English revenge drama : money, resistance, equality /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Woodbridge, Linda.
Imprint:Cambridge, U.K. : Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Description:xvi, 332 p. : ill.
Subject:English drama -- Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600 -- History and criticism.
Revenge in literature.
English drama -- Early modern and Elizabethan.
Revenge in literature.
Electronic books.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Format: E-Resource Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/8209840
Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:9780521884594 (hbk.)
9780511907074 (e-book)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Electronic reproduction. Palo Alto, Calif. : ebrary, 2010. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ebrary affiliated libraries.
Review by Choice Review

This volume joins a growing number of studies reexamining English revenge plays, and it is one of the better ones. In a complicated, dense analysis of the genre, Woodbridge (Pennsylvania State Univ.) makes a compelling argument for the revenge play as a complex, multifaceted literary genre with wide implications for the society that created it. The subtitle identifies three schema for understanding revenge drama, and these move the revenge drama out of the realm of the judicial and into righting unfairness in finance, politics, and social class. The author begins with an exploration of the economic rhetoric of revenge, seeing Renaissance England as a "culture preoccupied with repayment" and balance sheets. Revenge itself is concerned with balancing unrewarded merit and unmerited reward. Woodbridge investigates the shaping influence of Seneca's tyrant plays, seeing them as a model for resistance to tyranny from royalty. Last, she looks at Renaissance egalitarianism and vengeance as a form of class warfare. Woodbridge includes plays not usually considered in the revenge category--for example, Othello and The Merchant of Venice--and extends revenge drama through the interregnum. These extensions serve the study well. In all, a remarkable volume. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. K. J. Wetmore Jr. Loyola Marymount University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review