1st Edition

Boundaries of Violence in Early Modern England

Edited By Samantha Dressel, Matthew Carter Copyright 2024

    This book explores the possibilities and limitations of violence on the Early Modern stage and in the Early Modern world.

    This collection is divided into three sections: History-cal Violence, (Un)Comic Violence, and Revenge Violence. This division allows scholars to easily find intertextual materials; comic violence may function similarly across multiple comedies but is vastly different from most tragic violence. While the source texts move beyond Shakespeare, this book follows the classic division of Shakespeare’s plays into history, comedy, and tragedy. Each section of the book contains one chapter engaging with modern dramatic practice along with several that take textual or historical approaches.

    This wide-ranging approach means that the book will be appropriate both for specialists in Early Modern violence who are looking across multiple perspectives, and for students or scholars researching texts or approaches.


    Contributor Biographies


    Matthew Carter and Samantha Dressel

    Chapter 1. The Boundaries of Theatrical Violence
    Matthew Carter

    Chapter 2. "Witchy Woman": Reading Women and Occult Power in Popular Literature of Early Modern England
    Courtney A. Parker

    Chapter 3. The Grotesque Female Body on the Scaffold: The Execution of Annis Bankyn (1590)
    Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey

    Chapter 4. "I Will Keepe None of There Bastardes": The Violence of Scarcity in Ben Jonson’s Every Man Out of His Humour
    Anthony Brano

    Chapter 5. "A x to her, slaps her face—she kneels": Violence between the Lines in 2.4 of Measure for Measure
    Sid Ray

    Chapter 6. ‘Villains, all three’: Object-led Violence in The Revenger’s Tragedy
    Anna L. Hegland

    Chapter 7. Fool on the Body and Madness on the Mind in John Marston’s Antonio Plays
    Scott O'Neil

    Chapter 8. "Slack in [Neither] Tongue [Nor] Performance": The Duchess’s Maternal Authority and Incestuous Revenge in The Revenger’s Tragedy
    Rose M. Zaloom

    Chapter 9. ‘This Stroke for the Most Wronged of Women’: Sexual Coercion and Revenge Violence in The Maid’s Tragedy
    Samantha Dressel

    Jennifer Feather



    Samantha Dressel is Assistant Professor in Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Chapman University, USA.

    Matthew Carter is Assistant Professor of English at Clayton State University, USA.