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By Michael Hattaway

Shakespeare's historical past performs were played lately greater than ever ahead of all through Britain, North the USA, and Europe. This quantity is an obtainable creation to Shakespeare's historic and classical performs. entire in scope, it deals chapters at the person performs and debts of the style of the historical past play, Renaissance theories of heritage, and masques and pageants. It compares them with different ecu historical past performs, and comprises an account of women's roles, genealogical tables and an inventory of relevant and recurrent characters.

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The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's History Plays (Cambridge Companions to Literature)

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It is significant that, in the Octavo, ‘aspiring Catiline’ appears in place of ‘murderous Machiavel’, probably a player’s recollection of a lost play by Stephen Gosson, Catiline’s Conspiracies, performed at the Theatre about 1578. Both readings testify to the way political myths infiltrated chronicled history. In Coriolanus one of Aufidius’ serving men proclaims: ‘ Let me have war, say I. 228–9). This matches the tone of these first histories, but they are also remarkable for their quizzical interrogation of sovereignty and the way they portray the horror and savagery as well as the glories of war, suggesting throughout, in a manner akin to the ‘true’ Machiavelli, that the course of human history is evidently ordained by the might of armies and the actions of particular men.

7. , 1591, Sig. ¶3r−v . Hutcheon 1988, p. 5. Tacitus 1591, Sig. ¶6v ; see Skinner 1978, pp. 187–358. See Womersley 1991. , 1944, p. 321. 115–16) where it derives from Horace and Sallust. See Collinson 1986. Hooker 1907, i, 361. Sidney 1965, p. 104. Aristotle 1955, i, i–ii, p. 27. Bible, (Geneva, 1560), Sig. ***iir . 24 Cambridge Companions Online © Cambridge University Press, 2006 2 A. J. HOENSELAARS Shakespeare and the early modern history play John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough (1650–1722), is alleged to have said that he knew no English history but what he had learned from Shakespeare.

1595) concentrate more on central figures whose lives are fitted into tragic moulds. The earlier play owes as much to Seneca as to the chroniclers of English history, and its hero is constructed differently from the figure he cut in 3 Henry VI. In the play that bears his name he is a figure in whom dissimulation has distorted personality, a man whose shadow has displaced his substance. 231), inhabiting his own body, the ‘body natural’, but incarnating the mystical ‘body politic’ which legitimated his rule and ensured succession.

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