The Early Modern Corpse and Shakespeare's Theatre
Within a theoretical framework that makes use of history, psychoanalysis and anthropology, The Early Modern Corpse and Shakespeare’s Theatre explores the relationship of the public theatre to the question of what constituted the ‘dead’ in early modern English culture.Susan Zimmerman argues that concepts of the corpse as a semi-animate, generative and indeterminate entity were deeply rooted in medieval religious culture. Such concepts ran counter to early modern discourses that sought to harden categorical distinctions between body/spirit, animate/inanimate – in particular, the attacks of Reformists on the materiality of ‘dead’ idols, and the rationale of the new anatomy for publicly dissecting ‘dead’ bodies. Zimmerman contends that within this context, theatrical representations of the corpse or corpse/revenant – as seen here in the tragedies of Shakespeare and his contemporaries – uniquely showcased the theatre’s own ideological and performative agency. Features*Original in its conjunction of critical theory (Bataille, Kristeva, Lacan, Benjamin) with an historical account of the shifting status of the corpse in late medieval and early modern England.*The first study to demonstrate connections between the meanings attached to the material body in early modern Protestantism, the practice of anatomical dissection, and the English public theatre.*Strong market appeal to scholars and graduate students with interests in the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, early modern religion and science, and literary theory. *Relevant to advanced undergraduates taking widely taught courses in Shakespeare and in Renaissance drama.
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actor ambiguous Antonio argues beatification Benjamin blood bodily Bosola Bynum Calvin Cambridge Catholic Christ Christian Church concept corpse corruption cross-dressed dead body death desire Duchess Duchess of Malfi Duke of Milan Duncan's emphasis English English Reformation erotic Eucharistic fantasy father female Ferdinand flesh foregrounded Foxe Foxe's function gender ghost Gloriana Govianus Hamlet Herod homily homily on idolatry homily's human ideological idol idolatry images imagination intrigant Kristeva Lady Lady's Legenda living London lust lycanthropy Macbeth Marcelia Mariamne martyrs material medieval meta-theatricality metaphor Middle Ages Middleton's mode mother murder mystery necrophilia Oxford paradox passion physical play play's popular Protestant Protestant reformers purgatory putrefaction putrefying redemptive Reformation reformists relationship Renaissance representation represents Revenger's Tragedy ritual sacramental saints scene Second Maiden's Tragedy sexual Sforza Shakespeare signifies soul spirit stage status symbolic taboo theatre theatrical tomb trans transfiguration transformation transvestism Trauerspiel Tyrant University Press Vindice Vindice's virgin woman worship