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Felicity Dunworth

and political change. The approach has been thematic: to discover how far genre and convention influence representation; and teleological: to test the potential of the mother figure to change over time in response to shifts in cultural and social values. While the aim was never to describe a steady change over the hundred years from the first quarter of the sixteenth century, this book has argued that the religious conflict of the English

in Mothers and meaning on the early modern English stage
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Richard Hillman

This project applies to tragic patterns and practices a long-standing critical preoccupation of mine: the dynamic imaginative engagement of late sixteenth-and early seventeenth-century English dramatists and audiences with French texts and contexts. 1 As I have previously argued, that engagement is founded on historical causes, cultural as well as political, but sustained

in French origins of English tragedy
The RSC’s Coriolanus 1972–73
Robert Ormsby

politically vague. 1 The company would explore the rise and fall of civilizations through Shakespeare’s four Roman tragedies (all directed by Nunn, with assistance from Buzz Goodbody and, in 1973, Euan Smith) which, staged in historical order, ostensibly traced a line from the birth of the Republic to the decline of Rome’s Empire ( Coriolanus Basic Programme 1972). Coriolanus played its part in this

in Coriolanus
The ‘Scottish play’ within the play
Andrew Hadfield

Scotland was acknowledged as the site of the most advanced and controversial political ideas in post-Reformation Europe. For many Protestants, Scottish political thought was a source of inspiration and a means of their fighting back against corrupt and tyrannical rulers; for many monarchs and their advisers, keen to preserve the status quo, the same ideas threatened to undermine stability and their legitimacy

in Shakespeare and Scotland
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Annaliese Connolly and Lisa Hopkins

that subject, and in each case critics have used these plays to try and work out what they might reveal about Shakespeare’s attitude towards the earl and the queen and the relationship between the theatre and the state. The aim of this collection of essays about the earl is to break away from such paradigms by resituating his life and career within the richly diverse contours of his cultural and political milieu and to identify

in Essex
Clarendon, Cressy and Hobbes, and the past, present and future of the Church of England
Paul Seaward

Commonwealth (in which Clarendon had had a hand), they could scarcely have been called friends.5 There is no evidence that either knew about the other’s writing of history. Had they done so, they might very well have seen their differing approaches to the past not only as emblematic of their very different philosophical and political ideas, but also as indicative of faultlines in the constitutional and religious politics of the Restoration which in 1668 were beginning to open up (for Clarendon) alarmingly or (for Hobbes) enticingly wide. 206 207 Clarendon, Cressy and

in From Republic to Restoration
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Political theatre
Andrew James Hartley

clearly than Brutus or Flavius ever could which side the people should be on. Beyond the oft commended rhetorical skill of the speech these are theatrical devices, and they speak to the play’s core preoccupation with political performance. This is, of course, only the most obvious and decisive instance of such political theatre. Other smaller examples abound in the play. Time and

in Julius Caesar
The Earl of Essex and Lady Penelope Rich
Chris Laoutaris

a secret correspondence with James VI of Scotland; courted some of the most notorious spies and intelligence operatives in Europe; and cultivated an identity as political advisor to royalty. This chapter will explore the ways in which the woman who came to be known as Sidney’s ‘Stella’ involved herself in the seismic power struggles of her age, intervening in the court factionalism which shaped one

in Essex
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Henry Chettle’s The Tragedy of Hoffman
Derek Dunne

Shakespeare's Hamlet not as a culmination but as an aberration, has the dual advantage of helping us to understand what makes Shakespeare's Hamlet so unique, while also revealing the socio-political critique embedded in a genre rarely studied for its cultural commentary. To enable new avenues for research to emerge, it is first necessary to re-examine the critical preoccupations surrounding early modern revenge tragedy. Some of these, such as metatheatricality and intertextuality, have long been a cornerstone of revenge tragedy criticism, due to

in The genres of Renaissance tragedy
Frank Ardolino

in Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy , I argued that the play contains a subtext that concerns the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate that in the episodes dealing with the murder of Serberine and the execution of Pedringano for this crime (III.ii–vii), Kyd creates a political subtext that is related to the play’s anti-Spanish themes. 5 Critics have maintained that

in Doing Kyd