Shakespeare and the Medieval World

Helen Cooper author


Publisher:Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Published:27th Sep '10

Currently unavailable, and unfortunately no date known when it will be back

Shakespeare and the Medieval World cover

The author, Helen Cooper, is an internationally recognized scholar and leader in her field Shakespeare and the Medieval World provides a panoramic overview of the subject and gives students key contextual background Of interest to students of medieval literature as well as Shakespeare The Arden Critical Companions Series is well-established and respected, with titles featuring regularly on key reading lists

Shakespeare and the Medieval World provides a panoramic overview of the influence of medieval culture on Shakespeare's plays and poems that opens up new vistas within his work uncovering the richness of his inheritance.Medieval culture pervaded Shakespeare's life and work, from his childhood, spent within reach of the last performances of the Coventry Corpus Christi plays, to his dramatization of Chaucer in The Two Noble Kinsmen three years before his death. The world he lived in was still largely a medieval one, in its topography and its institutions. The language he spoke had been forged over the centuries since the Norman Conquest. The genres in which he wrote, not least historical tragedy, love-comedy and romance, were medieval inventions. A high proportion of his plays have medieval origins and he kept returning to Chaucer, acknowledged as the greatest poet in the English language. Above all, he grew up with an English tradition of drama developed during the Middle Ages that assumed that it was possible to stage anything - all time, all space. Helen Cooper's book looks at the role of all these continuations of medieval culture in enabling Shakespeare to become the world's greatest playwright. Shakespeare and the Medieval World provides a panoramic overview that opens up new vistas within his work and uncovers the richness of his inheritance.

Cooper's book must surely take the prize for the most significant contribution to the appreciation of this drama since V. A. Kolve's work, The Play Called Corpus Christi. . . She has shown that far from being a "foreign country," the Middle Ages was a place with which Shakespeare was totally familiar in terms of the built environment in which he moved, the literary and dramatic conventions that he and his audience understood, and even the religious culture that had crossed the divide of the Reformation. -- Margaret Rogerson * Studies in the Age of Chaucer *
Cooper's book is a timely one, and deserves to be a significant one, in reorienting perspectives to the important place of the medieval, visible and invisible, direct and intangible, in Shakespeare's mind . . . It covers a vast array of material with a swiftness of pace and ease of style that are sufficient to inform the under-graduate or interested layperson, without being laborious for the scholar . . . It will give Shakespeareans of all shades a fuller understanding of the world in which he lived and thought, and the ones he created. -- Joanna Bellis, Pembroke College, Cambridge * Marginalia *

ISBN: 9781904271789

Dimensions: 198mm x 129mm x 20mm

Weight: 448g

288 pages