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Table of contents :
Cover
Contents
List of Illustrations and Tables
Notes on Contributors
Series Preface
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Introduction:Twenty-first-century Shakespeares Evelyn Gajowski
PART ONE: FOUNDATIONAL STUDIES
1.1 Close reading and New Criticism Kent Cartwright
1.2 Genre studies Michelle M. Dowd
1.3 Character studies Michael Bristol
PART TWO: CHALLENGES TO TRADITIONAL LIBERAL HUMANISM
2.1 Marxist studies Christian Smith
2.2 New historicist studies Hugh Grady
2.3 Cultural materialist studies Christopher Marlow
2.4 Feminist studies Jessica McCall
2.5 Psychoanalytic studies Carolyn E. Brown
PART THREE: MATTERS OF DIFFERENCE
3.1 Critical race studies Arthur L. Little, Jr
3.2 Postcolonial studies Ruben Espinosa
3.3 Queer studies Anthony Guy Patricia
PART FOUR: MILLENNIAL DIRECTIONS
4.1 Ecocritical studies Randall Martin
4.2 Computational studies Brett Greatley-Hirsch
4.3 Spiritual studies Peter Atkinson
4.4 Presentist studies Miguel Ramalhete Gomes
4.5 Global studies Alexa Alice Joubin
PART FIVE: TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY DIRECTIONS
5.1 Disability studies Katherine Schaap Williams
5.2 Ecofeminist studies Jennifer Munroe and Rebecca Laroche
5.3 Posthumanist studies Karen Raber
5.4 Cognitive ethology studies Craig Dionne
APPENDICES
Appendix A: Timeline of significant developments Evelyn Gajowski
Appendix B: A–Z glossary of key terms Gary Lindeburg
Appendix C: Annotated bibliography Dorothy C. Vanderford
Appendix D: Resources for further research Gary Lindeburg
Index
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THE ARDEN RESEARCH HANDBOOK OF CONTEMPORARY SHAKESPEARE CRITICISM

ARDEN SHAKESPEARE HANDBOOKS FORTHCOMING TITLES The Arden Handbook of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama Edited by Michelle Dowd and Tom Rutter ISBN 978-1-3501-6185-6 The Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Textual Studies Edited by Lukas Erne ISBN 978-1-3500-8063-8 The Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Adaptation Studies Edited by Diana Henderson and Stephen O’Neill ISBN 978-1-3501-1030-4 The Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Contemporary Performance Edited by Peter Kirwan and Kathryn Prince ISBN 978-1-3500-8067-6 The Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Social Justice Edited by David Ruiter ISBN 978-1-3501-4036-3

THE ARDEN RESEARCH HANDBOOK OF CONTEMPORARY SHAKESPEARE CRITICISM Edited by Evelyn Gajowski

THE ARDEN SHAKESPEARE Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP, UK 1385 Broadway, New York, NY 10018, USA BLOOMSBURY, THE ARDEN SHAKESPEARE and the Arden Shakespeare logo are trademarks of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published in Great Britain 2021 Copyright © Evelyn Gajowski and contributors, 2021 Evelyn Gajowski and contributors have asserted their right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the authors of this work. For legal purposes the Acknowledgements on p. xvii constitute an extension of this copyright page. Series design by Charlotte Daniels Cover image © Antorti / Getty Images All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc does not have any control over, or responsibility for, any third-party websites referred to or in this book. All internet addresses given in this book were correct at the time of going to press. The author and publisher regret any inconvenience caused if addresses have changed or sites have ceased to exist, but can accept no responsibility for any such changes. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. ISBN: HB: 978-1-3500-9322-5 ePDF: 978-1-3500-9324-9 eBook: 978-1-3500-9323-2 Series: The Arden Shakespeare Handbooks Typeset by Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd. To find out more about our authors and books visit www.bloomsbury.com and sign up for our newsletters.

