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, resorting to arms, though they have not yet turned against the gods and nature, are ‘not yet impious’ ( Meta I.125–7). In the Age of Iron, division becomes for the first time political: the earth, ‘which had hitherto been a common possession like the sunlight and the air’ ( Meta I.135), is now defaced with boundary lines and ripped to its very bowels by men in search of riches ( Meta I.136–40). Wealth – which is to say, divided and unequal ownership – leads to envy and suspicion, which lead to warfare and worse: husband turns against wife, son against father, host

in Spenser and Donne

-inflected version of the play. One year earlier, the Royal Shakespeare Company had staged Günter Grass’s The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising: A German Tragedy, a play that critiques Brecht’s supposedly compromised political stance by fictionalizing the director’s rehearsal of his Coriolanus adaptation during the 1953 East Berlin workers’ uprising. Brecht’s techniques are also discernible in the RSC’s 1972

in Coriolanus
Making and unmaking a Whig Marvell

have seriously eroded his executive powers, Cromwell dissolved the first Protectoral Parliament at the earliest opportunity allowed by the Instrument of Government, on 22 January 1655, just days after the collector George Thomason acquired a copy of Marvell’s poem. How then are we to understand the gap between Marvell’s epideictic rhetoric in The First Anniversary and the realities of the political situation? Nigel Smith suggests that ‘If the poem offers apparent support to the Protector, the opinions of its author may not be so readily

in Aesthetics of contingency

bureaucracy; the pastoral failures of Puritanism and the obstinacy of alternative social values and ecclesiastical allegiances; the fears and hatreds provoked by religious sectarianism: those liabilities may or may not have been insuperable, but at least we can say that they could not have been overcome without the basis of political stability which Puritan rule failed to secure. The two great works of political theory of the 1650s, Hobbes’s Leviathan and Harrington’s Oceana, offered contrasting answers to the same question: how could the nation escape from its convulsions

in From Republic to Restoration

Elizabethan Dublin 75 political culture of Dublin and the Pale. The texts he considered, particularly Spenser’s Mother Hubberd’s tale, illustrate that literary production in Renaissance Ireland often took the form of political commentary. However, what has remained relatively unexplored is the degree to which the spread to Ireland of new systems of bureaucracy and the proliferation of administrative, secretarial and political literature which was attendant on it, paralleled the arrival of the literary and cultural Renaissance in the course of the sixteenth century. This

in Dublin
Clarendon, Cressy and Hobbes, and the past, present and future of the Church of England

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
‘Republican’ defences of monarchy at the Restoration

right of kings, hard-​nosed, rationalistic and juridical more than mystical.1 Of course, this is not all that there was to the Restoration; it is not even all that there was to Restoration royalism. Republican or quasi-​republican critiques of monarchy were, before long, to make a powerful return, whereas royalist ideas are too easily caricatured as unthinking and uncritical enthusiasm for monarchy. A lot of recent research has shown that royalist political thought is more complicated and diverse than was once imagined. Most of this research has concentrated on the

in From Republic to Restoration
The 1988–89 NYSF Coriolanus

When the New York Shakespeare Festival (NYSF) launched Coriolanus in November 1988 at the 275-seat Anspacher Theater, the director Steven Berkoff had a perfect opportunity to devise a production of political specificity. The United States public had spent the last two years following media coverage of its own military celebrity, Lieutenant-Colonel Oliver North, as a

in Coriolanus
Abstract only

’ rule across generations in a combination of uniquely polyvalent verbal and visual imagery (the beacon, the prophecies, the purple carpet, the net, the invisible and visible Erinyes), stops short of erasing the distinction between justice as political rule and theatrical performance. In his case (and, necessarily to a much more limited degree, in Pickering’s adaptation of the plot), theatrical

in Doing Kyd

extremely grateful to Jane Grogan for this reference.  6 Faerie Queene, IV, xi, 44, line 5.  7 Edmund Spenser, Selected letters and other papers, ed. Christopher Burlinson and Andrew Zurcher (Oxford, 2009), pp. 13–27.   8 James Murray, Enforcing the English Reformation in Ireland: Clerical resistance and political conflict in the diocese of Dublin, 1534–1590 (Cambridge, 2009), p. 310; Christopher Maginn, ‘The Baltinglass Rebellion, 1580: English dissent or a Gaelic uprising?’, Historical Journal 47 (2004), pp. 205–32; Colm Lennon, ‘Eustace, James, third Viscount

in Dublin