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Other titles in the Blackwell Guides to Literature series:
English Renaissance Drama (Blackwell Guides to Literature)by Peter Womack
Synopses & Reviews
This guide provides students with the historical, literary and theatrical contexts they need to make sense of English Renaissance drama. The book considers the London theatrical culture which took shape in the 1570s and came to an end in 1642, emphasising plays that can be read in modern editions and seen in modern productions. Shakespeare’s plays appear as a vital but not dominating component of this repertoire.
The opening section reviews the historical conditions in which Renaissance plays were written and performed, tracing the opposing influences of patronage and the market, the Court and the City. The next section surveys the various languages out of which plays were made, showing how discourses such as history, satire or love were taken up and dramatized. Then a series of short biographies describes the lives of the best-known playwrights of the period. A fourth section provides analyses of over twenty specific scripts, showing what makes them interesting and what critical questions they provoke. Finally, the author links ideological concerns with dramatic practice by considering things that are typically enacted on the early modern stage, such as cuckolding, flattering, swaggering, going mad, and rising from the dead.
The book considers the London theatrical culture which took shape in the 1570s and came to an end in 1642.
About the Author
Peter Womack is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of East Anglia. He is the co-author of English Drama: A Cultural History (Blackwell Publishing, 1996), and the author of Improvement and Romance: Constructing the Myth of the Highlands (1989) and Ben Jonson (Blackwell Publishing, 1986).
Table of Contents
Courtiers and Capitalists.
Actors and Writers.
Francis Beaumont (1584/5–1616).
Richard Brome (c. 1590–1652).
George Chapman (1559–1634).
Thomas Dekker (c. 1572–1632).
John Fletcher (1579–1625).
John Ford (1586–?1650).
Robert Greene (1558–1592).
Thomas Heywood (c. 1573–1641).
Ben Jonson (1572–1637).
Thomas Kyd (1558–1594).
Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593).
John Marston (1576–1634).
Philip Massinger (1583–1640).
Thomas Middleton (1580–1627).
Anthony Munday (1560–1633).
George Peele (1556–1596).
William Rowley (d. 1626).
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).
James Shirley (1596–1666).
Cyril Tourneur (d. 1626).
John Webster (c. 1579–c. 1630).
Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy.
Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine the Great.
Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus.
William Shakespeare, Richard II .
Ben Jonson, Every Man In His Humour .
Thomas Dekker, The Shoemakers’ Holiday .
William Shakespeare, Hamlet.
John Marston, The Dutch Courtesan.
William Shakespeare, King Lear.
The Revenger’s Tragedy .
Ben Jonson, Volpone, or, The Fox .
Francis Beaumont, The Knight of the Burning Pestle.
Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, The Maid’s Tragedy.
Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton, The Roaring Girl.
William Shakespeare, The Tempest .
Thomas Middleton, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside.
Ben Jonson, Bartholomew Fair.
John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi.
Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, The Changeling.
Philip Massinger, The Roman Actor .
Thomas Heywood, The Fair Maid of the West.
John Ford, ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore.
Richard Brome, A Jovial Crew.
Actions That A Man Might Play.
Being a Woman.
Rising from the Dead.
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