It is often assumed that we can never know how the earliest audiences responded to the plays and playbooks of Shakespeare, Marlowe, and other Renaissance dramatists. In this study, old compilations of early modern dramatic allusions provide the surprising key to understanding pre-1660 reception. Whether or not it begins with powerful emotion, that reception creatively applies and appropriates the copious resources of drama for diverse purposes, lessons, and interests. Informed also by critical theory and historical research, this understanding reveals the significance of response to Tamburlaine and Falstaff as well as the importance of drama to Edmund Spenser, John Donne, John Milton, and many others. It makes possible the study of particular responses of women and of workers and contributes to the history of subjectivity, reading, civil society, and aesthetics, and demands a fresh view of dramatic production.
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(228mm x 152mm x 24mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Charles Whitney
Charles Whitney is Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.