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Shakespeare’s Counter-Spenserian Authorship

Pitcher to argue for its presence as late as 2003), but Shakespeare offers a mockingly endearing self-image of an author who lacks agency . As Autolycus is forced to admit, he is swept along by events he cannot control: ‘I have done good… against my will’ (5.2.124). If Spenser presents Colin Clout as a sage and serious Neoplatonic poet detached from society, engaged in a poetic art that celebrates

in Shakespeare and Spenser
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is not simply an inscription like “fuck you,” or “up yours”; it is quite specific about the sodomitical act being invoked. Needless to say, over the centuries art historians haven’t wanted to deal with this curious aspect of the drawing, and have either ignored it or treated it as a bit of later vandalism. But a group of technologically sophisticated researchers

in Spectacular Performances
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Marlowe, whose grandiloquent tragedies took the stage world by storm in the early 1590s. At the same a new style of acting developed that was termed ‘personation’, which implied that gifted players portrayed characters with depth and verisimilitude. 3 Playwrights, too, were keen to distance themselves from stage clowning and stake a claim for a more serious form of art. In his prologue to Tamburlaine

in Shakespeare and laughter
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world of poetic romance, is generally unsatisfactory. This, however, is the view from outside; the practitioners, no matter how modest their successes, are always believers. John Dee was unable to understand a word his angelic messengers told him, but this had no effect on his faith in his art. Even in our sceptical age Stephen Greenblatt’s similarly audacious project of speaking with the

in Spectacular Performances

mainly on the antitheatrical invective of Tertullian and Augustine. In Schoole of Abuse his basic premise is that, while good art instructs us in virtue, bad art corrupts. The danger lies in the fact that art always appeals to the senses, not to reason – and the seductive appeal of the senses might well subjugate reason. For this argument, of course, he finds ample support in Plato’s suspicion of

in Shakespeare and laughter
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unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art. Shakespeare, King Lear , 3.4.109 Many scholars have analysed the complex physiology and psychology used by Renaissance sages to gain self-knowledge, nosce teipsum . Among general studies one admires the accounts of Anderson, 1

in Renaissance psychologies

, Despetto-Decetto-Defetto, Disdain, and the Blatant Beast in Book 6. Spenser ends by anticipating the beast’s assault on his own art: ‘Ne may this homely verse, of many meanest, / Hope to escape his venemous despite’ ( FQ 6.12.41). Within a year Bishop Hall in ‘Tooth-lesse Satyrs’ (1597) records disdain for old-fashioned features of Spenserian epic

in Renaissance psychologies
The intrusion of the time into the play

public sphere, as a space where art first became ‘an object of free choice and changing preference’ for a public in which ‘everyone was now entitled to judge’, occurred in the theatre itself, with the overthrow that this tragedy appears to enact, when the nobles who had paraded in front of the action were dislodged from their stools on the side of the stage, and the audience which had previously

in Free Will

artifact in our language’ but it is also a monument to the art of provisional knowledge. 6 By close reading some of the paradigmatic spaces of the first book of Spenser’s poem alongside the knowledge-making practices of William Cuningham’s The Cosmographical Glasse (1559) and Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer’s The Mariners Mirrour (1584; trans. 1588), which deal with the writing of cosmography and navigation respectively, the chapter considers the figurative modes required to encompass spaces that stretch the limits of the author’s skill to gauge and represent them. 7

in Edmund Spenser and the romance of space
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Why adapt The Spanish Tragedy today?

modern audience. By artistic relevance, I mean that it has something to offer to the endless debate about who we are and why we are here that is at the root of all art. When considering the problems of adapting any play, that is, how to prune the action so that everything left goes to point out the theme, the main issue is to decide which theme is the dominant one. In Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas , for

in Doing Kyd