The New Middle Ages

Shakespeare, Catholicism, and the Middle Ages

Maimed Rights

Authors: Thomas, Alfred

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  • Places Shakespeare and his work in the religious and political context of his own time
  • Provides a new interpretation of the medieval influence on Renaissance plays  
  • Examines the connectedness of religion, literature, and art  
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eBook 83,29 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-90218-0
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 103,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90217-3
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About this book

Whereas traditional scholarship assumed that William Shakespeare used the medieval past as a negative foil to legitimate the present, Shakespeare, Catholicism, and the Middle Ages offers a revisionist perspective, arguing that the playwright valorizes the Middle Ages in order to critique the oppressive nature of the Tudor-Stuart state. In examining Shakespeare’s Richard II, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Winter’s Tale, the text explores how Shakespeare repossessed the medieval past to articulate political and religious dissent. By comparing these and other plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries with their medieval analogues, Alfred Thomas argues that Shakespeare was an ecumenical writer concerned with promoting tolerance in a highly intolerant and partisan age. 

About the authors

Alfred Thomas is Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA, and is the author of ten books, including a Blessed Shore: England and Bohemia from Chaucer to Shakespeare (2007); Shakespeare, Dissent, and the Cold War (Palgrave Macmillan 2014); and Reading Women in Late Medieval Europe: Anne of Bohemia and Chaucer’s Female Audience (Palgrave Macmillan 2015).

 

Reviews

“Alfred Thomas combines an acute sense of the political, probing for tales of tyranny and resistance, with an ability to place literary works in their deep historical context. The lay reader will be intrigued by the parallels he draws between the Elizabethan era and the present.” (Peter Rutland, Professor of Government, Wesleyan University, USA)

“In Shakespeare, Catholicism, and the Middle Ages, Alfred Thomas has written an original, learned, refreshing book on a famous and familiar subject that challenges many of the common critical assumptions about the sources and historical contexts of several of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. With subtlety and brilliance, Thomas not only demonstrates that medieval tradition and culture were well-known and respected by Shakespeare, but that they would also have influenced the distinctive responses of Catholic and Protestant audiences in the late years of the reign of Elizabeth I. Thomas presents his case with an impressive array of evidence in this fascinating study.” (Robert Kiely, Professor of English, Emeritus, Harvard University, USA)


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)
  • Introduction: Maimed Rights in Shakespeare’s England

    Thomas, Alfred

    Pages 1-28

  • Pride and Penitence: Political and Moral Allegory in Medieval Arthurian Romance and Richard II

    Thomas, Alfred

    Pages 29-74

  • Demonizing the Other: “The Prioress’s Tale,” The Jew of Malta, and The Merchant of Venice

    Thomas, Alfred

    Pages 75-112

  • Writing, Memory, and Revenge in Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Hamlet

    Thomas, Alfred

    Pages 113-147

  • Afterlives of the Martyrs: King Lear, The Duchess of Malfi, and The Virgin Martyr

    Thomas, Alfred

    Pages 149-189

Buy this book

eBook 83,29 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90218-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 103,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-90217-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Shakespeare, Catholicism, and the Middle Ages
Book Subtitle
Maimed Rights
Authors
Series Title
The New Middle Ages
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-90218-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-90218-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-90217-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 260
Number of Illustrations
13 illustrations in colour
Topics