Mining a series of previously uncharted conversations springing up in 16th- and 17th-century popular medicine and culture, this study explores early modern England's significant and sustained interest in the hysterical diseases of women. Kaara L. Peterson assembles a fascinating collection of medical materials to support her discussion of contemporary debates about varieties of uterine pathologies and the implications of these debates for our understanding of drama's representation of hysterica passio cases in particular, among other hysterical maladies. An important aspect of the author's approach is to restore, with all its nuances, the debates created by early modern medical writers over attempts to define the boundaries and resonances of hysterical ailments, which Peterson argues have been largely erased or elided by historicist criticism, including scholarship overly focused on melancholy. One of the main goals of the book is to stress the centrality of gendered concepts of disease for the period and to reveal a whole catalog of early modern literary strategies for representing women's illnesses. Among the medical works discussed are Edward Jorden's central text A Briefe Discourse of a Disease Called the Suffocation of the Mother (1603) and contemporary plays, including Shakespeare's Pericles, Othello, King Lear, and The Winter's Tale; Webster's The Duchess of Malfi; and Chapman's Bussy D'Ambois.
Tackling vital issues of politics, identity and experience in performance, this book asks what Shakespeare's plays mean when extended beyond the English language. From April to June 2012 the Globe to Globe Festival offered the unprecedented opportunity to see all of Shakespeare's plays performed in many different world languages. Thirty-eight productions from around the globe were presented in six weeks as part of the World Shakespeare Festival, which formed a cornerstone of the Cultural Olympics. This book provides the only complete critical record of that event, drawing together an internationally renowned group of scholars of Shakespeare and world theatre with a selection of the UK's most celebrated Shakespearean actors. Featuring a foreword by Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole and an interview with the Festival Director Tom Bird, this volume highlights the energy and dedication that was necessary to mount this extraordinary cultural experiment.
Written by a team of leading international scholars, this Companion is designed to illuminate Shakespeare's works through discussion of the key topics of Shakespeare studies. Twenty-one essays provide lively and authoritative approaches to recent scholarship and criticism for readers keen to expand their knowledge and appreciation of Shakespeare. The book contains stimulating chapters on traditional topics such as Shakespeare's biography and the transmission of his texts. Individual readings of the plays are given in the context of genre as well as through the cultural and historical perspectives of race, sexuality and gender, and politics and religion. Essays on performance survey the latest digital media as well as stage and film. Throughout the volume, contributors discuss Shakespeare in a global as well as a national context, a dramatist with a long and constantly mutating history of reception and performance.
"Few plays have both attracted and resisted genre study as strongly as Shakespeare's late plays. The Staging of Romance in Late Shakespeare: Text and Theatrical Technique takes a fresh approach to the role of genre in these plays by placing them in relation to the tradition of staged romance in the early modern English theater. The book argues that Shakespeare's late plays can best be understood as theatrical experiments that extend and reform this tradition, which developed around a group of theatrical techniques that sought to realize the effects of narrative romance in the theatrical medium. Their central effect was the creation of admiration in the spectators for heroic action; the value of the plays within the culture derived from this experience."--BOOK JACKET.
This book is concerned with language, genre, drama, and literary and historical narrative and examines the comedy of Shakespeare in the context of comedies from Italy, Spain, and France in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.