Death and Drama in Renaissance England: Shades of Memory

Hardcover | November 1, 2002

byWilliam Engel

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Drawing on a range of works from the English Renaissance, Death and Drama in Renaissance England offers a novel way to understand, in their original contexts, key aspects of Renaissance mental life and letters. Focusing on the classical Memory Arts, William Engel explores issues of death anddecline in exemplary dramas, dictionaries, and histories of the period, and demonstrates the ways in which emblems and memory images were used to communicate special meanings.Special attention is given, initially, to select tragedies by Shakespeare and other contemporary playwrights who stages spectacles of silent death. This is followed by a survey of the end to which foreign language phrase-books crafted highly mannered vignettes of daily life, and a discussion of theways in which metaphors of the stage were translated into a body of work which portrayed the soul of history in terms of an overriding Aesthetic of Decline. The result is a thought-provoking account of the essentially mnemonic principles of design informing and animating a range of works from theEnglish Renaissance.

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Drawing on a range of works from the English Renaissance, Death and Drama in Renaissance England offers a novel way to understand, in their original contexts, key aspects of Renaissance mental life and letters. Focusing on the classical Memory Arts, William Engel explores issues of death anddecline in exemplary dramas, dictionaries, an...

William Engel is an independent scholar and freelance tutor; author of Education and Anarchy (University Press of America, 2001) and Mapping Mortality: The Persistence of Memory and Melancholy in Early Modern England (University of Massachusetts Press, 1995). He has been Assistant Professor of English at Vanderbilt University (1988-95...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:214 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.66 inPublished:November 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199257620

ISBN - 13:9780199257621

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Table of Contents

List of illustrationsNote on conventions used in the textPrefaceIntroduction: 'Take Away But One Letter': The Spirit of DeclineI. Staging kinetic emblems of fatal destiny1. 'Commonplaces of memory': visual regimes and charmed spaces2. 'But yet each circumstance I taste not fully': spectacles of ruinII. The true work of translation3. 'Touching my translation': linguistic decorum and memory's domainIII. The marrow and moral of history4. 'O eloquent, iust, and mighty Death!': ending The History of the World5. 'More easie to the readers memory': using The History of the WorldConclusion: 'Simulars of the dead': a final declensionAppendix: The end of Ralegh's History of the WorldBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Engel attends with sensitivity and acumen to the complex ways that mnemonic art encodes and enacts its meanings, accomplishing his goal of 'help[ing] scholars of early modern England become better, more mnemonically attuned, interpreters'.'Sixteenth Century Journal