This book explores the fall of Jerusalem and restores to its rightful place one of the key explanatory tropes of early modern English culture. Showing the importance of Jerusalem's destruction in sermons, ballads, puppet shows and provincial drama of the period, Beatrice Groves brings a new perspective to works by canonical authors such as Marlowe, Nashe, Shakespeare, Dekker and Milton. The volume also offers a historically compelling and wide-ranging account of major shifts in cultural attitudes towards Judaism by situating texts in their wider cultural and theological context. Groves examines the continuities and differences between medieval and early modern theatre, London as an imagined community and the way that narratives about Jerusalem and Judaism informed notions of English identity in the wake of the Reformation. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, this volume will interest researchers and upper-level students of early modern literature, religious studies and theatre.
Beatrice Groves is Research Lecturer in Renaissance Literature at Trinity College, University of Oxford. She is the author of Texts and Traditions: Religion in Shakespeare 1592-1604 (2007) and has published articles in journals, such as Milton Studies, Shakespeare Survey, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England and Studies in Philology, and her essay in The Sixteenth Century Journal won the 2013 Sixteenth Century Society's Literature Prize. Her essays have also appeared in edited collections, including Shakespeare and Renaissance Ethics (Cambridge, 2014) and Shakespeare and Early Modern Religion (Cambridge, 2015).
Introduction; Part I. The Destruction of Jerusalem in Early Modern Literary Culture: 1. From Roman to Jew: Josephus, the Josippon and the destruction of Jerusalem in early modern culture; 2. Continuity and change: staging Jerusalem and staging 'the Jew'; 3. Preachers and players: the sack of Jerusalem from pulpit and stage; Part II. The Destruction of Jerusalem in Early Modern Texts: 4. Marlowe's Jew of Malta and the destruction of Jerusalem; 5. The siege of Jerusalem and subversive rhetoric in Shakespeare's King John; 6. The fall of Jerusalem and the rise of a metropolis: Nashe's Christ's tears over Jerusalem, Dekker's plague pamphlets and maternal cannibalism in early modern London; 7. The New Jerusalem: Josephan portents and Milton's Paradise Lost; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.