Stephen Greenblatt argued in these celebrated essays that the art of the Renaissance could only be understood in the context of the society from which it sprang. His approach - 'New Historicism' - drew from history, anthropology, Marxist theory, post-structuralism, and psychoanalysis and in the process, blew apart the academic boundaries insulating literature from the world around it.
Learning to Curse charts the evolution of that approach and provides a vivid and compelling exploration of a complex and contradictory epoch.
'Greenblatt writes with modest elegance, is a superb scholar and researcher, and deserves his status as the first voice in Renaissance studies today.' – Virginia Quarterly Review
1. Introduction 2. Learning to Curse: Aspects of Linguistic Colonialism in the Sixteenth Century 3. Marlowe, Marx and Anti-Semitism 4. Filthy Rites 5. The Cultivation of Anxiety: King Lear and His Heirs 6. Murdering Peasants: Status, Genre, and the Representation of Rebellion 7. Psychoanalysis and Renaissance Culture 8. Towards a Poetics of Culture 9. Resonance and Wonder Index