Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology and Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, Third Edition

Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology and Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, Third Edition

by Jonathan Dollimore

Paperback(3rd ed. 2010)

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When it was first published, Radical Tragedy was hailed as a groundbreaking reassessment of the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. An engaged reading of the past with compelling contemporary significance, Radical Tragedy remains a landmark study of Renaissance drama and a classic of cultural materialist criticism. The corrected and reissued third edition of this critically acclaimed work includes a candid new Preface by the author and features a Foreword by Terry Eagleton.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780230243132
Publisher: Macmillan Education UK
Publication date: 05/15/2010
Edition description: 3rd ed. 2010
Pages: 419
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

JONATHAN DOLLIMORE was formerly Professor of English at the University of York, UK. His books include Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism (with Alan Sinfield, 1985, 2nd ed 1994), Sexual Dissidence: Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault (1991), Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture (1998), and Sex, Literature and Censorship (2000).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Foreword Terry Eagleton x

Preface to the reissued Third Edition xiv

Introduction to the Third Edition xviii

i September 1914 xviii

ii September 2001 xx

iii September 1939 xxiii

iv Art and Humanism xxvi

v Humanism and Materialism xxix

vi Returns xxx

vii Knowledge and Desire xxxiv

Notes xxxix

Bibliography xli

Introduction to the Second Edition xlv

i Tragedy and Politics l

ii Containment/Subversion liv

iii Reading Contradictions lvi

iv Marginality (1) lviii

v Subjectivity or Writing of/f the Unitary Self lxi

vi God and Man lxiii

vii Feminism, Sexualities and Gender Critique lxvi

viii The Return to History: Marginality (2) lxxiv

ix History Reading Theory lxxix

x Reproducing Shakespeare lxxxi

xi Shakespeare and Statecraft lxxxiii

Notes xc

Part I Radical Drama: Its Contexts and Emergence

1 Contexts 3

i Literary Criticism: Order versus History 5

ii Ideology, Religion and Renaissance Scepticism 9

iii Ideology and the Decentring of Man 17

iv Secularism versus Nihilism 19

v Censorship 22

vi Inversion and Misrule 25

2 Emergence: Marston's Antonio Plays (c. 1599-1601) and Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (c. 1601-2) 29

i Discontinuous Identity (1) 30

ii Providence and Natural Law (1) 36

iii Discontinuous Identity (2) 40

iv Providence and Natural Law (2) 42

v Ideology and the Absolute 44

vi Social Contradiction and Discontinuous Identity 47

vii Renaissance Man versus Decentred Malcontent 49

Part II Structure, Mimesis, Providence

3 Structure: From Resolution to Dislocation 53

i Bradley 53

ii Archer and Eliot 56

iii Coherence and Discontinuity 59

iv Brecht: A Different Reality 63

4 Renaissance Literary Theory: Two Concepts of Mimesis 70

i Poetry versus History 71

ii The Fictive and the Real 73

5 The Disintegration of Providentialist Belief 83

i Atheism and Religious Scepticism 83

ii Providentialism and History 87

iii Organic Providence 90

iv From Mutability to Cosmic Decay 92

v Goodman and Elemental Chaos 99

vi Providence and Protestantism 103

vii Providence, Decay and the Drama 107

6 Dr Faustus (c. 1589-92): Subversion Through Transgression 109

i Limit and Transgression 110

ii Power and the Unitary Soul 116

7 Mustapha (c. 1594-6): Ruined Aesthetic, Ruined Theology 120

i Tragedy, Theology and Cosmic Decay 120

ii Mustapha: Tragedy as Dislocation 123

8 Sejanus (1603): History and Realpolitik 134

i History, Fate, Providence 134

9 The Revenger's Tragedy (c. 1606): Providence, Parody and Black Camp 139

i Providence and Parody 139

ii Desire and Death 143

Part III Man Decentred

10 Subjectivity and Social Process 153

i Tragedy, Humanism and the Transcendent Subject 156

ii The Jacobean Displacement of the Subject 158

iii The Essentialist Tradition: Christianity, Stoicism and Renaissance Humanism 161

iv Internal Tensions 163

v Anti-Essentialism in Political Theory and Renaissance Scepticism 169

vi Renaissance Individualism? 174

11 Bussy D'Ambois (c. 1604): A Hero at Court 182

i Shadows and Substance 182

ii Court Power and Native Noblesse 185

12 King Lear (c. 1605-6) and Essentialist Humanism 189

i Redemption and Endurance: Two Sides of Essentialist Humanism 191

ii King Lear: A Materialist Reading 195

iii The Refusal of Closure 202

13 Antony and Cleopatra (c. 1607): Virtus under Erasure 204

i Virtus and History 206

ii Virtus and Realpolitik (1) 207

iii Honour and Policy 213

iv Sexuality and Power 215

14 Coriolanus (c. 1608): The Chariot Wheel and its Dust 218

i Virtus and Realpolitik (2) 218

ii Essentialism and Class War 222

15 The White Devil (1612): Transgression Without Virtue 231

i Religion and State Power 231

ii The Virtuous and the Vicious 232

iii Sexual and Social Exploitation 235

iv The Assertive Woman 239

v The Dispossessed Intellectual 242

vi Living Contradictions 244

Part IV Subjectivity: Idealism Versus Materialism

16 Beyond Essentialist Humanism 249

i Origins of the Transcendent Subject 250

ii Essence and Universal: Enlightenment Transitions 253

iii Discrimination and Subjectivity 256

iv Formative Literary Influences: Pope to Eliot 258

v Existentialism 262

vi Lawrence, Leavis and Individualism 264

vii The Decentred Subject 269

Notes 272

Bibliography of Work Cited 290

Index of Names and Texts 307

Index of Subjects 312

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for the third edition: 'Some critical studies are full of insight, but not many of them are necessary. Radical Tragedy ranks among the necessary critical interventions of our time.' - From the Foreword by Terry Eagleton

'Prefaced by a powerful, provocative essay that brings its argument bang up to date, this splendid new edition of Radical Tragedy puts its status as a classic of cultural-materialist criticism beyond question.' - Kiernan Ryan, Royal Holloway University of London, UK

'A welcome new edition of a path-breaking book complete with a brilliantly incisive and thought-provoking Introduction that will enthuse a new generation of students. With an iconoclastic energy all too rare in academic circles, Dollimore fearlessly revalues his own project, and poses questions central to the larger critical, cultural and philosophical debates within English Studies, to which Radical Tragedy continues to make a major scholarly contribution.' - John Drakakis, University of Stirling, UK

Reviews of second edition:'[an] outstanding piece of scholarship. Very useful, very influential, very well-written. In short, well worth having.' - Amazon.co.uk

'Stands as a major re-interpretation of Renaissance drama and a pioneering critical work.' - Book News

'An indispensable addition to an already indispensable book, which throws new light on the genisis of Radical Tragedy and upon the full range of interdisciplinary concerns which have acted both as a stimulus to, and as the rigorous intellectual mainstays of, its revolutionary thesis.' - John Drakakis, University of Stirling, UK

'A courageous, stimulating book which everybody interested in its subject must read.' - Christopher Hill, Literature and History

'I put this book right at the top. I read it with excitement and sustained interest throughout.' - David Bevington, University of Chicago, USA

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