Writing Women’s Identities
Edited by Susanne Rupp and Tobias Döring
Such questions are pursued here in a variety of English texts historically employed to manifest and manage versions of the sacred. But since their performances inhabit social space, this often functions as a theatrical arena which is also used to stage modes of dissent, difference, sacrifice and sacrilege. In this way, all aspects of social life – the family, the nation, the idea of kingship, gender identities, courtly ideals, love making or smoking – may become sacralized and buttress claims for power by recourse to a repertoire of religious symbolic forms.
Through critical readings of central texts and authors – such as Sir Gawain, Foxe, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne, or Vaughan – as well as less canonical examples – the Croxton play, Buchanan, Lanyer, Wroth, or the tobacco pamphlets – the twelve contributions all engage with the crucial question how, and to what end, performances of the sacred affect, or effect, cultural transformation.
Edited by Alexandra F. Johnston and Wim Hüsken
»Ludus« intends to introduce those interested in literature, in the performing arts, or in history to the various aspects of theatre and drama from the Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance. It publishes books on closely defined topics, mostly seen from a comparative point of view.
Staging the Early Modern Self in England
Edited by Ute Berns
John Donne to Don DeLillo
The study includes a wide range of authors from Donne to Pope, Tennyson to George Eliot and Walter Pater, W.B. Yeats to Don DeLillo and covers the whole period from early modern England to postmodernism. It can thus also be read as a brief history of Western memory and its continuing crises.
The years of the witch-hunts in Early Modern England saw an uprising in the publication of literature on the subject to coincide with the obvious increase in interest among the masses. The vast majority of these works take an instructional or informative stance: discussing the religious implications of witchcraft; publishing accounts of more high-profile trials; or simply telling the tale of some strange, abhorrent or wonderful occurrences attributed to supposed witches. The period also spawned a number of more entertaining pieces - drama and balladry - that, although still a minute percentage of the dramatic literature published during those years, represent the most concentrated cluster of theatrical publications on the subject in history. The purpose of the drama seems to have been to engage, rile and strike fear into both audiences and readers of the text. This paper, therefore, intends to analyse the themes, language and stage-direction used by playwrights in the Early Modern period - namely Middleton; Heywood and Brome; and Shadwell - and to attempt to present how these authors created an atmosphere of fear, or otherwise, in relation to witchcraft in their text.
The Transformation of National Identity in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century England
Edited by Herbert Grabes
That the most important factors in this radical change were the Reformation and the printing press is by now well known. The particular aim of this volume is to demonstrate the pivotal role of pamphleteering – and the growing importance of public opinion in a steadily widening sense – within the process of the historical emergence of the concept of the nation as a culturally and politically guiding force. When it came to the voicing of dissident opinions, above all under Queen Mary and later during the reign of King James and Charles I, the printed pamphlet proved to be a far superior form of communication.
This does not mean that books played no role in the early development and dissemination of the concept of an English nation. Especially the compendious new English histories written at the time did much to support the growth of cultural identity.
, ideal or otherwise. Readers in turn imagine themselves in some kind of relationship with their mental perception of character, setting, ideas, the author, and other readers. Although the theorized characteristics of the imagination in early modern England are often compellingly disparate from current