Still to Harv

vi

CONTENTS

L ist

of

N otes

I llustrations on

and

T ables 

C ontributors 

S eries P reface 

x xi xv

A cknowledgements 

xvii

L ist

xix

of

A bbreviations 

Introduction: Twenty-first-century Shakespeares Evelyn Gajowski

1

PART ONE: FOUNDATIONAL STUDIES 1.1 Close reading and New Criticism Kent Cartwright

21

1.2 Genre studies Michelle M. Dowd

38

1.3 Character studies Michael Bristol

51

PART TWO: C  HALLENGES TO TRADITIONAL LIBERAL HUMANISM 2.1 Marxist studies Christian Smith

67

2.2 New historicist studies Hugh Grady

82

2.3 Cultural materialist studies Christopher Marlow

95

2.4 Feminist studies Jessica McCall

108

2.5 Psychoanalytic studies Carolyn E. Brown

122

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CONTENTS

PART THREE: MATTERS OF DIFFERENCE 3.1 Critical race studies Arthur L. Little, Jr

139

3.2 Postcolonial studies Ruben Espinosa

159

3.3 Queer studies Anthony Guy Patricia

173

PART FOUR: MILLENNIAL DIRECTIONS 4.1 Ecocritical studies Randall Martin

189

4.2 Computational studies Brett Greatley-Hirsch

205

4.3 Spiritual studies Peter Atkinson

222

4.4 Presentist studies Miguel Ramalhete Gomes

233

4.5 Global studies Alexa Alice Joubin

247

PART FIVE: TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY DIRECTIONS 5.1 Disability studies Katherine Schaap Williams

265

5.2 Ecofeminist studies Jennifer Munroe and Rebecca Laroche

279

5.3 Posthumanist studies Karen Raber

292

5.4 Cognitive ethology studies Craig Dionne

305

APPENDICES

Appendix A: Timeline of significant developments Evelyn Gajowski

323

CONTENTS  xi

Appendix B: A–Z glossary of key terms Gary Lindeburg

327

Appendix C: Annotated bibliography Dorothy C. Vanderford

341

Appendix D: Resources for further research Gary Lindeburg

352

Index

359

ILLUSTRATIONS AND TABLES

ILLUSTRATIONS 1 2

3 4 5

New River, London. Photograph by Randall Martin Sir Hugh Myddelton, 1st Baronet, after Cornelius Johnson (Cornelius Janssen van Ceulen). Oil on canvas, seventeenth–nineteenth century, based on a work of 1628. 50 × 40 in. (1270 × 1016 mm). Photo © National Portrait Gallery, London Principal Components Analysis (PCA) scatterplot  Principal Components Analysis (PCA) biplot  Aap met Spiegel in Johann Theodor de Bry’s Emblemata Saecularia, c. 1596. Courtesy of Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

191

195 211 212

311

TABLES 1

Plays in the corpus

209

NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

Peter Atkinson, an Anglican priest, has been Dean of Worcester, England, since 2007. He is the author of The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible (2009), a guide to the Bible for young readers which has appeared in twelve languages, and Friendship and the Body of Christ (2004). Michael Bristol is Greenshields Professor Emeritus at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He is the author of several books and numerous essays on Shakespeare’s dramatic art. At the present time he is enjoying the diverse pleasures of vita contemplativa. Carolyn E. Brown, Professor of English at the University of San Francisco, California, teaches Shakespeare and early modern literature. Her book Shakespeare  and Psychoanalytic Theory has been published in the Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series (The Arden Shakespeare, 2015). Her articles on Shakespeare appear in the following journals – Shakespeare Studies; English Literary Renaissance; Studies in English Literature; Studies in Philology; Texas Studies in Literature and Language; Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History; Literature and Psychology; American Imago and several edited collections. Kent Cartwright is Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Maryland, College Park. Most recently, he edited Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors for the Arden Third Series (The Arden Shakespeare, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph on Shakespeare’s comedies. Craig Dionne, Professor of Literary and Cultural Theory at Eastern Michigan University, specializes in Shakespeare and early modern cultural studies. He is author of Posthuman Lear: Reading Shakespeare in the Anthropocene (2016). He has co-edited Bollywood Shakespeares with Parmita Kapadia (2014); Native Shakespeares: Indigenous Appropriations on a Global Stage with Parmita Kapadia (2008); and Rogues and Early Modern English Culture with Steve Mentz (2005). He is currently working on a book, Shakespeare’s Instincts: Ethology and Geological Time in the Early Modern Imagination. Michelle M. Dowd is Hudson Strode Professor of English and Director of the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama. She is the author of The Dynamics of Inheritance on the Shakespearean Stage (2015) and Women’s Work in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (2009),

