1st Edition

Early Modern Others Resisting Bias in Renaissance Literature

By Peter C. Herman Copyright 2023
    164 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    164 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Early Modern Others highlights instances of challenges to misogyny, racism, atheism, and antisemitism in the early modern period. Through deeply historicizing early modern literature and looking at its political and social contexts, Peter C. Herman explores how early modern authors challenged the biases and prejudices of their age.

    By examining the works of Thomas More, William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, John Fletcher, and Philip Massinger amongst others, Herman reveals that for every “-ism” in early modern English culture there was an “anti-ism” pushing back against it. The book investigates “others” in early modern literature through indigenous communities, women, religion, people of color, and class.

    This innovative book shows that the early modern period was as complicated and as contradictory as the world today. It will offer valuable insight for anyone studying early modern literature and culture, as well as social justice and intersectionality.




    Chapter 1: Thomas More’s Utopia and the "New World"

    Chapter 2: "I am no child, no babe": The Shrew Plays

    Chapter 3: "That’s More than We Know": The Crisis of the 1590s in Deloney, Dekker, and Shakespeare

    Chapter 4: The Circulation of Atheism in Early Modern England: Tamburlaine, Selimus, and King Lear

    Chapter 5: The Religious "Other" in Early Modern England: The Jew of Malta, The Merchant of Venice, and The Renegado

    Chapter 6: Othello and London’s Africans

    Works Cited



    Peter C. Herman is Professor of English Literature at San Diego State University. He is the author of Unspeakable: Literature and Terrorism from the Gunpowder Plot to 9/11 (2020), Destabilizing Milton: "Paradise Lost" and the Poetics of Incertitude (2005), and Royal Poetrie: Monarchic Verse and the Political Imaginary of Early Modern England (2010), among other books.