Discussion, events, CFPs, and open-access scholarship pertaining to Shakespeare.
Hi all, I’m looking into whether beer and food may have been sold in the 17th century private playhouses, like Blackfriars. Gurr and others take up positions on the public playhouses, I’m curious whether anyone has come across suggestions (positive or negative) that these may have been sold inside/during the performances at the indoor spaces?
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 Shakespeare on Humanities Commons 3 weeks, 6 days 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]
Reviews arguments for identifying Shakespeare’s handwriting to the handwriting of Addition IIc in the Sir Thomas More ms. and, by reference to the concept of a control as the indispensable requirement for such comparison, finds the arguments not only instances of special pleading, but a failure to satisfy this fundamental requirement. Urges…[Read more]
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]
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]
Chapter 2: The Survival of English Chivalric Romances provides an account of the documentary evidence of manuscripts, entries, printings, and adaptations which detail the survival of English chivalric romances. The discussion considers other cultural artifacts and related literary kinds which include materials from the tradition of these romances…[Read more]
Chapter 3: The Significance of English Chivalric Romances describes the main features of English chivalric romances: all-embracing idealism; overarching motifs, like separation-and reunion, exile-and-return, sieges, and quests; typical characters: ladies, knights, stewards true or false, and fair unknowns; amatory motifs: courtly love,…[Read more]
Chapter 4: Macbeth: Loyal Stewards and Royal Succession views the play as a romance defined by its overarching structure as exile-and-return of the rightful and qualified successor to the throne. Malcolm proves himself worthy in the Court Scene in England, where his test of Macduff demonstrates his ability, superior to his father’s, to establish “…[Read more]
Chapter 5: Hamlet: Courtly Revenge and Chivalric Succession sets Hamlet’s confusion about the appeal of a chivalric figure as a figure of justice and the ghost’s injunction to courtly revenge for adultery and incest at least as much as murder, in the larger context of the struggle between Denmark and Norway. Whatever befalls Hamlet occurs in the…[Read more]
Chapter 6: Othello: Courtly Love and Chivalric Justice explains the sudden onset of Othello’s jealousy in terms of the known propensities of intermediaries in courtly love to betray their function and thereby alter perceptions of relationships among lady, lover, and their go-between. It interprets the dichotomies between Venice and the Levant on t…[Read more]
Chapter 7: King Lear: Courtly Romance and Chivalric Restoration sees the opening perversions of and developing machinations of courtly love as means leading to the undoing of Edmund, Goneril, and Regan. It sees Edgar, the instrument of their undoing, fulfilling his obligations to father and godfather, as the fair unknown made so by internal exile…[Read more]
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