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NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

which won the Sara A. Whaley Book Award from the National Women’s Studies Association. In addition to co-editing several essay collections, she has published articles in journals such as Shakespeare Studies, English Literary Renaissance, Renaissance Drama, Modern Philology and Modern Language Quarterly. Ruben Espinosa is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas, El Paso. He is the author of Masculinity and Marian Efficacy in Shakespeare’s England (2011) and co-editor of Shakespeare and Immigration (2014). He was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Association of America in 2018, and he is currently at work on two monographs, Shakespeare on the Border: Language, Legitimacy and La Frontera and Shakespeare on the Shades of Race. Evelyn Gajowski is Barrick Distinguished Scholar and Professor of English Emerita at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has published four books on Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor: New Critical Essays, with Phyllis Rackin (2015); Presentism, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare (2009); Re-Visions of Shakespeare: Essays in Honor of Robert Ornstein (2004); and The Art of Loving: Female Subjectivity and Male Discursive Traditions in Shakespeare’s Tragedies (1992). She serves as Series Editor of the Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series. Miguel Ramalhete Gomes is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Lisbon, Portugal. He is the author of Texts Waiting for History: William Shakespeare Re-Imagined by Heiner Müller (2014). He has published on Shakespeare, Irish studies and utopian studies. Hugh Grady, Professor Emeritus at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania, specializes in Shakespeare, early modern English literature and critical theory. He has authored numerous articles and several books on Shakespeare, including Shakespeare and Impure Aesthetics (2009); Shakespeare, Machiavelli and Montaigne (2002); Shakespeare’s Universal Wolf (1996); and The Modernist Shakespeare (1991). He has co-edited Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now with Cary DiPietro (2013) and Presentist Shakespeares with Terence Hawkes (2007). Brett Greatley-Hirsch is University Academic Fellow in Textual Studies and Digital Editing at the University of Leeds, England. He has co-authored Style, Computers, and Early Modern Drama: Beyond Authorship with Hugh Craig (2018). He is a coordinating editor of Digital Renaissance Editions and co-editor of the journal Shakespeare. Alexa Alice Joubin teaches in the English Department at George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she co-founded and co-directs the Digital Humanities Institute. She holds the Middlebury College John M. Kirk, Jr, Chair in Medieval and Renaissance Literature in the Bread Loaf School of English. Her latest book is Race (with Martin Orkin) in the New Critical Idiom Series (2019).

NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

xiii

Rebecca Laroche is Professor of English at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. During spring 2019, she was a Before Farm-to-Table Fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has published books and articles on Shakespeare, ecofeminist theory, early modern women, print herbal texts and manuscript recipe collections. She is a founding and continuing Steering Committee Member of EMROC (Early Modern Recipes Online Collective). Gary Lindeburg recently earned his PhD in English Literature at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is currently serving as an editorial assistant for the Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series. His article, “Terence Hawkes,” co-authored with Evelyn Gajowski, is forthcoming in Oxford Bibliographies. His major research interest is Japanese adaptations of Shakespeare, and his current work emphasizes adaptations of Romeo and Juliet in Japanese pop culture and contemporary media. Arthur L. Little, Jr, Associate Professor of English at UCLA, works primarily in the area of Shakespeare and early modern race studies and also at the historical and theoretical intersections of race, gender and sexuality. He is the author of Shakespeare Jungle Fever: National-Imperial Re-Visions of Race, Rape, and Sacrifice (2000), and he has several other works nearing completion, including the monograph Shakespeare and Race Theory for the Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series and the edited collection White People in Shakespeare. He is also working on a third monograph, Black Hamlet. Christopher Marlow is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Lincoln, England. He is the author of Shakespeare and Cultural Materialist Theory for the Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series (The Arden Shakespeare, 2017) and Performing Masculinity in English University Drama, 1598–1636 (2013). Randall Martin is Professor of English at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. His most recent book is Shakespeare and Ecology (2015). He has co-edited a special issue on ‘Eco-Shakespeare in Performance’ with Evelyn O’Malley for Shakespeare Bulletin (Fall 2018) and published several ecocritical articles on Shakespeare, the latest of which is ‘Economies of Gunpowder and Ecologies of Peace: Accounting for Sustainability’ (2019). He is also leading an international eco-theatrical research project, ‘Cymbeline in the Anthropocene’ (#CymbelineAnthropocene). Jessica McCall is Associate Professor of English at Delaware Valley University, Pennsylvania. She has published several articles and chapters in journals and edited collections, including ‘Close Reading: The Theory Which Is Not One’, in a special issue of Early Modern Culture, co-edited by Phyllis Rackin and Peter Parolin (2017), and ‘Hysterical Shakespeare: Celebrations of Merry Sexuality’, in The Merry Wives of Windsor: New Critical Essays, co-edited by Evelyn Gajowski and Phyllis Rackin (2015). Her current research focuses on the intersectionality of gender, pop culture and Shakespeare.

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NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

Jennifer Munroe is Professor of English at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. She is co-author (with Rebecca Laroche) of Shakespeare and Ecofeminist Theory for the Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series (The Arden Shakespeare, 2017) and author of Gender and the Garden in Early Modern English Literature (2008). She is also co-editor (with Lynne Bruckner and Edward J. Geisweidt) of Ecological Approaches to Early Modern Texts (2015) and (with Rebecca Laroche) of Ecofeminist Approaches to Early Modernity (2011). In addition, Munroe is a co-founder and Steering Committee Member of EMROC (Early Modern Recipes Online Collective). Anthony Guy Patricia is Assistant Professor of English at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia. He is the author of Queering the Shakespeare Film: Gender Trouble, Gay Spectatorship and Male Homoeroticism for The Arden Shakespeare (2015). He has published chapters and articles in several edited collections and journals. His chapter on fantasy and romance in films of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest is forthcoming in The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Screen, edited by Russell Jackson. Karen Raber, Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Mississippi, currently serves as the Executive Director of the Shakespeare Association of America. Her recent publications include Shakespeare and Posthumanist Theory for the Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series (The Arden Shakespeare, 2018) and Animal Bodies, Renaissance Culture (2013), as well as the collection Performing Animals: History, Agency, Theater (2017), co-edited with Monica Mattfeld. She edits the book series Perspectives on the Non-Human in Literature and Culture. Christian Smith, an Independent Scholar in Shakespeare studies, earned his PhD in English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick, England, where he held a post as a Teaching Fellow in World Literature and Critical Theory. He currently lives in Berlin, researching and writing a monograph: Shakespeare’s Influence on Karl Marx (forthcoming). He works in Shakespeare studies, influence and adaptation studies, critical theory, and translation. Dorothy C. Vanderford recently earned her PhD in Shakespeare and early modern English drama at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her doctoral dissertation analyses the intersectionality of gender and race issues in contemporary productions of Antony and Cleopatra and The Duchess of Malfi. She has served as an editorial assistant for the Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series. Katherine Schaap Williams is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her book Unfixable Forms: Disability, Performance, and the Early Modern English Theater is forthcoming. She has also edited the 1605 play Eastward Ho for the forthcoming Routledge Anthology of Early Modern Drama. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in ELH, English Studies, Disability Studies Quarterly, Early Theatre and several edited collections.

