Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson: New Directions in Biography by J.R. Mulryne, Takashi Kozuka

By J.R. Mulryne, Takashi Kozuka

A striking resurgence of curiosity has taken position over fresh years in a biographical method of the paintings of early smooth poets and dramatists, specifically to the performs and poems of Shakespeare, Marlowe and Jonson. The members to this quantity technique the subject in a way that's without delay significantly and traditionally alert. They recognize that the biographical proof for all 3 authors is proscribed, hence throwing the emphasis acutely on interpretation. as well as new scholarship, the essays are priceless for his or her information of the demanding situations posed by way of contemporary redirections of serious technique. Scepticism and self-criticism are marked positive factors of the writing amassed the following.

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3 Peter Milward, Shakespeare’s Religious Background (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1973). 4 Eric Sams, The Real Shakespeare: Retrieving the Early Years, 1564–1594 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995), p. 11. 5 Katherine Duncan-Jones, Ungentle Shakespeare: Scenes from his Life (London: Arden Shakespeare, 2001), p. 197. 6 Edward Dowden, Shakspere: A Critical Study of His Mind and Art (London: Kegan Paul, 1875). 7 Park Honan, Shakespeare: A Life (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp.

Shakespeare’s stature in his own time may have been less exalted than it has been since the eighteenth century, but the tributes of Francis Meres and Ben Jonson reveal a contemporary awareness of his greatness. Yet we have no sign of any contemporary interest in his character. Was there something either intangible or unknowable, or something deterrent, about it? Or did he perhaps come alive only when entering, in his writing or his acting, the personalities of others? That too, alas, is speculation.

18 In modern times we have had a monarchist Shakespeare and a republican Shakespeare, an aristocratic Shakespeare and a bourgeois Shakespeare, Terry Eagleton’s Marxist Shakespeare and Michael Portillo’s 30 Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson Tory Shakespeare. We have also had a Catholic Shakespeare, an Anglican Shakespeare, a Presbyterian Shakespeare, an agnostic Shakespeare, an atheist Shakespeare. 19 There is a final difference between Shakespeare and other dramatists of his time. One reason we know something about the personalities and views of a number of his contemporaries is that they got into trouble with the authorities, and that their clashes with them left a documentary legacy.

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