English Revenge Drama: Money, Resistance, Equality by Linda Woodbridge

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By Linda Woodbridge

Vengeance permeates English Renaissance drama - for instance, it plants up in all yet of Shakespeare's performs. This e-book explores why a supposedly forgiving Christian tradition must have relished such bloodthirsty, vengeful performs. A clue lies within the performs' ardour for equity, a preoccupation suggesting common resentment of systemic unfairness - felony, fiscal, political, and social. Revengers' exact equivalents - the daddy of 2 beheaded sons obliges his enemy to consume her sons' heads - are vigilante types of Elizabethan legislation, the place consequences swimsuit the crimes: thieves' palms have been bring to a halt, scolds' tongues bridled. The revengers' language of 'paying' tricks on the operation of revenge within the carrier of financial redress. Revenge makes touch with resistance concept, justifying overthrow of tyrants, and a few revengers problem the elemental inequity of social type. Woodbridge demonstrates how, for all their sensationalism, their macabre comedy and outlandish gore, Renaissance revenge performs perform a little critical cultural paintings.

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French Jesus Christ is exceeding severe, and just as well as merciful. T. Collier, 1648 Before proceeding to the resentment of unfairness that I think fueled the Renaissance passion for revenge plays, let me address some misconceptions about the cultural role of revenge in this era. Did revenge make Elizabethans miserable? Jonathan Gil Harris writes of the “physiological damage it was believed to cause the avenger”; it was “a major cause of melancholy” (101). To physiologists, Graham Holderness says, revenge was “psychologically and physically damaging,” an “obsessive passion, which produced symptomatic ill-health and nervous disorders” (51).

129). 61–62). 124–5). Marcus offers a mass Andronici suicide if Romans condemn the revenge; instead, Romans choose Lucius as emperor. Vindice finds vengeance worth dying for:€ “Are we not revenged? Is there one enemy left alive? … We Surveying modern crime victims’ careful references to “justice” rather than revenge, Susan Jacoby explores “the cultural convention that makes it unacceptable to acknowledge any form of vengeance as a motivation” (2), despite “the popularity of revenge as a theme in modern mass entertainment” (7).

Wilson 75). The anonymous Godly Treatise Concerning the Lawful Use of Riches stipulates: Let the seller name the goodness of his ware truly … without dissimulation; and let the buyer give his due price, that a proportion may be observed between the price and the ware … Every price agreed upon between the buyer and seller, is not a due or lawful price, but that which is either appointed by indifferent and wise men in authority, or paid according to the common estimation. (Sig. f7v) 18 Elsewhere, Malynes compares barter, money, and exchange to Plato’s tripartite soul.

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