The Idea of the City in the Age of Shakespeare
ISBN 10: 0820307858 / 0-8203-0785-8
ISBN 13: 9780820307855
Publisher: Univ of Georgia Pr
Publication Date: 1985
Gail Kern Paster explores the role of the city in the works of William Shakespeare, Thomas Middleton, and Ben Jonson. Paster moves beyond the usual presentation of the city-country dichotomy to reveal a series of oppositions that operate within the city's walls. These oppositions—city of God and city of man, Jerusalem and Rome, bride of the Lamb and whore of Babylon, ideal and real—together create a dual image of the city as a visionary ideal society and as a predatory trap, founded in fratricide, shadowed in guilt. In the theater, this duality affects the fate of early modern city dwellers, who exemplify even as they are controlled by this contradictory reality.
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