Age in Love: Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Court

June 1, 2019|
Age in Love: Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Court

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The title Age in Love is taken from Shakespeare’s sonnet 138, a poem about an aging male speaker who, by virtue of his entanglement with the dark lady, “vainly” performs the role of “some untutor’d youth.” Jacqueline Vanhoutte argues that this pattern of “age in love” pervades Shakespeare’s mature works, informing his experiments in all the dramatic genres. Bottom, Malvolio, Claudius, Falstaff, and Antony all share with the sonnet speaker a tendency to flout generational decorum by assuming the role of the lover, normally reserved in Renaissance culture for young men. Hybrids and upstarts, cross-dressers and shape-shifters, comic butts and tragic heroes—Shakespeare’s old-men-in-love turn in boundary-blurring performances that probe the gendered and generational categories by which early modern subjects conceived of identity.

In Age in Love Vanhoutte shows that questions we have come to regard as quintessentially Shakespearean—about the limits of social mobility, the nature of political authority, the transformative powers of the theater, the vagaries of human memory, or the possibility of secular immortality—come to indelible expression through Shakespeare’s artful deployment of the “age in love” trope. Age in Love contributes to the ongoing debate about the emergence of a Tudor public sphere, building on the current interest in premodern constructions of aging and ultimately demonstrating that the Elizabethan court shaped Shakespeare’s plays in unexpected and previously undocumented ways.

Title:Age in Love: Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Court
Format:Kobo ebook
Published:June 1, 2019
Publisher:Nebraska
Language:English
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9781496214539

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