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Palgrave Macmillan

Romance on the Early Modern Stage

English Expansion Before and After Shakespeare

ISBN 9781137322708
Publication Date August 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

In Shakespeare studies, 'Romance' is widely understood to refer to the plays composed and performed in the waning days of the playwright's career. Romance on the Early Modern Stage introduces a new history for the genre, one that dates back to the first years of the commercial theatre in London. These early plays drew on popular stories depicting adventurous travel, imperial conquest, and exploration of new realms. Their staging also altered the practices of the theatre, as playwrights embraced a dramatic poetics to accommodate the extravagant narratives of these stories. Romance on the Early Modern Stage aligns such formal alterations in stagecraft with an array of materials drawn from early modern global exploration to argue that dramatic fantasies both reflected and informed England's overseas ambitions. The book revises how romance is understood within the dramatic canon - from romance enabling empire in Henry V and Milton's Comus, to the 'anti-romance' staged in The Tempest.

Cyrus Mulready is assistant professor of English at SUNY New Paltz, USA.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction - Romance and the Globe
1. Romancing Shakespeare
2. 'Asia of the one side, and Afric of the other': Sidney's Unities and the Staging of Romance
3. Imagined Empires: The Cultural Geography of Stage Romance
4. Chronicle History, Cosmopolitan Romance: Henry V and the Generic Boundaries of the Second Tetralogy
5. Containing Romance and Plotting Empire in The Tempest and Pericles
6. Milton's Imperial Mask e: Staging Romance on the Border of Wales
Coda - Global Romance after Shakespeare
Appendix 1
Bibliography
Index

Reviews

"Like many before him, Mulready is tantalized by an inaccessible source of literary riches: the many romance plays produced on the English stage from the 1570s to the 1630s that are now lost. He has to settle for those few romance plays that survive, such as Tom a Lincoln and Clyomon and Clamydes, and the insight they offer into the dramatic potentialities of romance' - TLS
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