Shakespeare’s Suicides: Dead Bodies That Matter, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Shakespeare’s Suicides

Dead Bodies That Matter, 1st Edition

By Marlena Tronicke


208 pages

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Hardback: 9780815380443
pub: 2017-11-28
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Shakespeare’s Suicides: Dead Bodies That Matter is the first study in Shakespeare criticism to examine the entirety of Shakespeare’s dramatic suicides. It addresses all plays featuring suicides and near-suicides in chronological order from Titus Andronicus to Antony and Cleopatra, thus establishing that suicide becomes increasingly pronounced as a vital means of dramatic characterisation. In particular, the book approaches suicide as a gendered phenomenon. By taking into account parameters such as onstage versus offstage deaths, suicide speeches or the explicit denial of final words, as well as settings and weapons, the study scrutinises the ways in which Shakespeare appropriates the convention of suicide and subverts traditional notions of masculine versus feminine deaths. It shows to what extent a gendered approach towards suicide opens up a more nuanced understanding of the correlation between gender and Shakespeare’s genres and how, eventually, through their dramatisation of suicide the tragedies query normative gender discourse.

Table of Contents


Textual Note

List of Abbreviations


1. Knitting the Cord: Titus Andronicus

2. Happy Daggers: Romeo and Juliet

3. Roman Fools: Julius Caesar

4. Solid Flesh: Hamlet

5. Before We Go: Othello

6. Promised Ends: King Lear

7. Trying the Last: Macbeth

8. Well Done: Antony and Cleopatra




About the Author

Marlena Tronicke is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Münster, Germany. Apart from Shakespeare and early modern drama in general, her areas of research and teaching include adaptation, Neo-Victorianism, as well as contemporary British theatre.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Shakespeare

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering Shakespeare alongside topics such as religion, politics, gender, race, ecology, popular culture, and history, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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