Shakespeare on the Edge: Border-crossing in the Tragedies and the Henriad


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Catalog Record: Renaissance literature and culture | HathiTrust Digital Library

What precisely might such a reader have been anticipating and why? What exactly do borders and border crossing mean in the period? Lisa Hopkins' Shakespeare on the Edge provides us with a wealth of fascinating information that helps answer these questions.


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Many of Shakespeare's plays concern uncertain, unstable, or shifting boundaries: think of the instances of actual or projected kingdom division in King Lear and 1 Henry IV , or of John of Gaunt's effacement of Wales and Scotland in naming England a "scept'red isle. Hopkins' contribution to this scholarship lies in her exploration of the multiple registers within which borders and border crossing can signify.

In particular, Hopkins is interested in the ways geographical borders do or do not map onto spiritual ones. In a chapter on Hamlet , she argues that Shakespeare's play "shows us a world in which the all-important border which would enable us to cross safely into the world of the spiritual is troubled, contested, and impossible to plot securely" For the character of Macbeth, "the boundary [End Page ] between the worlds seems. Behind these border troubles is the Reformation, which leads to a broad cultural anxiety, acutely expressed in terms of geographic boundaries, about the security of one's passage from this world to the next.

For Hopkins, 1 Henry IV shows that even to cross the border into Wales is to "enter a land of eschatological uncertainty" In addition to focusing on the border between worlds, Hopkins considers the importance of James's ascension to the English throne for figuring relations between England and Scotland, especially in light of the king's efforts to unify the kingdom.

Indeed, a major argumentative thread running through Hopkins' book is that Shakespeare's plays, when read in chronological order, betray a growing anxiety about "the idea of the permeability or intangibility of the borders which separate [England] from its neighbours" At issue here is the perceived loss of English identity under the first anticipated, then actual ascension of the Scottish king.

EL0669 Mobility and Identity in Early Modern Drama

It is for this reason, Hopkins argues, that Macbeth expresses a longing for clear borders—Taylor's "little Riuer" would not suffice—and that Othello betrays trepidation about islands: it is a play in which characters "always imagine themselves as surrounded and configured by water Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

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Hamlet's Castle and Shakespeare's Elsinore - David Hohnen - Google книги

Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. Oxford: Oxford UP, Ronald L. New York: Pearson Longman, Shakespeare : The Play of History. New York and London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, Ton Hoenselaars. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, Shakespeare on the Edge : Border-crossing in the Tragedies and the Henriad. Aldershot: Ashgate, Shakespeare After Theory.

Divine Providence in the England of Shakespeare's Histories. Henry IV, Part One. Shakespeare in Performance Series.

Lisa Hopkins

Shakespeare the Historian. New York: St Martin's P, Stages of History: Shakespeare's English Chronicles. Nigel Wood.

Lecture 4: The Renaissance - Shakespeare

Buckingham and Bristol: Open UP, Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf, Diana E.

Shakespeare on the Edge: Border-crossing in the Tragedies and the Henriad
Shakespeare on the Edge: Border-crossing in the Tragedies and the Henriad
Shakespeare on the Edge: Border-crossing in the Tragedies and the Henriad
Shakespeare on the Edge: Border-crossing in the Tragedies and the Henriad
Shakespeare on the Edge: Border-crossing in the Tragedies and the Henriad
Shakespeare on the Edge: Border-crossing in the Tragedies and the Henriad
Shakespeare on the Edge: Border-crossing in the Tragedies and the Henriad
Shakespeare on the Edge: Border-crossing in the Tragedies and the Henriad
Shakespeare on the Edge: Border-crossing in the Tragedies and the Henriad

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