Early Responses to Renaissance Drama

Early Responses to Renaissance Drama

by Charles Whitney


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Early Responses to Renaissance Drama by Charles Whitney

It is often assumed that we can never know how the earliest audiences responded to the plays and playbooks of Shakespeare, Marlowe, and other Renaissance dramatists. In this study, old compilations of early modern dramatic allusions provide the surprising key to a new understanding of pre-1660 reception. Whether or not it begins with powerful emotion, that reception creatively applies and appropriates the copious resources of drama for diverse purposes, lessons, and interests. Informed also by critical theory and historical research, this understanding reveals the significance of response to Tamburlaine and Falstaff as well as the importance of drama to Edmund Spenser, John Donne, John Milton, and many others. For the first time, it makes possible the study of particular responses of women and of workers. It also contributes to the history of subjectivity, reading, civil society, and aesthetics, and demands a new view of dramatic production.

  • Focuses on the pre-1660 response to Renaissance drama, with the main example being Shakespeare; other primary texts under discussion include Tamburlaine and Dr Faustus
  • Develops accounts of the responses of women and of workers to particular dramatic material, extending literary and cultural history into areas of vital importance
  • Offers in-depth analyses of the role of theatre in the lives of individuals

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521117203
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 07/30/2009
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 356
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Charles Whitney is Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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