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In the Renaissance, the archetype for history was the classical muse Clio, a much-painted figure in an era when the 'history painting' was one of the predominant genres in European visual art. One Renaissance dramatist and poet who never made reference to Clio was William Shakespeare. This book is about official and unofficial versions of the past, histories and counter-histories, in Shakespeare's works and their subsequent appropriations. It builds on a long period in which those of us working in literary and theatre studies have developed an awareness of the extent to which conventional recreations of the past are mediated through the fictionalising structures of narrative. The book explores how the history plays construct counter-historical representations of the dead. It argues that the 'dislocutionary' threat of grief and the performance of the suffering body is a version of the kind of spectator/spectre relationship drawn in any ritualised encounter with the cult of the ancestor. The book combines four historicist readings which explore counter-histories in the early modern period. It examines the relationship between Shakespeare's history plays and alternative dynastic histories. The book also explores questions of history and identity, particularly as they can be configured through performance. It challenges the view that women become progressively marginalised across the histories by arguing that Shakespeare's warlike women enact a power onstage which forces us to rethink official, patriarchal history.

A Mirror for Magistrates and early English tragedy
Jessica Winston

recounting tragedies from periods of Civil War. The Mirror covers the century of civil strife caused by the Wars of the Roses. Gorboduc replays an episode in ancient British history in which King Gorboduc divided the realm between his two sons, sparking a disastrous Civil War. And Jocasta , dramatising the story of Oedipus, likewise covers the conflict between the brothers

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories
Dermot Cavanagh

The texts of Henry V Is Henry V better understood as a ‘memory play’ than as a ‘history play’? The former category has helped to define the concerns of modern (and post-modern) drama; it may prove equally fertile for Renaissance theatre. 1 Perceiving Shakespeare’s play as ‘memorial’ would supplant

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories
Reinventing history in 2 Henry IV
Alison Thorne

compelled to protect the purity of their discipline by defining this in opposition to poetry or, more generally, to the imaginative recasting of facts. Commenting on the antiquity of this ‘internecine strife between history and storytelling’, Michel de Certeau notes that the historian at once ‘delimits his proper territory’ and asserts his privileged relationship to the ‘real’ by

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories
Troilus and Criseyde and Troilus and Cressida

For the last three decades or so, literary studies, especially those dealing with premodern texts, have been dominated by the New Historicist paradigm. This book is a collection of essays explores medieval and early modern Troilus-texts from Chaucer to Shakespeare. The contributions show how medieval and early modern fictions of Troy use love and other emotions as a means of approaching the problem of tradition. The book argues that by emphasizing Troilus's and Cressida's hopes and fears, Shakespeare sets in motion a triangle of narrative, emotion and temporality. It is a spectacle of which tells something about the play but also about the relation between anticipatory emotion and temporality. The sense of multiple literary futures is shaped by Shakespeare's Chaucer, and in particular by Troilus and Criseyde. The book argues that the play's attempted violence upon a prototypical form of historical time is in part an attack on the literary narratives. Criseyde's beauty is described many times. The characters' predilection for sententiousness unfolds gradually. Through Criseyde, Chaucer's Poet displaces authorial humility as arrogance. The Troilus and Criseyde/Cressida saga begins with Boccaccio, who isolates and expands the love affair between Troiolo and Criseida to vent his sexual frustration. The poem appears to be linking an awareness of history and its continuing influence and impact on the present to hermeneutical acts conspicuously gendered female. The main late medieval Troy tradition does two things: it represents ferocious military combat, and also practises ferocious literary combat against other, competing traditions of Troy.

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Artists, histories and counter-histories
Stuart Hampton-Reeves

In the Renaissance, the archetype for history was the classical muse Clio, a much-painted figure in an era when the ‘history painting’ was one of the predominant genres in European visual art. Clio was usually depicted as a young woman holding a book (often Herodotus’ histories) and a trumpet. The book signified the written record of the past, and with her trumpet Clio was

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories
Clio, Eurydice, Orpheus
Graham Holderness

black, making me appear very much alone, although I was clearly looking at someone. I seemed to be waiting for something I did not think would ever happen. (Chevalier, Girl , 202–3) 1 One of the tutelary spirits of Shakespeare’s Histories and Counter-histories is Clio, muse of history

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories
John J. Joughin

The world of deep caring can be built once again out of grieving. 1 The Shakespearean uncanny In a recent account of Shakespeare’s Histories Graham Holderness feels bound to remind us that his brand of materialist historiography is nothing more or less than a ghost hunt

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories
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‘reproofe to these degenerate effeminate dayes?
Carol Banks

Until fairly recently the women of the ‘Histories’ received very little attention: even feminist scholars who addressed gender issues in Shakespeare’s plays tended to focus overwhelmingly on the ‘Comedies’ and ‘Tragedies’ in which female characters generally play larger, more significant roles. It was not until 1997, twenty-two years after the

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories
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The thought of the outside in Shakespeare’s histories
Richard Wilson

‘Stanley’s regiment’ a byword in London for perfidy. As Henry of Navarre epitomised opportunist betrayal of the Protestant cause in France – with his quip that ‘Paris is worth a mass’ 28 – so the Stanleys thus came to be confirmed as the turncoats of English history, whose ‘boar-spear’ might yet prove as decisive at the end of the Tudor dynasty as at its start, when Richard III had

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories