Staging the Blazon in Early Modern English Theater

Staging the Blazon in Early Modern English Theater Website price:£54.00 (Regular price: £60.00)
  • Edited by Deborah Uman, St. John Fisher College, USA and Sara Morrison, William Jewell College, USA
  • Series : Studies in Performance and Early Modern Drama
  • Offering the first sustained and comprehensive scholarly consideration of the dramatic potential of the blazon, this volume complicates what has become a standard reading of the Petrarchan convention of dismembering the beloved through poetic description. At the same time, it contributes to a growing understanding of the relationship between the material conditions of theater and interpretations of plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

    The chapters in this collection are organized into five thematic parts emphasizing the conventions of theater that compel us to consider bodies as both literally present and figuratively represented through language. The first part addresses the dramatic blazon as used within the conventions of courtly love. Examining the classical roots of the Petrarchan blazon, the next part explores the violent eroticism of a poetic technique rooted in Ovidian notions of metamorphosis. With similar attention paid to brutality, the third part analyzes the representation of blazonic dismemberment on stage and screen. Figurative battles become real in the fourth part, which addresses the frequent blazons surfacing in historical and political plays. The final part moves to the role of audience, analyzing the role of the observer in containing the identity of the blazoned woman as well as her attempts to resist becoming an objectified spectacle.

  • Contents: Introduction: setting the stage, Deborah Uman and Sara Morrison; Part I Petrarchan Lovers in Performance: Double exposure: gazing at male fantasy in Shakespearean comedy, Grant Williams; Petrarchan desire, the female ghost, and The Winter’s Tale, Katherine R. Kellett; Dismembering rhetoric and lively action in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Elizabeth Williamson. Part II Staging Blazonic Violence: Transforming Ovid: images of violence, vulnerability, and sexuality in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, Lisa S. Starks-Estes; Embodying the blazon: performing and transforming pain in Measure for Measure and The Duchess of Malfi, Sara Morrison. Part III Dramatizing Dismemberment: ‘Limbs mangled and torn asunder’: dismemberment, theatricality, and the blazon in Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus, Patricia Marchesi; The cuckold’s blazon: dismemberment and domesticity in Arden of Faversham and A Woman Killed with Kindness, Ariane M. Balizet; ‘Ay me, this object kills me!’: Julie Taymor’s cinematic blazon in Titus, Thomas P. Anderson. Part IV Historical Reenactments: By the book: blazoning the subject in Shakespeare’s history plays, Joseph M. Ortiz; The blazon and the theatre of war: The Wars of the Roses and The Plantagenets, Lisa Dickson; ‘They use violence to him’: dismembering the body politic in The Rebellion of Naples, Erin E. Kelly. Part V Witnessing the Blazon: Dissection, pregnancy, and the limits of knowledge in early midwifery treatises and ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Sara D. Luttfring; ‘The garments of Posthumus’: identifying the non-responsive body in Cymbeline, Nancy Simpson-Younger; Blazons of desire and war in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, Cora Fox; Bibliography; Index.

  • About the Editor: Deborah Uman is Associate Professor of English at St. John Fisher College, USA. Sara Morrison is Assistant Professor of English at William Jewell College, USA.

  • Extracts from this title are available to view:

    Full contents list

    Chapter 1 - Setting the stage

    Index