interventions in the conceptualisation of the character as an embodiment of ‘natural’ femininity.
Hamlet as a ghost story
Hamlet was adapted as a ghost story in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Japan. The earliest kabuki-style adaptation of Hamlet by Robun Kanagaki ( 1886 ) is set in a feudal Japanese castle haunted by the ghost of King Hamlet in samurai armour;
an adaptation of Hamlet by Tsutomu Inoue ( 1888 ) is
Chapter 3 describes the conflict at Cambridge between Thomas Cartwright, Lady
Margaret lecturer in divinity, and John Whitgift, future Archbishop of
Canterbury. Cartwright, a gifted lecturer, threatened the establishment by
supporting the election of bishops on scriptural grounds. As an
undergraduate, Spenser witnessed the ‘takeover’ by Whitgift and Andrew
Perne, who ‘reformed’ the university statutes, making them more restrictive
than they had been under Catholic Mary Tudor, to oust Cartwright. Heads of
colleges had to approve degrees before they could be awarded. A spin-off
from these conflicts affected Gabriel Harvey’s receipt of the M.A. in 1573.
Since Spenser received the B.A. from Pembroke College in 1573, Harvey cannot
have served as Spenser’s tutor. His M.A. was not awarded until after Spenser
had graduated, and it required the intervention of John Young, Master of
Pembroke College, for the degree to be awarded.
Sir Philip Sidney, the Arcadia and his step-dame,
Richard James Wood
would, on the contrary, put England’s continuing Protestant settlement in danger. For Sidney, the queen’s attempt to divert her subjects’ eyes from ‘the rising sun’ raised ‘the dreadful expectation of a divided company of stars’. 30 This moment in the reign of Elizabeth was of great importance to Sidney and his circle, as suggested by the potentially seditious intervention that is his letter. Significantly, however, Sidney addressed Elizabeth in terms that emphasized her learning and wisdom, so escaping the worst punishment meted out to others who presumed to counsel
Conflicted conflicts in Astrophil and Stella and the New
Richard James Wood
his wish ‘to turn tiltyard fictions into military reality’. 2 The darkening situation in the Low Countries, where Catholic Spain was inflicting heavy defeats on Protestant provinces, was of acute concern to Sidney. Eventually, in 1585, his wish for military service was granted. He was appointed Governor of Flushing as part of Elizabeth’s belated intervention in the Netherlands. Joining an expedition under the command of his uncle, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Sidney was charged with holding the strategically important port of Flushing in the face of Spanish
not a false turn’d true’ ( MND , III.ii.91). His intervention earns the admiration of Fauste’s friend Frontin – ‘O sainct sçauoir, qui les mortels transforme / Et qui leur peux faire changer de forme’ (O sacred Art, who transform mortal men / And make them take another shape again) 32 – who also, however, foreshadows the degeneration of the encounter by warning against Diane’s anger,
should she discover the deception. 33 Elymant enables, in effect, the scorned lover’s wish to become his rival – the wish that is Helena’s: ‘Were the world mine, Demetrius being
Supernatural generation and the limits of power in Shakespeare’s
’, perpetually constructed as susceptible to outside influence.
This could come from anywhere: the mother, the father, the child, a neighbour, the sovereign. The womb was unruly by its very nature: it could wander, create false conceptions and shape the child to resemble a monster as easily as its parents. Largely beyond human control, the womb was opaque, obscuring its contents from prying eyes or medical intervention.
When strange conceptions or ‘monstrous’ births – from
Representing the supernatural in film adaptations of A Midsummer
Early days: 1909–35
The first known film of the Dream was directed by Stuart Blackton and Charles Kent and released in 1909 by American film producer Vitagraph (followed by two other film adaptations in 1913).
The film was mostly shot outdoors on location in a wood, where things unfold gently and playfully. One of the most interesting interventions in the play has nothing to do with film effects, but a change in the gender of the characters. Oberon is replaced by Penelope, and she and Titania
, and dramatisable, material across national and linguistic frontiers, even if documentable cases of borrowing or transmission are relatively few.
Let me now sum up the implications of such a diffuse and varied background for the pointed interventions to follow. Given that English comic tradition presents such multiple – often mutual and elusive – reflections, the very concept of reflection loses its value as a practical critical instrument. Instead, it appears more useful, because finally more precise, to attempt to locate specific instances in which the primary
The Earl of Essex, Sir Philip Sidney and surviving Elizabeth’s
Richard James Wood
contentious issue of the period following these events and prior to the 1590s was the proposed marriage of Elizabeth to Francis, Duke of Anjou. This was linked to the similarly divisive question of whether to intervene in the Netherlands, where the Dutch Protestant rebellion against Spanish rule was undergoing a resurgence after 1572. 36 Burghley adopted a ‘cautious role’, shy of ‘military overextension’; Leicester favoured intervention. 37 The proposed marriage to Anjou was also prominent in the contexts for John Stubbs’s writing of the The Discoverie of a Gaping Gulf
derived from Montaigne’s essay ‘Des Canibales’, 20 but which Henke assimilates to ‘modal dialogues’ deriving from Italian pastoral tragicomedy. 21 The fact that the borrowing calls attention to itself – some spectators would certainly have identified it, and it is set off by the mocking interventions of Antonio and Sebastian – lends it a metadramatic, not just a thematic function, in a way that recycles Montaigne’s rhetorical method in theatrical terms. For what finally emerges from the essayist’s radical use of New World ‘natural’ humanity to subvert the unnatural