Description This collection of essays is the first to reassess a range of Shakespeare's plays in relation to carnivalesque theory. Contributors re-historicize the carnivalesque in different ways, offering both a developed application, or critique of, Bakhtin's thought. Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x Illustrations note 4 Illustrations, black and white; X, p.
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Shakespeare and Carnival - R. Knowles - Paperback () » Bokklubben
Diplomacy and Early Modern Culture R. Writing the Ottomans Anders Ingram. Shakespeare, Spenser and the Matter of Britain A. Wiles Shakespeare's 'Battle of Carnival and Lent'. Gorfain Shakespeare's Carnival and the Sacred. McMullan Index show more. Review quote 'There is no concept more productive in Shakespeare studies than Carnival, yet no one more controversial than Mikhail Bakhtin, the critic who taught Shakespeareans to apply it.
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So the essays in this collection find Carnival patterns not only in surprising places - from the Capulets' tomb to the Cardinal's palace - but in startling cultural contexts. This is a volume, then, that reminds us of Bakhtin's affinity to Carl Orff - in idealising the tub-thumping 'volk' - but also his lasting relevance to Brueghel, Rabelais and Shakespeare. It will be an indispensable guide whether Shakespearean Carnival is studied for its revellers or its scapegoats. About R.
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Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X. Yet instead of focusing on "native English festivities," the chapter dilutes its energies by applying Bakhtin's definitions of the carnivalesque to the three plays rather than engaging popular festivities to produce fresh readings. Some of these applications can be convincing, but others over generalise. She deploys this to produce an intriguing reading of Barabas' boiling as a carnivalesque act by a community consuming his flesh But generally, the style of argumentation tends toward accumulation; the chapter gathers a wide range of more and less convincing examples of the carnivalesque, but the examples are not drawn together into a specific argument.
At these moments, the carnivalesque designates so many supposedly carnival practices that the term becomes un-usefully broad. The first chapter also returns to the connection between republican values and carnival practices and events asserted within the introduction. While I find the possibility of interweaving of these two discourses fascinating, the author has left "republican values" too undefined in this and most of the subsequent chapters.
She will argue that Marlowe is upholding republican values because he allows lower-class characters time on the stage The effect is that the term can mean almost anything associated with class fluidity or destabilization. A more sympathetic representation of the lower classes might speak to a writer's sympathy for the populace, but that is not equivalent to valuing the structure of representative government at the heart of republican thought. The author asserts that republican values present in early modern carnival practices become appropriated by elite groups in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Without successfully having established that Marlowe's and Shakespeare's plays illustrate "republican and egalitarian" visions, the author cannot effectively support this intriguing argument about the plays' production history through more "popular festive elements" as puppetry Further, her argument rests on "the probability" that puppet shows of Marlowe's plays existed, but not on actual theater history. The author suggests links between the House of Pride and "festive, spectacular, and performative traditions of religious and civic pagentry" 63 , even those taking place within Elizabeth's court.
Yet how are we to read these "carnivalesque" practices in the House of Pride? Is this a topsy-turvy scene, or a deadly serious one? And what kind of pressure does this put on the portrait of Queen Elizabeth, now aligned with Lucifera 66? The author describes the dragon Red Crosse Knight fights as "carnivalesque," and she argues his portrait is shaped by "Old Snap the Dragon" from St. George pageantry and mummer's plays 72; This argument explicitly engages elite and popular forms of festivity, one of the book's potential contributions to the scholarship.
But the examples are not convincing enough to shift the reader away from the apocalyptic seriousness of this episode. Perhaps more engagement with texts that operate on a comic level while conveying a spiritually elevated message would have made this specific argument more convincing. I like the idea of introducing more humor into Spenser's epic, but I needed to be convinced.
Further, these readings seem unable to produce a consistent reading of Spenser. Sometimes the chapter's readings suggest a suspicion of the populace, as in the book's engagement of Maleger sequence 78 , while the negative portraits of Envy, Wrath, and Mammon are viewed as upholding republican values 67, The chapter also engages "folktales" in Book 2 as well as a reading of the Book 5 "carnivalesque episode" in which Britomart rescues Artegall 77, This range of ways to discuss "carnival" dilutes the chapter's focus, which is at its best when considering how Spenser takes up "festive rituals" as in Book 6 While the republicanism she argues for in the play seems undefined, the prominence of social mobility is indisputable.
Here, she argues for the "potentially conservative and violent underbelly of literary and cultural celebrations of the Feast of the Epiphany" in Sir Toby Belch's treatment of Malvolio Her reading focuses on the role of time throughout the play that, according to the author, links it to nostalgia for festivals and by-gone pastoral practices.
The section on time-pieces in Renaissance England and Europe is fascinating , but this discussion of material culture detracts from a focused argument about carnival practices.