SERIES PREFACE

The Arden Shakespeare Handbooks provide researchers and graduate students with both cutting-edge perspectives on perennial questions and authoritative overviews of the history of research. The series comprises single-volume reference works that map the parameters of a discipline or sub-discipline and present the current state of research. Each Handbook offers a systematic and structured range of specially commissioned chapters reflecting on the history, methodologies, current debates and future of a particular field of research. Additional resources, such as a chronology of important milestones that have shaped the field, a glossary of key terms, an annotated bibliography and a list of further resources are included. It is hoped that the series will provide both a thorough grounding in the range of research under each heading, and a practical guide that equips readers to conduct their own independent research. The topics selected for coverage in the series lie at the heart of the study of Shakespeare today, and at the time of writing include: ●● ●● ●● ●● ●● ●●

contemporary Shakespeare criticism and theory Shakespeare and textual studies Shakespeare and contemporary performance Shakespeare and adaptation Shakespeare and social justice Shakespeare and early modern drama

While each volume in the series provides coverage of a distinct area of research, it will be immediately apparent that ‘distinct’ becomes a slippery concept: how does one define contemporary criticism as distinct from contemporary performance? Indeed, the very porousness of research areas becomes even more marked if, for instance, one explores research in Shakespeare and contemporary performance (in the volume edited by Peter Kirwan and Kathryn Prince) and Shakespeare and adaptation (in the volume edited by Diana Henderson and Stephen O’Neill). Questions of social justice permeate each area of research, for, as Evelyn Gajowski notes in the introduction to The Arden Research Handbook of Contemporary Shakespeare Criticism, ‘many of the essays … suggest the inseparability of critical practices, on the one hand, and social justice and political activism, on the other’. Even where we might be inclined to feel on safer ground about the ‘particular field’ of textual studies as distinct from other fields of Shakespeare studies, Lukas Erne disabuses that notion in his introduction to The Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Textual Studies:

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SERIES PREFACE

Textual variants and multiplicity create their own proliferation of meanings, nor can textual studies and criticism ultimately be kept apart. For the question of what the text is decisively impacts the question of what the text means. While acknowledging the artificiality of boundaries and the inevitability of some degree of overlap, we have nevertheless encouraged editors to determine the contours of their Handbook with an eye on other titles in the same series. Just as each book provides a systematic grounding for readers, the series as a whole presents an invitation to readers to delve into each volume, to find those connections and points of intersection, and to explore the related fields that ultimately will enrich their own research.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

As always, my greatest debt is to Harvey Berenberg for his undying support of my intellectual endeavours. The Arden Research Handbook of Contemporary Shakespeare Criticism benefited from many invigorating discussions about critical and theoretical issues in contemporary Shakespeare studies. He has been an invaluable sounding board. An intellectual and publishing venture such as this one is genuinely collaborative in nature. I am grateful to the contributors for their willingness to share their experience and their expertise between these two covers. In some cases, the conversations recorded here are continuations of those initiated at paper panels and seminar tables and in restaurants, pubs and bars. On many occasions, I have been moved by the contributors’ love of Shakespeare, their brilliance and their eloquence. I am grateful, as well, to many colleagues in the larger international community of Shakespeare scholars whom I am fortunate to count among my friends. I have taken great pleasure from illuminating discussions about critical and theoretical developments in the discipline of Shakespeare studies with Hugh Grady, Arthur Little, the late Terence Hawkes, John Drakakis, Jonathan Dollimore, the late Alan Sinfield, Kay Stanton, Phyllis Rackin, Adrian Kiernander, Ruben Espinosa, Jyotsna Singh, Marianne Novy, Jennifer Munroe, Rebecca Laroche, Craig Dionne, Melissa Sanchez, Sandra Logan, Christian Smith and Miguel Ramalhete Gomes. For years, Hugh has been generous in sharing his understanding of critical and theoretical developments in Shakespeare studies. My contribution to this project is but a poor reflection of his vast knowledge of the discipline. No one understands issues of alterity and otherness better than Arthur; I value our camaraderie as we have undergone and shared parallel professional challenges. Hugh, Arthur and Craig all provided feedback on several potential tables of contents and complicated my initial thinking regarding the structure of this volume. I am indebted to Mark Dudgeon, Lara Bateman and Margaret Bartley at The Arden Shakespeare at Bloomsbury in London for their support in recent years. Mark was instrumental in developing the Arden Shakespeare Handbook Series, including this volume. Over lunch in Bedford Square in July 2017, he discussed the Series with me and commissioned me to serve as editor of this volume. Since then, he and Lara have provided guidance and support throughout the development of this volume. The anonymous external readers for The Arden Shakespeare provided constructive feedback on my volume proposal for this

