Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism

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Cornell University Press, 1994 - 295
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Shakespeare is, and always was, political. First published in 1985, Political Shakespeare supports that contention in now-classic essays by a group of influential contributors. Emerging from the intersection between materialist criticism and ethics, it combines historical inquiry, theoretical method, and textual analysis to produce not just readings of the plays but distinctive kinds of knowledge about their meanings in particular social conditions. For the second edition, the editors have added two new chapters. Jonathan Dollimore discusses current critical approaches to questions of gender and sexuality, and Alan Sinfield revisits crucial themes in the light of recent cultural and political changes in the United States and Britain. Throughout, diverse'even antagonistic'appropriations of Shakespeare are considered not simply as separate viewpoints but as contributions to the processes by which culture is both reproduced and contested. From reviews of the first edition: ?The best Shakespeare book for some time.'?Times Higher Education Supplement ?Two features of this anthology make it an especially important contribution to current Shakespeare studies: first, the extension to the Renaissance of a major strand in British cultural studies represented by the work of Raymond Williams and Stuart Hall; second, the juxtaposition of two critical modes'the ?cultural materialism? exemplified by Jonathan Dollimore and the ?new historicism? exemplified by Stephen Greenblatt.'?Shakespeare Quarterly

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