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Law and Representation in Early Modern Drama

$103.00 (C)

  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521850353

$ 103.00 (C)
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  • This examination of the relation between law and drama in Renaissance England establishes the diversity of their dialogue, encompassing critique and complicity, comment and analogy, but argues that the way in which drama addresses legal problems and dilemmas is nevertheless distinctive. As the resemblance between law and theatre concerns their formal structures rather than their methods and aims, an interdisciplinary approach must be alive to distinctions as well as affinities. Alert to issues of representation without losing sight of a lived culture of litigation, this study primarily focuses on early modern implications of the connection between legal and dramatic evidence, but expands to address a wider range of issues which stretch the representational capacities of both courtroom and theatre. The book does not shy away from drama's composite vision of legal realities but engages with the fictionality itself as significant, and negotiates the methodological challenges it posits.

    • Draws on plays, court records, theoretical legal writing and rhetorical treatises
    • Accessibly written, it combines detailed close readings with larger arguments about the vision of law that emerges from drama
    • Discusses well-known dramatists such as Webster and Heywood alongside lesser-known ones
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "the book rewards careful attention, frequently eliciting insights so striking that one wonders how they escaped notice until now." - John D. Schaeffer, Northern Illinois University, Renaissance Quarterly

    "this volume adds an important new perspective to Renaissance studies in its concentration on the nexus between law and literature, from a historical point of view." - Daniela Carpi, University of Verona

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521850353
    • length: 314 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of maps
    Acknowledgements
    Glossary
    A note on the text
    List of abbreviations
    Introduction
    1. 'Of rings, and things, and fine array': marriage law, evidence and uncertainty
    2. 'Unmanly indignities': adultery, evidence and judgement in Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness
    3. Evidence and representation on 'the theatre of God's judgements': A Warning for Fair Women
    4. 'Painted devils': image-making and evidence in The White Devil
    5. Locations of law: spaces, people, play
    6. 'When women go to law, the Devil is full of Business': women, law and dramatic realism
    Epilogue. The Hydra head, the labyrinth and the waxen nose: discursive metaphors for law
    Appendix
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Subha Mukherji, University of Cambridge
    Subha Mukherji is a lecturer at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University.

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