Journeymen in Murder: The Assassin in English Renaissance Drama

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byMartin Wiggins

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Torture and murder are the sort of dirty jobs that rich and powerful men have always considered beneath them. In sixteenth and seventeenth-century English drama, they often employed others to take care of that side of the business of being a villain. Such characters developed from beingminor but memorable Elizabethan bit-parts into key figures in some of the greatest Jacobean tragedies: The White Devil, The Duchess of Malfi, and The Changeling. Journeymen in Murder shows how assassins, embroiled though they are in violence and intrigue, often served to address issues of political and moral concern in the period, such as the dangers of tyranny, or the corrupting power of money. The book's scope is broad, covering the entire corpus ofEnglish Renaissance drama, and it offers detailed critical consideration of many plays, including several that are here studied in depth for the first time. Throughout, the achievement of major dramatists is placed in the context of other writers' use of similar material, illuminating the ways inwhich they create their own distinctive and disturbing effects by using playgoers' prior experience of the character.

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Torture and murder are the sort of dirty jobs that rich and powerful men have always considered beneath them. In sixteenth and seventeenth-century English drama, they often employed others to take care of that side of the business of being a villain. Such characters developed from beingminor but memorable Elizabethan bit-parts into k...

Martin Wiggins is at University of Birmingham.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.79 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198112289

ISBN - 13:9780198112280

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'Wiggins's book covers an impressive number of plays ... turns up something of interest on any play containing myrderers from Macbeth to the anonymous Thorny Abbey (c.1615).'Martin Garrett, Review of English Studies, Vol. 45, No. 180, Nov '94