Inscribing the Time: Shakespeare and the End of Elizabethan England

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University of California Press, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 276 pages
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Combining the resources of new historicism, feminism, and postmodern textual analysis, Eric Mallin reveals how contemporary pressures left their marks on three Shakespeare plays written at the end of Elizabeth's reign. Close attention to the language of Troilus and Cressida, Hamlet, and Twelfth Night reveals the ways the plays echo the events and anxieties that accompanied the beginning of the seventeenth century. Troilus reflects the rebellion of the Earl of Essex and the failure of the courtly, chivalric style. Hamlet resonates with the danger of the bubonic plague and the difficult succession history of James I. Twelfth Night is imbued with nostalgia for an earlier period of Elizabeth's rule, when her control over religious and erotic affairs seemed more secure. Combining the resources of new historicism, feminism, and postmodern textual analysis, Eric Mallin reveals how contemporary pressures left their marks on three Shakespeare plays written at the end of Elizabeth's reign. Close attention to the language of Troilus and Cressida, Hamlet, and Twelfth Night reveals the ways the plays echo the events and anxieties that accompanied the beginning of the seventeenth century. Troilus reflects the rebellion of the Earl of Essex and the failure of the courtly, chivalric style. Hamlet resonates with the danger of the bubonic plague and the difficult succession history of James I. Twelfth Night is imbued with nostalgia for an earlier period of Elizabeth's rule, when her control over religious and erotic affairs seemed more secure.
 

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About the author (1995)

Eric S. Mallin is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.

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