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. 41, Annual

A Cautionary Elephant
A WIDELY KNOWN FABLE tells of a maharaja who asks several blind men to reach out and touch an elephant. Asked to describe the elephant after touching just one part of his great body, the man who has felt the elephant's trunk declares he is a creature...
Beastly Physic
Animals are creatures we don't have sex with--that's how we distinguish them from ourselves. The very thought of sex with them makes us shudder. That is the level at which they are unclean--all of them. We don't mix with them. We keep the clean apart...
Death's Release: Comedy and the Erotics of the Grave in the Widow's Tears
The grave's a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace. --Andrew Marvel (1) comedy is really about death and dying --Marjorie Garber (2) The animal dies. But the death of the animal is the becoming of consciousness. ...
"I Cannot Tell Wat Is like Me": Simile, Paternity, and Identity in Henry V
RENAISSANCE TEXTS are frequently haunted by a fantasy of paternal parthenogenesis (sometimes rationalized in the idea of adopting a son) that elides the presence of the problematic woman and the uncertainty about legitimacy she creates. Critics often...
Introduction
HELKIAH CROOKE ASSERTED IN Mikrokosmographia (1615) that the face was the signifier of the human: "At the beholding of this face, all creatures are affrighted, because in it there shine foorth more beames of the divine Nature, than in all the body...
Rethinking Humanism: Animals and the Analogic Imagination in the Italian Renaissance
I WILL PROPOSE IN THIS ESSAY that what constitutes human and animal bodies, and their points of intersection, was a concern of Italian humanist writers, who eschewed categorical divisions of any kind. While affirming the union of body and soul as the...
Rise of the Poet of the Apes
DID MONKEYS HAVE A RENAISSANCE? If a Renaissance is synonymous with "self-fashioning" and if self-fashioning is, as Stephen Greenblatt avers, "always, though not exclusively, in language," then a Renaissance for monkeys would have to presume that these...
Shakespeare's Sleeping Workers
There are many onstage sleepers in the Shakespeare canon. (1) There are also many workers of various stripes, ranging from artisans to apprentices to needleworkers. But there are only two sleeping workers in Shakespeare, and both of them are tied directly...
The Album Amicorum and the London of Shakespeare's Time
The Album Amicorum and the London of Shakespeare's Time By June Schlueter London: The British Library, 2011. June Schlueter's remarkably detailed study of early modern alba amicorum is, in a word, "intriguing," a description the author herself...
The Bee and the Sovereign? Political Entomology and the Problem of Scale
WITHOUT THE ANIMAL, there is no human. Or so recent work, often grouped under the rubric of animal studies, suggests. Given the bull market for animal studies across historical periods and national traditions, and given a wave of recent work that seems,...
The Body of the Virgin and the Body of the Beast: Reflections on Medieval Monstrosity
FROM THE TWELFTH through the fourteenth centuries, animals were a constituent and pervasive part of daily life in medieval Europe; indeed, it has been argued that in no period other than pre-history have man and animals been so intimately connected....
The Critical Practice of Catherine Belsey
IT ALL BEGAN WITH Critical Practice, the 1980 New Accents volume that introduced Catherine Belsey to an international audience and laid out what were to become some of the signature features of her work: namely, a passionate embrace of theoretical...
"To Bark with Judgment": Playing Baboon in Early Modern London
WHO OR WHAT PLAYED THE BABOON on early modern London's stages? Such a question may seem as obscure as its answer obvious; I ask it, however, to foreground the long history of trained animal performers and their relationship to canonical English drama....
What You Will: Gender, Contract and Shakespearean Social Space
What You Will: Gender, Contract and Shakespearean Social Space By Kathryn Schwarz Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011 Kathryn Schwarz's excellent new book, What You Will: Gender, Contract and Shakespearean Social Space, traces...
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