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

project; I am particularly appreciative of the scrutiny that one of the external readers gave the complete book-length manuscript. I am grateful to Gary Totten, Chair of the Department of English, and Christopher Heavey, former Dean of Liberal Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for the invaluable gift of time in the form of a one-semester research leave. I would like to thank the Faculty Senate and the Provost and Executive Vice President at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for granting me a one-year sabbatical leave to work on this and other research projects. The Graduate College at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, awarded me a Top Tier Doctoral Graduate Research Assistant to help me with work on The Arden Research Handbook of Contemporary Shakespeare Criticism and the Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series for a period of three years. I appreciate the intellectual labour of editorial and research assistants Dorothy Oppenheimer Vanderford, Gary Lindeburg and Alana Kamalalawalu Faagai. Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders and to obtain their permission for the use of copyrighted material. The publisher apologizes for any errors or omissions and would be grateful if notified of any corrections that should be incorporated in future reprints or editions of this book.

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

BSA

British Shakespeare Association

ESRA

European Shakespeare Research Association

Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London

ISA

International Shakespeare Association

ISC

International Shakespeare Conference, Stratford-upon-Avon

National

National Theatre, London

RSC

Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon

SAA

Shakespeare Association of America

SQ

Shakespeare Quarterly

SSt

Shakespeare Studies

SSu

Shakespeare Survey

TLS

Times Literary Supplement

WSC

World Shakespeare Congress

xx

Introduction: Twenty-first-century Shakespeares EVELYN GAJOWSKI

‘Why is it that parents who would be appalled to find their college-age children studying the same chemistry textbooks or economic theorems they themselves were taught twenty years ago fully expect that those children will learn the same things about Shakespeare that they learned when they were in college?’ Marjorie Garber asks in her article ‘Shakespeare as Fetish’. ‘What is it about the humanities in general and Shakespeare in particular,’ she continues, ‘that calls up this nostalgia for the certainties of truth and beauty?’ (1990: 243). In posing these questions, Garber makes the point that the humanities and the arts are dynamic, not static, enterprises. As in the natural sciences and the social sciences, concepts evolve, discoveries are made, epistemologies shift. ‘What about the animal images in King Lear?’ an alumnus asked Garber after a public lecture. By not mentioning them, it was as though she had denied a part of his treasured childhood. ‘Caliban as hero of The Tempest?’ exclaimed an academic traditionalist. ‘Then I wouldn’t know what the play would mean’ (1990: 243, emphasis hers). The assumption on the part of the alumnus and the academic in Garber’s anecdote is that Shakespeare will always be there, like a comfortable, familiar teddy bear, entwined with memories of one’s youth: one’s initial theatre experience, perhaps, or one’s discovery of the complexity and the beauty of poetic language, or one’s identification with the anxieties or desires of a particular character. The attitudes of the alumnus and the academic in Garber’s anecdote strike a false note, however, in view of the fact that interpretations of Shakespeare’s texts over the years, decades, and centuries have never been the same. Shakespeare’s texts have always undergone changes of meaning – manifesting themselves differently in various afterlives on stage and in criticism depending upon political, social and economic discourses, beliefs, and practices circulating at any given moment, as presentist studies has taught us – and in any given society, as global studies has taught us. When Garber related this anecdote three decades ago, she was describing not only the development of an academic discipline but a revolution. Put in Darwinian terms, it took the shape of punctuated evolution rather than gradual evolution. A seismic shift had ruptured the discipline of English studies. Patricia Parker characterizes that moment as one of ‘theoretical ferment’ (Parker and Hartmann 1985: vii). Then, it may have felt like a long time coming, particularly in Shakespeare studies. In retrospect, from our vantage point in the twenty-first

