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Renaissance Papers 2008

Renaissance Papers 2008

Editor Christopher Cobb
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 184
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  • Book Info
    Renaissance Papers 2008
    Book Description:

    Renaissance Papers collects the best scholarly essays submitted each year to the Southeastern Renaissance Conference. The 2008 volume, in keeping with the Conference's meeting at the new Blackfriars Playhouse at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton

    eISBN: 978-1-57113-749-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[viii])
  3. Cardinal Wolsey: The English Cardinal Italianate
    (pp. 1-14)
    Sara Nair James

    In September of 1515, Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, received a cardinal’s hat from the Pope; on Christmas Eve of the same year, he attained the chain of office of Lord Chancellor of England from King Henry VIII. Compounding the cardinal’s hat with the chain of Lord Chancellor unleashed Wolsey’s unbridled passion. For the next fourteen years, he would be the most powerful man in England except, possibly, for the king. As his power increased, so did his interest in displaying it. Using the generous income from his ecclesiastical benefices, Wolsey embarked upon a building campaign whose scale was unprecedented...

  4. Pope Gregory and the Gens Anglorum: Thomas Stapleton’s Translation of Bede
    (pp. 15-34)
    Paul J. Stapleton

    In the year 1565 the Roman Catholic priest and scholar Thomas Stapleton (1535–1598) published the History of the Church of Englande, the first translation into modern English of the Venerable Bede’s eighth-century work the Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum.¹ Stapleton’s History is by no means a sheer translation but is buttressed by an interpretive apparatus that makes a pronounced argument for the Roman Catholic origins of the English Church and its filial relationship to the bishop of Rome.² For example, in the preface to the History, Stapleton singles out a legend told by Bede in which the future Pope Gregory...

  5. The Spenserian Paradox of Intended Response
    (pp. 35-46)
    Jane Blanchard

    Canto 1 of book 3 of The Faerie Queene is an inviting place to test theories old and new regarding the import and the impact of a literary text, for Britomart’s run-in with Guyon comprises a rather strange episode for Spenser’s narrator, characters, and reader. Interestingly, what starts as a conflict between two allegorical heroes turns into a conflict within the reader over the adequacy of Spenser’s narrator and the agenda of the poet himself. Moreover, the very strategies that Spenser uses to handle the crisis of Guyon’s defeat produce a crisis of reader response in that they raise but...

  6. Lucan, Marlowe, and the Poetics of Violence
    (pp. 47-64)
    Pamela Royston Macfie

    In several charged passages in Hero and Leander, Marlowe incorporates details that derive from his translation of Lucan’s Civil Wars. Millar Maclure identifies three parallels between these works in the Revels edition of Marlowe’s poems and translations.² Where Maclure, however, is interested in identifying isolated verbal echoes insofar as such echoes evince a distinctively Marlovian turn of phrase, I am interested in the programmatic effects of Marlowe’s deliberate returns to a prior text. With unvarying pressure, these returns inform those passages in Hero and Leander that associate love’s force with cosmic disorder. Each passage marks a crucial moment in the...

  7. Hell Is Discovered
    (pp. 65-88)
    James J. Mainard O’Connell

    Many playhouses during the English Renaissance employed a trapdoor on their stage. Several types of evidence point to this fact, primarily drawings and stage directions, both proper and embedded. Much of the evidence is vague, such as the stage direction, “Hell is discovered,” in the second quarto of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. Other evidence, however, is clear and explicit, such as the call for two actors to be “ready to open the trapdoor” in the manuscript of Massinger’s Believe As Ye List.

    It is not easy to identify which theatres had trapdoors and which did not; none of the extant playhouse...

  8. Private and Public Plays in the Private Theaters: Speculation on the Mercenary Methods of Second Paul’s and Second Blackfriars
    (pp. 89-112)
    C. Bryan Love

    In this essay I will argue that an essential and defining method of operation employed by second Paul’s and second Blackfriars was to promote themselves as “theaters for hire.” Evidence of these companies catering in various ways to playwrights and their friends and other coteries has long been noted in the historical record and in surviving play-texts, but I believe that there is less frequently noted evidence raising the possibility of more and different kinds of special arrangements with individuals, groups, or institutions. This evidence challenges the idea that these companies negotiated the London theatrical marketplace in ways closely analogous...

  9. Staging Dismemberment in Early Modern Drama: Playing Mnemonics and Meaning
    (pp. 113-124)
    Claire Kimball

    The threat of physical fragmentation became a particularly harrowing concept to the minds of Elizabethans and infiltrated the philosophies and literature of the age. Gail Kern Paster argues that individuals struggled to maintain control over their own bodies by enforcing a regiment of shame to discipline bodily functions,¹ all while anxieties over the unknown, uncontrollable body—the vulnerable essence of self—permeated the theatrical and psychological worlds of the English Renaissance. As Canutus explains in the anonymously printed Edmond Ironside, the loss of hands and nose was punishment “worse than loss of life, / For it is a stinging corsive...

  10. Serving Theater in Volpone
    (pp. 125-136)
    Nicholas Crawford

    By the time Ben Jonson had published Volpone in 1607, theatrical patronage was beginning to wane in importance, while the enterprise of commercial theater was firmly establishing itself as a professional activity rather than a vaguely servile one.¹ The rise in prestige that playing companies enjoyed from securing aristocratic (and sometimes royal) patronage contributed to the theater’s growing commercial viability. Paradoxically, as theater companies became officially more subservient, they became in reality more independent. As Roslyn Knutson explains, “there was a transition of companies from loosely organized groups of common players to relatively stable companies under the banner of a...

  11. Troilus and Cressida: An Epitaph for the History Play
    (pp. 137-162)
    Lewis Walker

    When the Prologue to Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, having summed up the action of the Trojan War thus far, informs his “fair beholders” that the play is in the process of “Beginning in the middle,”¹ we catch a glimpse of what appears to be the familiar in medias res convention of classical epic.² But it is only a glimpse, given the Prologue’s breathless gloss on the convention and the indecorous haste with which the play will proceed to enact it. His proleptic paraphrase of beginning in the middle explains that the play “Leaps o’er the vaunt and firstlings of these...

  12. “What thing thou art, thus double-form’d”: Naming, Knowledge, and Materialism in Paradise Lost
    (pp. 163-176)
    Kevin M. Carr

    In the invocation to book 7 of Paradise Lost, the speaker distinguishes between a name and its meaning, or between an object and its representation: “Descend from Heav’n Urania, by that name / If rightly thou art call’d . . . / The meaning, not the Name I call” (7.1–2, 5).¹ This distinction marks a dichotomy that Milton continually expresses throughout the poem. Milton’s Paradise Lost can be read within the context of a wider seventeenth-century debate about the processes of naming, language, and human epistemology. Milton’s poem raises many questions, both theological and epistemological, regarding these processes: does...