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Putting History to the Question


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Table of Contents

1. The Stage and Social Order 1. Servant Obedience and Master Sins: Shakespeare and the Bonds of Service 2. "This Gentle Gentleman": Social Change and the Language of Status in Arden of Faversham 3. Massinger's Patriarchy: The Social Vision of A New Way to Pay Old Debts 4. "The Tongues of Angels": Charity and the Social Order in The City Madam 5. "In Everything Illegitimate": Imagining the Bastard in English Renaissance Drama 6. Bastardy, Counterfeiting, and Misogyny in The Revenger's Tragedy 7. "Amphitheaters in the Body": Playing with Hands on the Shakespearean Stage 2. Race, Nation, Empire 8. Changing Places in Othello 9. "Unproper Beds": Race, Adultery and the Hideous in Othello 10. "Mulattos," "Blacks," and "Indian Moors": Othello and Early Modern Constructions of Human Difference 11. Putting History to the Question: An Episode of Torture at Bantam in Java, 1604 12. "Material Flames": Romance, Empire, and Mercantile Fantasy in John Fletcher's Island Princess 13. Broken English and Broken Irish: Nation, Language, and the Optic of Power in Shakespeare's Histories 14. "The Exact Map or Discovery of Human Affairs": Shakespeare and the Plotting of History 15. The World Beyond: Shakespeare and the Tropes of Translation

Promotional Information

Covering dramatic works by Shakespeare, John Fletcher, Philip Massinger, and others-and reflecting upon subjects ranging from social attitudes towards racial difference and adultery to the politics of mercantilism and the hierarchy of master/servant relationships-the book reenergizes the discussion of Renaissance drama and history.

About the Author

Michael Neill is professor of English at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He is the author of Issues of Death: Mortality and Identity in English Renaissance Tragedy and editor of the Oxford Shakespeare edition of Antony and Cleopatra.


"Michael Neill has expanded the horizon of the field by showing how much of early modern life the theater could embrace, as playwrights transformed the uncertainties of everyday experience and ordinary language into a drama that is varied, subtle, and complex. His wide-ranging and richly documented essays, attentive to both language and theatrical effect, define a mode of historicism in which Renaissance drama is both for its time and for ours." - Lawrence Manley, Yale University "This well-written, convenient collection... [is] a valuable and insightful addition to critical studies." - Choice

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