Carnival and Literature in Early Modern England by Jennifer C. Vaught

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By Jennifer C. Vaught

'Carnival and Literature in Early sleek England' explores the elite and well known festive fabrics appropriated via authors in the course of the English Renaissance in quite a lot of dramatic and non-dramatic texts. even though historic files of rural, city, and courtly seasonal customs in early smooth England exist in simple terms in fragmentary shape, Jennifer Vaught strains the sustained effect of fairs and rituals at the performs and poetry of 16th- and seventeenth-century English writers. She specializes in the varied ways that Shakespeare, Spenser, Marlowe, Dekker, Jonson, Milton and Herrick included the carnivalesque of their works. extra, she demonstrates how those early smooth texts have been used - and misused - by way of later writers, performers, and inventors of spectacles, particularly Mardi Gras krewes organizing parades within the American Deep South. The works featured right here usually spotlight violent conflicts among members of alternative ranks, ethnicities, and religions, which the writer argues replicate the social realities of the time. those Renaissance writers replied to republican, egalitarian notions of liberty for the population with radical aid, ambivalence, or conservative competition. eventually, the very important, folkloric measurement of those performs and poems demanding situations the concept that canonical works via Shakespeare and his contemporaries belong in simple terms to 'high' and never to 'low' tradition.

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In Religion and Revelry in Shakespeare’s Festive World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), Phebe Jensen devotes one chapter to the historical, cultural, and literary context for festivity in Shakespeare; focuses three of her five chapters on Shakespeare and his dramatic contemporaries; and discusses The Shepheardes Calendar and Epithalamion in part of one chapter dealing with the reform of the liturgical calendar during the Elizabethan period (64–5 and 75–93). 71 See Rambuss, “Spenser and Milton at Mardi Gras”: 45–72, a groundbreaking essay to which I am indebted.

Illustrating the vital, performative connection between Shakespeare and the celebration of carnival, Milla C. Riggio has edited a volume of essays entitled Teaching Shakespeare through Performance (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1999) as well as three others on Trinidad Carnival. ” According to Seneca and Macrobius, digestive metaphors are most apt for describing a kind of imitation that makes “something new and different” by “setting it in a new context” (5–6). In “Consumption of the World: Reading, Eating, and Imitation in Every Man Out of His Humour”: 140–41, Dunford discusses Jonson’s dramatization of the imitation of literary models in terms of eating and in particular cannibalism.

Barber uses throughout Shakespeare’s Festive Comedy to describe the potential benefits of celebratory rituals for the populace and other oppressed groups (6–10). 7 In “Too Many Blackamoors: Deportation, Discrimination, and Elizabeth I,” SEL 46 (2006): 305–22, Emily C. 9 The playwright mocks Faustus’s excessive materialism characteristic of rulers and the upper ranks by subjecting his foolishness to ridicule by Wagner, Robin the clown, and the servant Rafe and by making a spectacle of his dismemberment by a hoard of devils at the end of the play.

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