For many, Shakespeare represents the advent of modernity. It is easy to forget that he was in fact a writer deeply embedded in the Middle Ages, who inherited many of his shaping ideas and assumptions from the medieval past. This collection brings together essays by internationally renowned scholars of medieval and early modern literature, the history of the book and theatre history to present new perspectives on Shakespeare and his medieval heritage. Separated into four parts, the collection explores Shakespeare and his work in the context of the Middle Ages, medieval books and language, the British past, and medieval conceptions of drama and theatricality, together showing Shakespeare's work as rooted in late medieval history and culture. Insisting upon Shakespeare's complexity and medieval multiplicity, Medieval Shakespeare gives readers the opportunity to appreciate both Shakespeare and his period within the traditions that fostered and surrounded him.
Ruth Morse is professeur des universites at the Universite Paris-Sorbonne-Cite. Her books include two edited volumes, Shakespeare, les francais, les France (2008) and a volume of Great Shakespeareans; the monograph Truth and Convention in the Middle Ages: Rhetoric, Reality, and Representation (1991), and she is currently completing Imagined Histories: Fictions of the Past from Beowulf to Shakespeare. Helen Cooper is Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at the University of Cambridge. Beginning with her Pastoral: Mediaeval into Renaissance (1978), she has published extensively across the periods, most recently with The English Romance in Time: Transforming Motifs from Geoffrey of Monmouth to the Death of Shakespeare (2004) and Shakespeare and the Medieval World (2010). Peter Holland is Associate Dean for the Arts, College of Arts and Letters and McMeel Family Professor in Shakespeare Studies at the University of Notre Dame. From 1997 to 2002 he was Director of the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon and Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is Editor of Shakespeare Survey, co-General Editor with Stanley Wells of Oxford Shakespeare Topics and with Adrian Poole of the eighteen-volume series Great Shakespeareans.
Introduction Helen Cooper; Part I. The Middle Ages and Shakespeare: 1. Shakespeare's Middle Ages Bruce R. Smith; 2. Late Shakespeare and the Middle Ages Bart van Es; Part II. Books and Language: 3. The mediated 'medieval' and Shakespeare A. E. B. Coldiron; 4. 'Not know my voice?': Shakespeare corrected; English perfected - theories of language from the Middle Ages to Modernity Jonathan Hope; 5. The afterlife of personification Helen Cooper; Part III. The British Past: 6. 'King Lear in BC Albion' Margreta de Grazia; 7. Shakespeare and the remains of Britain Ruth Morse; Part IV. The Theatrical Dimension: 8. The art of playing Tom Bishop; 9. Blood begetting blood: Shakespeare and the Mysteries Michael O'Connell; 10. From scaffold to discovery-space: change and continuity Janette Dillon; 11. Performing the Middle Ages Peter Holland; 12. Afterword: the evil of 'medieval' David Bevington.