The Cultural Uses of the Caesars on the English Renaissance Stage: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Cultural Uses of the Caesars on the English Renaissance Stage

1st Edition

By Lisa Hopkins


168 pages

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Hardback: 9780754662631
pub: 2008-03-28
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Caesarian power was a crucial context in the Renaissance, as rulers in Europe, Russia and Turkey all sought to appropriate Caesarian imagery and authority, but it has been surprisingly little explored in scholarship. In this study Lisa Hopkins explores the way in which the stories of the Caesars, and of the Julio-Claudians in particular, can be used to figure the stories of English rulers on the Renaissance stage. Analyzing plays by Shakespeare and a number of other playwrights of the period, she demonstrates how early modern English dramatists, using Roman modes of literary representation as cover, commented on the issues of the day and critiqued contemporary monarchs.


'In this important study of the uses of the past in early modern England, Hopkins reminds us what has always been at stake in the term "Renaissance". Hopkins sheds new light on the importance of legends of British antiquity alongside (and often in tension with) the history of classical Rome.' Philip Schwyzer, University of Exeter, UK ’… a well researched and useful work… adds an important dimension to the study of Roman-ness on the English stage.’ Comparative Drama ’… lively, well-researched, provocative…’ Renaissance Quarterly

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: 'king nor keisar'; Part I The Whore of Babylon: Reformation and deformation: Titus Andronicus; Hamlet among the Romans. Part II Caesar and the Czar: Tamburlaine and Julius Caesar; Pocahontas and The Winter's Tale. Part III The Romans in Britain: Cleopatra and the myth of Scota; The Romans in Wales: Cymbeline; He, Claudius; Conclusion; Works cited; Index.

About the Author

Lisa Hopkins is Professor of English at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

About the Series

Studies in Performance and Early Modern Drama

Studies in Performance and Early Modern Drama
This series presents original research on theatre histories and performance histories; the time period covered is from about 1500 to the early 18th century. Studies in which women's activities are a central feature of discussion are especially of interest; this may include women as financial or technical support (patrons, musicians, dancers, seamstresses, wig-makers) or house support staff (e.g., gatherers), rather than performance per se. We also welcome critiques of early modern drama that take into account the production values of the plays and rely on period records of performance.

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