The early modern corpse and Shakespeare's theatre

Susan Zimmerman

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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  • Table of Contents
  • Chapter 1
  • Dead Bodies
  • (theoretical introduction: Bataille, Douglas, Kristeva, Lacan, Benjamin)
  • Chapter 2
  • Body Imaging and Religious Reform: The Corpse as Idol (historicist analysis of shifts in sacramental, iconographic, and theological imaging of the corpse from the late medieval to the early modern periods in England)
  • Chapter 3
  • Animating Matter: The Corpse as Idol in The Second Maiden's Tragedy and The Duke of Milan
  • (includes analysis of English public theatre)
  • Chapter 4
  • Invading the Grave: Shadow Lives in The Revenger's Tragedy
  • and The Duchess of Malfi
  • (includes analysis of English funerary customs and the practice of anatomical dissection)
  • Chapter 5
  • Killing the Dead: Duncan's Corpse and Hamlet's Ghost
  • Epilogue: Last Words.

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書名 The early modern corpse and Shakespeare's theatre
著作者等 Zimmerman, Susan
出版元 Edinburgh University Press
刊行年月 c2005
ページ数 vii, 214 p.
大きさ 24 cm
ISBN 0748621032
NCID BA72250390
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言語 英語
出版国 イギリス