The Early Modern Corpse and Shakespeare's Theatre

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9780748633630: The Early Modern Corpse and Shakespeare's Theatre

Within a theoretical framework that makes use of history, psychoanalysis and anthropology, The Early Modern Corpse and Shakespeare's Theatre explores the relationship of the public theatre to the question of what constituted the 'dead' in early modern English culture.Susan Zimmerman argues that concepts of the corpse as a semi-animate, generative and indeterminate entity were deeply rooted in medieval religious culture. Such concepts ran counter to early modern discourses that sought to harden categorical distinctions between body/spirit, animate/inanimate - in particular, the attacks of Reformists on the materiality of 'dead' idols, and the rationale of the new anatomy for publicly dissecting 'dead' bodies. Zimmerman contends that within this context, theatrical representations of the corpse or corpse/revenant - as seen here in the tragedies of Shakespeare and his contemporaries - uniquely showcased the theatre's own ideological and performative agency.

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About the Author:


Susan Zimmerman is Professor of English at the City University of New York

Review:

Zimmerman performs a tour de force of interpretation in this important book...Advanced scholars will find it an indispensable contribution to the growing scholarship interrogating the significance of dead bodies on stage and page.

(Choice)

A powerful demonstration of how Protestantism, anatomy, and drama were engaged in a struggle over the meaning to be attached to the material body...an illuminating exposition of theories of the corpse with an historical account of its shifting status...an outstanding project.

(Peter Stallybrass, Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor of the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania)

An ambitious project that represents a genuine extension of our understanding of the historical and theatrical contexts of these plays—Zimmerman provides a new and exciting theoretical framework in Walter Benjamin's treatment of tragedy.

(John Drakakis, University of Stirling)

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Susan Zimmerman
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Book Description EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Now available in paperback, The Early Modern Corpse and Shakespeare s Theatre explores the relationship of the public theatre to the question of what constituted the dead in early modern English culture within a theoretical framework that makes use of history, psychoanalysis and anthropology. Susan Zimmerman argues that concepts of the corpse as a semi-animate, generative and indeterminate entity were deeply rooted in medieval religious culture. Such concepts ran counter to early modern discourses that sought to harden categorical distinctions between body/spirit, animate/inanimate - in particular, the attacks of Reformists on the materiality of dead idols, and the rationale of the new anatomy for publicly dissecting dead bodies. Zimmerman contends that within this context, theatrical representations of the corpse or corpse/revenant - as seen here in the tragedies of Shakespeare and his contemporaries - uniquely showcased the theatre s own ideological and performative agency. Features * Original in its conjunction of critical theory (Bataille, Kristeva, Lacan, Benjamin) with an historical account of the shifting status of the corpse in late medieval and early modern England * The first study to demonstrate connections between the meanings attached to the material body in early modern Protestantism, the practice of anatomical dissection, and the English public theatre. Bookseller Inventory # AA79780748633630

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Book Description EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Now available in paperback, The Early Modern Corpse and Shakespeare s Theatre explores the relationship of the public theatre to the question of what constituted the dead in early modern English culture within a theoretical framework that makes use of history, psychoanalysis and anthropology. Susan Zimmerman argues that concepts of the corpse as a semi-animate, generative and indeterminate entity were deeply rooted in medieval religious culture. Such concepts ran counter to early modern discourses that sought to harden categorical distinctions between body/spirit, animate/inanimate - in particular, the attacks of Reformists on the materiality of dead idols, and the rationale of the new anatomy for publicly dissecting dead bodies. Zimmerman contends that within this context, theatrical representations of the corpse or corpse/revenant - as seen here in the tragedies of Shakespeare and his contemporaries - uniquely showcased the theatre s own ideological and performative agency. Features * Original in its conjunction of critical theory (Bataille, Kristeva, Lacan, Benjamin) with an historical account of the shifting status of the corpse in late medieval and early modern England * The first study to demonstrate connections between the meanings attached to the material body in early modern Protestantism, the practice of anatomical dissection, and the English public theatre. Bookseller Inventory # AA79780748633630

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