Renaissance Drama / Edition 1

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Renaissance Drama provides a comprehensive and engaging new account of one of the richest periods of theatre history: the drama of early modern England produced for the professional theatre. It brings new insights to bear by exploring the plays in their relation to the culture and society of the period.

Sandra Clark takes the reader through a compelling examination of how plays participate in and respond to changing anxieties, for instance about English nationhood, the monarchy, or the role of the family, sometimes raising difficult questions or offering challenges to accepted views. Unlike many books on Elizabethan drama, the book is organized so as to cover a wide range of plays, some familiar, many less so, by many playwrights, from Lyly in the 1580s to Shirley in the 1640s. Shakespeare is not foregrounded, but neither is he excluded; a chapter considers his dialogue with contemporaries and also the ways in which later playwrights wrote back to his work.

Renaissance Drama will become standard reading for all students and scholars of English literature or the early modern period.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An engaging, thoughtful book that ranges across and sometimesbeyond the canon (and also) though Clark's frequent short analysesof particular texts, presents student readers with a series ofuseful models for their own research, analysis and academicwriting."
Times Higher Education

"Realistically comprehensive, distinctive and engaging ... As anoverview of what was and could be acted in the first hundred yearsof the commercial stage in London, it is invaluable."
Times Literary Supplement

"Renaissance Drama employs a thematic and chronologicalapproach to the drama of the period by surveying most of the keydramatists and applying to their works a strong sense of culturalcontexts and the theorized approaches of modern criticism. Owing tothis structure, Clark's study, like that of Womack, should be ofimmense usefulness to scholars and students alike."
The Year's Work in English Studies

"This is a really thorough, extraordinarily wide-ranging,student-friendly study which places the plays of Shakespeare andhis many contemporaries firmly within their social and culturalcontexts. With impressive economy, Sandra Clark offers a seamlesslywoven account of the crucial forces shaping how theatre worked inthis period."
Lisa Hopkins, SheffieldHallamUniversity

"Sandra Clark's long and distinguished career as a Shakespearescholar illuminates every page of this magisterial study. Familiarwith so many works of Renaissance drama, she draws on her extensiveknowledge of early modern culture to demonstrate just how thetheatre reflects the society. Clark's study will be widely adoptedfor use in sixth-form and university classrooms."
John W. Mahon, co-editor, Shakespeare Newsletter

"As always, Sandra Clark's remarkable knowledge captures thevibrancy of Renaissance London. Informative for students andexperts, Renaissance Drama replaces bardolatry with detailsfrom plays and social documents which bring to life Shakespeare'sprofession, city, and contemporaries."
Cristina Malcolmson, Bates College

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Professor of Renaissance Literature, Birkbeck College, University of London.

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Table of Contents



1 Monarchy and the Stage.

2 Sex, Marriage and the Family.

3 Journalistic Plays.

4 History Plays.

5 Tragedies of Tyrants.

6 Reading Revenge.

7 Comedy and the City.

8 The Place of Shakespeare.


Further Reading.

Editions and Primary Texts

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