By Felicity Dunworth

This e-book is a examine of the dramatized mom determine in English drama from the mid-sixteenth to the early 17th centuries. It explores a variety of genres: moralities, histories, romantic comedies, urban comedies, family tragedies, excessive tragedies, romances and melodrama and comprises shut readings of performs via such different dramatists as Udall, Bale, Phillip, Legge, Kyd, Marlowe, Peele, Shakespeare, Middleton, Dekker and Webster.
 
The research is enriched through connection with spiritual, political and literary discourses of the interval, from Reformation and counter-Reformation polemic to midwifery manuals and Mother’s Legacies, the political rhetoric of Mary I, Elizabeth I and James VI, said gallows confessions of mom convicts and Puritan behavior books. It hence deals students of literature, drama, paintings and heritage a different chance to think about the literary, visible and rhetorical illustration of motherhood within the context of a dialogue of widespread and no more widely used dramatic texts.

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Extra resources for Mothers and Meaning on the Early Modern English Stage

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90 The body politic was supposed to be contained within the natural body of the Queen. When lawyers spoke of this body politic they referred to a specific quality: the essence of corporate perpetuity. 91 The theatrical union of Mary and Respublica, then, represents the monarchy at its most complete; the unification of the political and personal, as the body natural of the reigning queen contains the actor representing the body politic within her arms. The highly affective tenor of much of the polemic of the early years of Mary’s reign was crucial to its initial successes, as Mary’s Guildhall speech, quoted above, indicates.

5 Julian’s concern to fix maternal meaning upon the figure of Jesus reminds us that ‘mother’ asserts a human figure as much as a metaphysical idea. The word always foregrounds its material meaning – the individual person, the mother figure; so that ‘mother’ is always signifier as much as signified. This quality had informed an allegorical tradition which allowed the concept of motherhood both to focus and to represent a complicated and shifting set of meanings. 6 Astell shows, importantly, how this is the consequence of ‘the fusion of two histories’: that of the evangelical biography of Mary, and the literal meaning in the Song of Songs, leading to the construction of a figure where the literal bleeds into the allegorical, enhancing her affective power.

Qxd 3/11/09 14:57 Page 33 The transformation of tradition 1111 2111 3 4 5111 6 7 8 9 10111 11 1211 31 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40 1 42111 33 audience that must be engaged emotionally if the serious matter of the drama is to be appropriately received. Vanhoutte shows how Bale echoes Morison’s polemic strategy, quoting Morison’s tract A Lamentation in Which is Showed what Ruin and Destruction Cometh of Seditious Rebellion, in which a personified England bemoans the rupture that treason has wrought: ‘I am one, why do you make me twain?

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