A group dedicated to supporting scholarship and teaching on the period from c. 1400 – c. 1650. All regions of the world and disciplines welcome!
In the wake of Christopher Columbus’ first voyages of “discovery,” the New World rapidly became the setting for European exploration and subsequent colonization. The Spanish and Portuguese established early claim to New World territories, and they were soon joined by representatives of other nationalities eager for a share in the perceived riches…[Read more]
Describes and analyzes two episodes of article rejections based on political correctness and several published instances of politically correct inverse racism. Shows that political correctness in judging scholarship on race uses a double standard which enables reverse racism and an unsavory rhetoric. Discusses political correctness as the…[Read more]
Reviews the Shakespeare Quarterly special issue (spring 2016), a collection of articles on different aspects of modern race study in Shakespeare. Addresses the problems confronting race study, the rhetoric of race “conversation,” and difficulties in race scholarship. Focuses on Ian Smith’s “Who Speaks for Othello” as representative of race study…[Read more]
Critiques current status of relationship between scholarly research and academic teaching. Uses three examples–one each from Macbeth, Othello, and King Lear–to illustrate connections between both efforts.
This close reading addresses the couplet, puzzling because of its generality, which critics try to constrict by forced specificity. The quatrain-to-quatrain sequence of the image clusters suggests the theme of transitoriness and parallels The Order of The Burial of the Dead in The Book of Common Prayer, which burial ritual justifies the…[Read more]
Received opinion based on scanty evidence and skimpy arguments holds that race and racism operate in important ways in Othello and Othello’s jealousy. Few specifically race-referential words and only one specifically racist image occur in the play, almost all in the first four scenes.
Brabantio’s, Roderigo’s, and Iago’s views are mistake…[Read more]
Romance as a group of, and label for, some of Shakespeare’s last plays presupposes the influence of later romance kinds, and Shakespeare studies presuppose their influence and preclude the influence of an earlier romance kind, namely, chivalric romance. This sub-genre includes romances like Bevis of Hampton and Guy of Warwick, both popular in S…[Read more]
Michael L. Hays deposited Emending Othello; Explaining Othello: A Critique of Contemporary Principles of and Practices in Editing Shakespeare and a Historical-Literary Interpretation of Othello’s Jealousy in the group Renaissance / Early Modern Studies on Humanities Commons 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Modern editors of Othello unanimously and silently adopt the Folio (1623) text as their copy text but emend it in light of the quarto (1622) text at III, iii, 97. Neither of the two reasons for emendation, textual corruption or literary unintelligibility, applies. A critique of textual editing shows that, given knowledge of the many and various…[Read more]
This presentation asks whether Macbeth ends literally, as traditional criticism has viewed it, or ironically, as modern criticism would have it. Its answer emphasizes Malcolm’s role by detailing the Court Scene, which tests Malcolm, not MacDuff, to establish his character, legitimacy, and competence to rule. It shows this scene as a turning p…[Read more]
This presentation presents a critical overview and assessment of the pedagogical and critical treatment of the Court Scene, with particular attention to its use in modern political interpretations; places Malcolm in the thematic context established by Holinshed’s comparison of Duncan and Macbeth; puts the scene in the context of the play’s plo…[Read more]
“Sources, Scholarship, and Sense: Shakespeare’s Use of Holinshed in Macbeth,” , (2003)
This presentation uses an analysis of Shakespeare’s primary source as a means to disclose modifications and retentions for the purpose of achieving both dramatic and narrative ends. Establishing the identity of “Bellona’s Bridegroome” as MacDuff enabl…[Read more]
Welcome to Women also Know Literature. If you are not yet a member, we hope that you will join us!
We are a group of literature scholars inspired by the efforts of “Women Also Know History,” which has launched an impressive website dedicated to promoting and supporting the work of women historians. We hope to do the same for women sc…[Read more]
Assesses the characterization and distinctions between the medieval and renaissance periods, and finds them deficient and the supporting scholarship superficial.
Michael L. Hays deposited A Bibliography of Dramatic Adaptations of Medieval Romances and Renaissance Chivalric Romances First Available in English through 1616 in the group Renaissance / Early Modern Studies on Humanities Commons 2 months ago
This bibliography is divided into three parts. The first two parts encompass medieval romances first available in English before 1558. Part I includes romances by unknown or little-known authors or translators which others, as noted, regard as romances. Part II includes romances by those who are well known: Caxton, Chaucer, Gower, Henryson,…[Read more]
Analyzes the character and convictions of New Historicism, demonstrates its conflicting impulses and theoretical inadequacies, and critiques Kastan’s New Historical interpretation of “Macbeth.”
Uses the survival of the English chivalric romance tradition throughout Shakespeare’s professional lifetime and his exploitation of that tradition especially in his major tragedies to challenge the commonplace distinction between the medieval and the renaissance on the one hand, and to suggest that his openness to that medieval tradition showed…[Read more]
Analyzes Spenser’s Red-Cross Knight and Shakespeare’s Edgar as chivalric knights in the tradition of English chivalric romance, and compares these writers’ attitudes toward the knights and the chivalry which they represent. Finds that, contrary to common interpretation, Spenser is the more modern, Shakespeare the more medieval, in their regar…[Read more]
Establishes the division of characters between Maria/Toby/Feste and Malvolio, and their respective behaviors, characteristics, and values; shows the difficult, though sanctioned position, in which Malvolio’s role as steward places him; and traces Olivia’s (and later Orsino’s) regard for him in that role. Correlates the dichotomy between the two d…[Read more]
0. Preliminaries provide the usual guides to contents and graphics, and an unusual statement of acknowledgments. It also provides a preface which explains my approach to prevent possible misapprehensions because of its debt to, but also its departure from, source and influence studies. It addresses various critical issues: genre because of…[Read more]
Chapter 1: Introduction provides on overview of the nature of English chivalric romances and an explanation of the historical circumstances of its particular vogue in late Elizabethan and early Jacobean England. It examines the biases in literary criticism—literary supersession and literary prefigurement, and neo-classical definitions of and r…[Read more]
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