepted in one case, and transgressively maintained through a ‘secret’ the audience must keep in the other. Each of the two high-born women causes the man she loves to write a love letter to himself, and avoids having it marked as being from herself. Shakespeare’s Silvia is the daughter of the ruler of Milan, although

in Transnational connections in early modern theatre
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Macbeth
Alisa Manninen

the unease that recurs throughout Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. The fear is that the state can be saved by neither orthodoxy's creation of stability nor transgression's breaking of established patterns of corruption. Something is wrong with the world itself; therefore both the realm and its people face tragedies for which there is no resolution, no cure so complete that it would prevent orthodoxy and transgression from reappearing in their negative forms as stagnation and misrule. To Lever, it is central that ‘The heroes may have their faults of deficiency or

in The genres of Renaissance tragedy
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Yarington(?)’s Two Lamentable Tragedies
Lisa Hopkins and Gemma Leggott

Faversham the mistress of the house is charged to clean the house not of dust and grime but blood and signs of murder. As Richardson asserts, ‘women are given the task of dealing with the after-effects of the crimes, as households work together, but not equally, to suppress their transgressions’. 17 The running of the family household is not only disturbed and perverted but also distorted. Wendy Wall asserts that Renaissance cookbooks indicate that the slaughtering of wild stock as well as the disembowelling, boiling and butchering of animals’ body parts was usually

in The genres of Renaissance tragedy
Deadwood
Elisabeth Bronfen

not so much the carnivalesque logic of comedies like A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Twelfth Night , in which, for a clearly limited period of time, official law is suspended, giving way to a play of transgressions. 17 Instead, making full use of the serial logic of TV drama, it draws on Shakespeare’s combination of parallel storylines, where those involving characters deemed socially lower are used to mirror and comment on those revolving around their superiors. The dramatic traffic on and around the thoroughfare not only offers a counterpoint to the violence

in Serial Shakespeare
Feminine fury and the contagiousness of theatrical passion
Kristine Steenbergh

. Eventually she commits suicide. Women of the second category, who do transgress into the male territory of revenge, are represented as out of control and deviant. 5 In The Spanish Tragedy , the character of Bel-imperia is clearly an exception to this rule. She is one of the driving forces behind the revenge plot: she decides to use her love for Horatio to further her revenge on the murderers of Don Andrea; writes a letter in

in Doing Kyd