When it was first published, Radical Tragedy was hailed as a groundbreaking reassessment of the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. An engaged reading of the past with compelling contemporary significance, Radical Tragedy remains a landmark study of Renaissance drama. The third edition of this critically acclaimed work includes a new foreword by Terry Eagleton and an extensive new introduction by the author.
Acknowledgments ix Foreword / Terry Eagleton x Introduction to the Third Edition xiv i September 1914 xiv ii September 2001 xvi iii September 1939 xix iv Art and Humanism xxii v Humanism and Materialism xxv vi Returns xxvi vii Knowledge and Desire xxx Notes xxxv Bibliography xxxvii Introduction to the Second Edition xli Part I: Radical Drama: Its Contexts and Emergence 1. Contexts 3 i Literary Criticism: Order versus History 5 ii Ideology, Religion and Renaissance Scepticism 9 iii Ideology and the Decentering of Man 17 iv Secularism versus Nihilism 19 v Censorship 22 vi Inversion and Misrule 25 2. Emergence: Marston's Antonio Plays (c. 1599-1601) and Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (c. 1601-1602) 29 i Discontinuous Identity (1) 30 ii Providence and Natural Law (1) 36 iii Discontinuous Identity (2) 40 iv Providence and Natural Law (2) 42 v Ideology and the Absolute 44 vi Social Contradiction and Discontinuous Identity 47 vii Renaissance Man versus Decentered Malcontent 49 Part II: Structure, Mimesis, Providence 3. Structure: From Resolution to Dislocation 53 i Bradley 53 ii Archer and Eliot 56 iii Coherence and Discontinuity 59 iv Brecht: A Difference Reality 63 4. Reniassance Literary Theory: Two Concepts of Mimesis 70 i Poetry versus History 71 ii The Fictive and the Real 73 5. The Disintegration of Providentialist Belief 83 i Atheism and Religious Scepticism 83 ii Providentialism and History 87 iii Organic Providence 90 iv From Mutability to Cosmic Decay 92 v Goodman and Elemental Chaos 99 vi Providence and Protestantism 103 vii Providence, Decay and the Drama 107 6. Dr. Faustus (c. 1589-92): Subversion Through Transgression 109 i Limit and Transgression 110 ii Power and the Unitary Soul 116 7. Mustapha (c. 1594-6): Ruined Aesthetic, Ruined Theology 120 i Tragedy, Theology and Cosmic Decay 120 ii Mustapha: Tragedy as Dislocation 123 8. Sejanus (1603): History and Realpolitik 134 i History, Fate, Providence 134 9. The Revenger's Tragedy (c. 1606): Providence, Parody and Black Camp 139 i Providence and Parody 139 ii Desire and Death 143 Part III: Man Decentered 10. Subjectivity and Social Process 153 i Tragedy, Humanism and the Transcendent Subject 156 ii The Jacobean Displacement of the Subject 158 iii The Essentialist Tradition: Christianity, Stoicism and Renaissance Humanism 161 iv Internal Tensions 163 v Anti-Essentialism in Political Theory and Renaissance Skepticism 169 vi Renaissance Individualism? 174 11. Bussy D'Ambois (c. 1604): A Hero at Court 182 i Shadows and Substance 182 ii Court Power and Native Noblesse 185 12. King Lear (c. 1605-6) and Essentialist Humanism 189 i Redemption and Endurance: Two Sides of Essentialist Humanism 191 ii King Lear: A Materialist Reading 195 iii The Refusal of Closure 202 13. Antony and Cleopatra (c. 1607): Virtus under Erasure 204 i Virtus and History 206 ii Virtus and Realpolitik (1) 207 iii Honour and Policy 213 iv Sexuality and Power 215 14. Coriolanus (c. 1608): The Chariot Whell and its Dust 218 i Virtus and Realpolitik (2) 218 ii Essentialism and Class War 222 15. The White Devil (1612): Transgression Without Virtue 231 i Religion and State Power 231 ii The Virtuous and the Vicious 232 iii Sexual and Social Exploitation 235 iv The Assertive Woman 239 v The Dispossessed Intellectual 242 vi Living Contradictions 244 Part IV: Subjectivity: Idealism versus Materialism 16. Beyond Essentialist Humanism 249 i Origins of the Transcendent Subject 250 ii Essence and Universal: Enlightenment Transitions 253 iii Discrimination and Subjectivity 256 iv Formative Literary Influences: Pope to Eliot 258 v Existentialism 262 vi Lawrence, Leavis and Individualism 264 vii The Decentered Subject 269 Notes 272 Bibliography of Works Cited 290 Index of Names and Texts 307 Index of Subjects 311