Unto the Breach: Martial Formations, Historical Trauma, and the Early Modern Stage

Hardcover | November 13, 2008

byPatricia A. Cahill

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The Elizabethan theatrical repertory was enthralled with the era's martial discourses and beset by its blinding visions. In her richly historicized account of the theater's engagement with 'modern' warfare, Patricia Cahill juxtaposes the new military technologies and new modes of martialabstraction with the performance of war-suffused dramas by Shakespeare, Marlowe, and their contemporaries. Equally important, she shows that even as early-modern playwrights engaged cutting-edge military practices, they routinely trafficked in phenomena resistant to the new rationalities, conjuringup a domain of eerie sounds, uncanny figures, and haunted temporalities. By going beyond the usual protocols of historicist criticism and emphasizing the complex dynamics of theatrical modes of address, this wide-ranging study investigates the representation of early-modern war trauma and recovers for us a compelling sense of the intimate relationship between affect andintellect on the Renaissance stage. Intervening in ongoing conversations about the drama's role in shaping the cultural imaginary, Unto the Breach shows that, in an era of escalating militarization, England's first commercial theaters offered their audiences something of incalculable value - namely,a space for the performance and 'working through' of what might otherwise remain psychically unbearable in war's violence.

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The Elizabethan theatrical repertory was enthralled with the era's martial discourses and beset by its blinding visions. In her richly historicized account of the theater's engagement with 'modern' warfare, Patricia Cahill juxtaposes the new military technologies and new modes of martialabstraction with the performance of war-suffused ...

Patricia Cahill is an Associate Professor of English at Emory University who specializes in Shakespeare and in Renaissance drama and culture.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.71 inPublished:November 13, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199212058

ISBN - 13:9780199212057

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Martial Formations: Marlowe's Theater of Abstraction in iTamburlaine, Parts 1 and 2/i2. Spare Men and Great Ones: Musters, Norms, and the Average Man in Shakespeare's i1 and 2 Henry IV/i3. Biopower in the English Pale: Generation and Genocide in iKing Edward III/i4. Atrocity in Arcadia: Wounds, Women, and the Face of Trauma in iThe Trial of Chivalry/i5. Wound-Man Walking: Visceral History andTraumatized Bodies in iAlarum for London/iEpilogue: Dreadful Marches: Traumatic Time and Space in Shakespeare's iRichard III/i