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Shakespeare, Violence and Early Modern Europe

$99.99 (F)

  • Date Published: February 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108830188

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About the Authors
  • Shakespeare, Violence and Early Modern Europe broadens our understanding of the final years of the last Tudor monarch, revealing the truly international context in which they must be understood. Uncovering the extent to which Shakespeare's dramatic art intersected with European politics, Andrew Hiscock brings together close readings of the history plays, compelling insights into late Elizabethan political culture and renewed attention to neglected continental accounts of Elizabeth I. With fresh perspective, the book charts the profound influence that Shakespeare and ambitious courtiers had upon succeeding generations of European writers, dramatists and audiences following the turn of the sixteenth century. Informed by early modern and contemporary cultural debate, this book demonstrates how the study of early modern violence can illuminate ongoing crises of interpretation concerning brutality, victimization and complicity today.

    • Uncovers the dilemmas and traumas of  late sixteenth-century England, demonstrating the close connection between Shakespeare's dramatic art and the power play of Elizabethan politics during the 1590s
    • Releases Shakespeare from a solidly Anglophone tradition of English literature, showing how European dramatists, librettists, poets and prose writers re-imagined Elizabeth, Ralegh, Essex and Shakespeare for audiences and readers in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries
    • Places Shakespearean drama and Elizabethan political life in conversation with modern theoretical debate concerning brutality, victimization, complicity and the status and function of violence itself
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘Hiscock possesses an insightful eye for the nuances of narratives about transnational violence and their complex relationships with literary texts - particularly Shakespeare's history plays. His perspective is impressively broad, exploring how ideas about warfare have been repeated, re-formed, and interpreted in sources from England and the Continent from the seventeenth century to the present … Shakespeare, Violence and Early Modern Europe adds considerably to how we think about violence and war in the period, in Shakespeare's plays, and in our own time.’ Matteo Pangallo, Shakespeare Quarterly

    ‘Throughout, Hiscock's study is enrichingly contextualised by excerpts from primary sources (in their original languages and translated into English) … A further strength lies in how the book's arguments are not only underpinned by literary criticism and historical research, but also informed by judicious use of works by philosophers... Hiscock's Shakespeare, Violence and Early Modern Europe is a solid and thoughtful contribution to early modern literary and cultural studies, commendably demonstrating the value of attending to the intersections between Shakespearean drama, Elizabethan politics, and the theatres of war across the continent.’ Edel Semple, Review of English Studies

    ‘There was a deep ambivalence towards military violence and the practice of soldiery during the last years of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign … Andrew Hiscock’s Shakespeare, Violence and Early Modern Europe explores this ambivalence. Over the course of six interesting and thoroughly researched chapters, filled with a wealth of valuable quotations both from British and European theorists of war in the early modern period and from modern scholars of violence, Hiscock documents the complex and conflicted attitudes that the early moderns held towards both warfare and those who practised it.’ Rebecca Yearling, The Spenser Review

    ‘Shakespeare, Violence and Early Modern Europe is another major study by Andrew Hiscock, one of our leading commentators on early modern cultural and intellectual history … [It] marks a significant contribution to our collective understanding of how violence figured in early modern cultural debate, and how Shakespeare's creative engagement with English history … helped to introduce and sustain such debate …’ Rory Loughnane, Modern Language Review

    ‘With extraordinary range of reference, Andrew Hiscock’s Shakespeare, Violence, and Early Modern Europe examines early modern debates about the functions of violence in the construction of national identity and national memory from both English and continental perspectives. Though assembled around readings of Shakespeare’s history plays, the book encompasses discussions of warfare, ambition, territorial expansion, militarization, and the uses of history, impressively documented in English and Continental print culture from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.’ Amanda K. Ruud, Renaissance Quarterly

    ‘Smart, well researched, and offering a unique view of Shakespeare's two history tetralogies, Shakespeare, Violence and Early Modern Europe examines the context in which the personal and political violence of Shakespeare's history plays were received and understood, and also the status and function of violence as represented on the English Renaissance stage and in the social mechanisms of early modernity. … Through close readings of the plays, Hiscock opens them up, proposing that Shakespeare's cultures of war actually disclose hitherto occluded conditions of being, knowing, telling, and withholding.’ K. J. Wetmore Jr., CHOICE

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2022
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108830188
    • length: 290 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'touching violence or punishments': Walter Ralegh and the economy of aggression
    2. 'Undoing all, as all had never been': the play of violence in Henry VI
    3. In the realm of the 'unthankful King': violent subjects and subjectivities in the Henry IV plays
    4. 'Now thrive the armourers': Henry V and the promise of 'Hungry War'
    5. 'The childe of his great Mistris favour, but the sonne of Bellona': the conflict-ridden careers of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
    6. European afterlives 1600–1770.

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    Shakespeare, Violence and Early Modern Europe

    Andrew Hiscock

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  • Author

    Andrew Hiscock, Bangor University
    Andrew Hiscock is Dean and Professor of Early Modern Literature at Bangor University, Wales, and Research Fellow at the Institut de Recherche sur la Renaissance, l'Âge Classique et les Lumières, Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier 3. He is a Fellow of the English Association and has published widely on English and French early modern literature. He is series co-editor for the Arden Early Modern Drama Guides and a trustee of the Modern Humanities Research Association. His monographs include Reading Memory in Early Modern Literature (Cambridge, 2011) and The Uses of this World: Thinking Space in Shakespeare, Marlowe, Cary and Jonson (2004).

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