Shakespeare Studies

This international volume contains essays, studies and book reviews by critics and cultural historians dealing with the cultural history of early modern England.

Articles from Vol. 32, Annual

A Lover's Complaint Revisited
I A LOVER'S COMPLAINT was first published in 1609 at the end of Thomas Thorpe's famous quarto of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Until the early 1960s this narrative poem of 329 iambic pentameter lines had been neglected by Shakespeareans, who tended to...
Do Manuscript Studies Have a Future in Early Modern Women Studies?
FOR THOSE INTERESTED in early modern women as writers and readers, asking whether manuscript studies has a future in that field seems like an odd question. Speaking for those involved in the study of early modern women writers, I would happily argue...
East Meets West: Japanese Theater in the Time of Shakespeare
THE YEAR 2003 saw the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of Kabuki in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. While Shakespeare and Lope de Vega were creating their rich dramatic world in Europe, Okuni (1) and her fellow performers were giving birth...
Economies of Desire in A Midsummer Night's Dream
OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES, scholars have grown increasingly interested in two seemingly-unrelated patterns of reference in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (ca. 1596). On one hand, they have encountered a string of allusions to cross-species...
Foreword
ON BEHALF of the Editorial Board of Shakespeare Studies, I would like to inform our readership that Leeds Barroll has decided to step down as Editor of the journal with the publication of this volume. Forty years ago, Leeds founded Shakespeare Studies...
Going Down the Drain in 1616: Widow Henslowe and the Sewers Commission
THERE IS, IN THE Department of Manuscripts of the British Library, a small black cardboard box. It is roughly 30 cm. in length, 10 cm. wide, and 10 cm. deep, and it appears to be a relic of the early twentieth century. Inside are four vellum rolls,...
Introduction: Do Manuscript Studies in the Early Modern Period Have a Future?
IN JANUARY 1974, when I began work on the Index of English Literary Manuscripts, this question would have had no meaning. Insofar as there was a discipline of "manuscript studies" at all it was devoted purely to medieval manuscripts: i.e., in the academic...
"Look on Fertile France": French Theater in Shakespeare's Time
SHAKESPEARE'S WORK has had a profound impact on writers everywhere, and France is no exception. (1) Flaubert wrote to his mistress Louise Colet, "When I read Shakespeare, I become greater, more intelligent, and more pure. Having reached the summit...
Shakespearean Revivifications: Early Modern Undead
IN THE MEDIGAL TREATISE A Briefe Discourse of a disease called the Suffocation of the Mother (1603), Edward Jorden is particularly descriptive about the distinctive symptomology and uncanny appearance of undead hysterical women, conscientiously inscribing...
Switching on the World of Dramatic Manuscripts
THE "FUTURE" OF EARLY modern dramatic manuscript studies is the present, as I learned at an excellent conference on "The Future of Manuscripts in a Switched-on World" held at the University of London in March 2002 and co-sponsored by its Centre for...
The Backward Voice of Coriol-Anus
ESPECIALLY APPARENT IN Shakespeare's late tragedy Coriolanus are the venerable concept and related imagery of the body politic and its corporate parts. (1) In this scheme, Coriolanus apparently figures as the brawny arm and sword of the early Roman...
The Fey Beauty of A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Shakespearean Comedy in Its Courtly Context
WELL OVER FIFTY YEARS AGO, E. R. Curtius demonstrated that the literary arts of the late Middle Ages emerged from the persuasive branch of the trivium. (1) Since that time, however, few scholars have explored the Elizabethan court comedy as an exemplary...
The Future of Manuscript Studies in Early Modern Poetry
ON SOME MORNINGS this past July all seats were taken before noon in the Manuscripts Room of the British Library. As a result and for the rest of the day anxious scholars paced the aisles waiting for ensconced readers to leave. I witnessed this sorry...
The Popular Mechanics of Rude Mechanicals: Shakespeare, the Present, and the Walls of Academe
Some man or other must present Wall; and let him have some plaster, or some loam, or some rough-cast about him, to signify wall; and let him hold his fingers thus, through that cranny shall Pyramus and Thisbe whisper. Bottom, A Midsummer Night's...
The Work in Transmission and Its Recovery
THE FUTURE OF EARLY modern manuscript studies will be created by identifying tasks and then establishing the capacities necessary to perform those tasks. Until recently the principal task envisaged was that of supporting the work of editors, which...
"Your Captain Is Brave and Vows Reformation": Jack Cade, the Hacket Rising, and Shakespeare's Vision of Popular Rebellion in 2 Henry VI
"And do not stand on quillets how to slay him ..." (3.1.261) Thus died the most dangerous firebrand of sedition, most detestable traitor, most hypocriticall seducer, and most execrable blasphemous helhound, that many ages ever sawe, or...
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