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English Renaissance Scenes

Pugliatti, Paola / Serpieri, Alessandro (eds)

English Renaissance Scenes

From Canon to Margins

Year of Publication: 2008

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2008. 362 pp., 3 ill.
ISBN 978-3-03911-079-7 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.540 kg, 1.190 lbs

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Book synopsis

This book throws new light on the complexity and variety of practices which may be defined as ‘theatrical’ in a broad sense in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English drama. The volume deals first with the mainstream of dramatic production, starting from the anti-theatrical debate which characterized the whole period and increased in intensity as it went on. Here Shakespeare and Ben Jonson come on stage with their rejoinders to this issue. At the same time, while the universities were offering a kind of theatre workshop importing Latin and Italian models, popular performances were being staged in non-theatrical spaces. Tournaments, and their aristocratic codes, are explored as well as more popular and ‘marginal’ spectacles – such as those of conny-catching improvisers, jugglers, gypsy dancers and fortune-tellers, clowns and prophetesses.


Contents: Paola Pugliatti: Introduction – Alessandro Serpieri: Abuse and Use of the Theatre: Shakespeare and the Puritans – Susan Payne: Staging Marginality: Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair – Claudia Corti: Civic Disorder and Theatrical Order: Representations of Popular Rebellions in London at the End of the Sixteenth Century – Mario Domenichelli: Tournaments as Triumphal Shows in Shakespeare’s Time – Fernando Cioni: Stages at the University of Cambridge in Tudor England – Paola Pugliatti: Greene’s Vision: The Conny-Catching Pamphlets and the Commedia dell’Arte – Keir Elam: ‘Enter Clowne’: The Travels of the English Comic Performer, from Offstage to Centre Stage to Text – Donatella Pallotti: Shows of Holiness: Women’s Prophetic Performance and its Perception in Early Modern England – Paola Pugliatti: A Lost Lore: The Activity of Gypsies as Performers on the Stage of Elizabethan-Jacobean Street Theatre – Nicoletta Caputo: Entertainers ‘on the Vagabond Fringe’: Jugglers in Tudor and Stuart England.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Editors: Paola Pugliatti is full professor of English at the University of Florence. Her interests are in the theory of literary genres, the mechanics of literary communication, the poetics of modernism, and the genetics of literary texts. Her latest book (Beggary and Theatre in Early Modern England, 2003) shows her interest in marginal forms of performance.
Alessandro Serpieri is Professor Emeritus of English Literature at the University of Florence. His main fields of interest are theory of drama, translation studies, Romantic and modern poetry. He has translated and edited many Shakespearean plays, which have been staged in the major Italian theatres, and has provided a rich commentary to Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1991).