Inwardness and Theater in the English Renaissance

Overview

Katharine Eisaman Maus explores Renaissance writers' uneasy preoccupation with the inwardness and invisibility of truth. The perceived discrepancy between a person's outward appearance and inward disposition, she argues, deeply influenced the ways English Renaissance dramatists and poets conceived of the theater, imagined dramatic characters, and reflected upon their own creativity.

Reading works by Kyd, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Milton in conjuction with sectarian ...

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Overview

Katharine Eisaman Maus explores Renaissance writers' uneasy preoccupation with the inwardness and invisibility of truth. The perceived discrepancy between a person's outward appearance and inward disposition, she argues, deeply influenced the ways English Renaissance dramatists and poets conceived of the theater, imagined dramatic characters, and reflected upon their own creativity.

Reading works by Kyd, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Milton in conjuction with sectarian polemics, gynecological treatises, and accounts of criminal prosecutions, Maus delineates unexplored connections among religious, legal, sexual, and theatrical ideas of inward truth. She reveals what was at stake--ethically, politically, epistemologically, and theologically--when a writer in early modern England appealed to the difference between external show and interior authenticity. Challenging the recent tendency to see early modern selfhood as defined in wholly public terms, Maus argues that Renaissance dramatists continually payed homage to aspects of inner life they felt could never be manifested onstage.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Examines the difference between an unexpressed interior and a theatrical exterior as they are expressed in English Renaissance plays and reflected in the culture of the period. Considers the epistemological anxieties the gap generates, the social practices devised to manage it, and the sociopolitical purposes it serves. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226511238
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1995
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Inwardness and Spectatorship 1
2 Machiavels and Family Men 35
3 Heretical Conscience and Theatrical Rhetoric: The Case of Christopher Marlowe 72
4 Proof and Consequences: Othello and the Crime of Intention 104
5 Prosecution and Sexual Secrecy: Jonson and Shakespeare 128
6 A Womb of His Own: Male Renaissance Poets in the Female Body 182
7 Conclusion 210
Index 217
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