Skip to content

Memory and Forgetting in English Renaissance Drama
Shakespeare, Marlowe, Webster


Part of Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: July 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521117357

£ 24.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Engaging debates over the nature of subjectivity in early modern England, this fascinating and original study examines sixteenth- and seventeenth-century conceptions of memory and forgetting, and their importance to the drama and culture of the time. Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr discusses memory and forgetting as categories in terms of which a variety of behaviours - from seeking salvation to pursuing vengeance to succumbing to desire - are conceptualized. Drawing upon a range of literary and non-literary discourses, represented by treatises on the passions, sermons, anti-theatrical tracts, epic poems and more, Shakespeare, Marlowe and Webster stage 'self-recollection' and, more commonly, 'self-forgetting', the latter providing a powerful model for dramatic subjectivity. Focusing on works such as Macbeth, Hamlet, Dr Faustus and The Duchess of Malfi, Sullivan reveals memory and forgetting to be dynamic cultural forces central to early modern understandings of embodiment, selfhood and social practice.

    • Considers the conception of memory in the work of three major Renaissance playwrights; Shakespeare, Marlowe and Webster
    • The only full-length monograph on this subject to focus particularly on forgetting
    • Will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in early modern drama, Shakespeare, the history of the body, and the history and philosophy of the self
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… well-researched and well-written …' The Times Literary Supplement

    'Memory and Forgetting in English Renaissance Drama will interest not only those who also address the intellectual history of memory or subjectivity, but those interested in the early modern body, issues of gender, or performance studies and theater history. Sullivan's meticulous and imaginative scholarship and his original approach provide invaluable instruction to anyone interested in Renaissance drama.' The Shakespeare Newsletter

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521117357
    • length: 196 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.3kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: planting oblivion
    1. Embodying oblivion
    2. 'Be this sweet Helen's knell, and now forget her': forgetting and desire in All's Well That Ends Well
    3. 'If he can remember': spiritual self-forgetting in Doctor Faustus
    4. 'My oblivion is a very Antony'
    5. Sleep, conscience and fame in The Duchess of Malfi
    Coda: 'wrought with things forgotten'

  • Author

    Garrett A. Sullivan, Pennsylvania State University
    Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr is Associate Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University. A recipient of a National Endowment of the Humanities/Folger Shakespeare Library long-term fellowship, he is the author of The Drama of Landscape: Land, Property, and Social Relations on the Early Modern Stage, is on the editorial board for Renaissance Drama, and is Associate Editor of Shakespeare Studies. He has published articles on Shakespeare, Marlowe, Marston, Spenser and others in a number of journals including ELH, Shakespeare Quarterly and Renaissance Drama, and has contributed to The Cambridge Companion to English Literature, 1500–1600 (1999) and The Cambridge Companion to Christopher Marlowe (2004).

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.