Rivlin, Elizabeth, The Upstart Crow
Welcome to Volume XXX (2011), an open issue featuring new Shakespeare scholarship, compelling performance reviews, and an impressive book review section.
The issue boasts three strong essays which shed light on previously neglected religious, economic, political, and martial dimensions of several of Shakespeare's plays. Maurice Hunt's "Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and 'the pregnant enemy': The Devil in What You Wilt' closely investigates allusions to the devil in connection with both Viola and Malvolio, arguing that Violas role is ultimately to play the redeemer, not the devil, and uncovering new details about Shakespeare's allusions to the Annunciation. Unhae Langis's contribution is also concerned with religious identities. "Usury and Political Friendship in The Merchant of Venice" argues that Christian hypocrisy in the play is contextualized by the English moneylenders for whom Shylock stands in and is scapegoated. Shylock emerges in Langis's analysis as a figure who, far from embodying corrupt usury, figures England's "emerging mercantilism." Donald R. Riccomini's "Governance and the Warrior Ethic in Macbeth and Henry V" likewise illuminates a transitional period, in this case in the relation between the individual soldier and governing powers. By tracing important changes in how Shakespeare's soldiers conceive of their formal and ethical responsibilities, Riccomini's essay offers a new way to understand the passage from feudalism to statism. …