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Religion and Revelry examines the relationship between traditional festive pastimes – such as Midsummer pageants and morris dancing – and Shakespeare's plays. Beginning with C. L. Barber's Shakespeare's Festive Comedy, work on this topic has stressed the political and social meanings of early modern festivity; in contrast, this study seeks to restore a sense of the devotional issues surrounding festivity to our understanding of early modern cultural representations. After establishing the continued religious controversies surrounding festivity expressed in a range of early modern literature, the book argues that Shakespeare is a festive traditionalist who not only acknowledges the relationship between traditional pastimes, stage plays, and religious controversy, but who also aligns his own work with festive energies identified with the old religion. Religion and Revelry therefore intervenes in recent controversies over the role of religion in Shakespeare's theater, as well as the particular place of Catholicism in Shakespeare's work and world.Read more
- Reviews recent scholarly debates on Shakespearean festivity and Shakespeare and Catholicism
- Includes individual readings of Shakespeare's plays including As You Like It and Twelfth Night, providing context and specific examples for the reader
- Presents and analyses archival material on regional performance
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- Date Published: February 2009
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521506397
- length: 280 pages
- dimensions: 234 x 160 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.57kg
- contains: 6 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Part I. Religion and Revelry: Introduction
1. 'The reliques and rages of Popish superstition'
2. 'A calendar! A calendar!': festive nostalgia and calendrical reform
Part II. Shakespeare's Festive World:
3. Pastimes and pastoral: As You Like It
4. Falstaff in Illyria: the second Henriad and Twelfth Night
5. Singing Psalms to hornpipes: festivity and iconoclasm in The Winter's Tale
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