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Masculinity was a political issue in early modern England. Phrases such as 'courage-masculine' or 'manly virtue' took on a special meaning and signified commitment to the ideals of militant Protestantism. Diplomacy and compromise were disparaged as 'feminine'. Shakespeare on Masculinity is an original study of the way Shakespeare's plays engage with this ideal and a subject that provoked bitter public dispute. Robin Headlam Wells argues that Shakespeare took a sceptical view of the militant-Protestant cult of heroic masculinity. Following a series of portraits of the dangerously charismatic warrior-hero, Shakespeare turned at the end of his writing career to a different kind of leader. If the heroes of the martial tragedies evoke a Herculean ideal of manhood, The Tempest portrays a ruler who, Orpheus-like, uses the arts of civilization to bring peace to a divided world. Other plays receiving close readings include Henry V, Troilus and Cressida, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and Coriolanus.
The vitality of our culture is still often measured by the status Shakespeare has within it. Contemporary readers and writers continue to exploit Shakespeare's cultural afterlife in a vivid and creative way. This fascinating collection of original essays shows how writers' efforts to imitate, contradict, compete with, and reproduce Shakespeare keep him in the cultural conversation. The essays: * analyze the methods and motives of Shakespearean appropriation * investigate theoretically the return of the repressed author in discussions of Shakespeare's cultural function * put into dialogue theoretical and literary responses to Shakespeare's cultural authority * analyze works ranging from nineteenth century to the present, and genres ranging from poetry and the novel to Disney movies.
This book examines laughter in the Shakespearean theatre, in the context of a cultural history of early modern laughter. Aimed at an informed readership as well as graduate students and scholars in the field of Shakespeare studies, it is the first study to focus specifically on laughter, not comedy. It looks at various strands of the early modern discourse on laughter, ranging from medical treatises and courtesy manuals to Puritan tracts and jestbook literature. It argues that few cultural phenomena have undergone as radical a change in meaning as laughter. Laughter became bound up with questions of taste and class identity. At the same time, humanist thinkers revalorised the status of recreation and pleasure. These developments left their trace on the early modern theatre, where laughter was retailed as a commodity in an emerging entertainment industry. Shakespeare´s plays both reflect and shape these changes, particularly in his adaptation of the Erasmian wise fool as a stage figure, and in the sceptical strain of thought that is encapsulated in the laughter evoked in the plays.
1475 - 1700. Full text and page images of books from English language titles. Search by subject, title, author. Contains over 100,000 titles. Includes works listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475 - 1640), Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641 - 1700), and the Thomason Tracts (1640 - 1661).
Provides access to transcriptions, images, and metadata for manuscripts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries via the Folger Shakespeare Library. Includes letters, diaries, wills, coats of arms, literary pieces, recipe books, miscellanies, and more. Currently in beta testing.
A comprehensive literature database of over 350,000 works of poetry, drama and prose dating as far back as 600. Includes links to other Web resources, bibliographies for over 400 authors and biographies for over 1,000 authors.
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