Environmental Degradation in Jacobean Drama

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 14, 2013 - Literary Criticism - 216 pages
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In Environmental Degradation in Jacobean Drama, Bruce Boehrer provides the first general history of the Shakespearean stage to focus primarily on ecological issues. Early modern English drama was conditioned by the environmental events of the cities and landscapes within which it developed. Boehrer introduces Jacobean London as the first modern European metropolis in an England beset by problems of overpopulation; depletion of resources and species; land, water and air pollution; disease and other health-related issues; and associated changes in social behavior and cultural output. In six chapters he discusses the work of the most productive and influential playwrights of the day: Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Fletcher, Dekker and Heywood, exploring the strategies by which they made sense of radical ecological change in their drama. In the process, Boehrer sketches out these playwrights' differing responses to environmental issues and traces their legacy for later literary formulations of green consciousness.

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Middleton and ecological change
Jonson and the universe of things
Shakespeares dirt
John Fletcher and the ecology of manhood
Dekkers walks and orchards
Heywood and the spectacle of the hunt

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About the author (2013)

Bruce Boehrer is Bertram H. Davis Professor in the Department of English at Florida State University. He is the author of five previous books, including most recently Animal Characters: Nonhuman Beings and European Literature (2010). He is the editor of A Cultural History of Animals in the Renaissance (2007) and since 1999 he has served first as founding Editor and now as Co-Editor of the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies.

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