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HANDBOOK OF CONTEMPORARY SHAKESPEARE CRITICISM

century, the discipline of Shakespeare studies defined the epicentre of that shift, whether from the perspective of new historicism, cultural materialism or presentism. The Arden Research Handbook of Contemporary Shakespeare Criticism aims to map the key developments, innovations, concepts, critics and theorists that characterize that shift, as well as the aftershocks and fault lines that have delineated Shakespeare studies since. The volume charts late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century critical practices and their underlying theoretical developments that evolved in response to traditional liberal humanism. The Arden Research Handbook of Contemporary Shakespeare Criticism aims to enable readers to learn about the array of critical practices that are residual, dominant or emergent in the discipline of Shakespeare studies in the twenty-first century. The book also hopes to provide enough information to inspire and enable readers to take up a critical practice and use it to construct meanings afresh in their own readings of Shakespeare’s texts. Each chapter defines a particular critical practice, explains its key developments and theoretical concepts, traces its major critics and theorists and analyses its significance in the discipline. Students in any academic discipline – whether in the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities or the arts – come to understand abstract concepts through concrete example as well as through definition and explanation. Each chapter, therefore, provides a reading of a Shakespeare text to exemplify the critical practice in question. Authors of individual chapters attempt to strike a balance, bringing their unique expertise, experience and perspectives to bear upon particular critical practices while fulfilling these common aims. Simultaneously, with an eye to the big picture, Contemporary Shakespeare Criticism as a whole also attempts to answer the following general questions about critical and theoretical developments in contemporary Shakespeare studies: • What characterizes the shift in English studies, and Shakespeare studies, from traditional liberal humanism on the one hand to our postmodern critical and theoretical environment on the other? What kinds of conflicts does this shift   entail? Why do they occur? • What characterizes Shakespeare studies in the 1970s and 1980s? What kinds of new terrain do the initial challenges to traditional liberal humanism open up? What kinds of critical and theoretical conflicts occur among the approaches to analysing Shakespeare’s texts that were emergent at that time? For example, what kinds of  ideological tensions develop among feminist, new historicist and  cultural  materialist critical practices? Why do they do so? • How do we best characterize Shakespeare studies today? What kinds of critical and theoretical conflicts occur among approaches to analysing Shakespeare’s texts at the present moment? For example, what kinds of ideological affinities and productive tensions occur among presentist, cultural materialist and new  historicist studies? Among critical race, postcolonial and global studies? Among ecocritical, ecofeminist, posthumanist and cognitive ethology studies? Why do they do so?

INTRODUCTION: TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY SHAKESPEARES 

3

PART ONE: FOUNDATIONAL STUDIES In the mid twentieth century, two major critical paradigms dominated Shakespeare studies, as Hugh Grady reminds us: a historical criticism descendent from nineteenthcentury positivism and New Criticism that was preoccupied with balance, order and unity in texts (1991: 191–7). E. M. W. Tillyard’s The Elizabethan World Picture (1943), which argues for the influence of the great chain of being, a medieval hierarchical system, in early modern England, exemplifies the historical criticism of the time. Cleanth Brooks’s The Well-Wrought Urn (1947) exempflies New Criticism. By the 1960s, however, Tillyardian historical criticism and New Criticism were exhausting themselves. Their attempts to construct an ‘orderly, authority-loving, hierarchical society’ (Grady 1991: 194) and to find (or impose) aesthetic unity in Shakespeare’s texts, respectively, grew increasingly repetitious and attenuated. ‘Foundational Studies’ focuses on critical practices that, at first glance, would appear to be residual: close reading, genre studies and character studies. However, as the chapters devoted to these critical practices demonstrate, the critical and theoretical climate of the twenty-first century does not dismiss or disregard them as much as it reinvigorates and transforms them. Kent Cartwright takes on double duty in his chapter, ‘Close reading and New Criticism’. Close reading is having a ‘moment’, he points out. A professional consensus has formed that the criticism and teaching of literature rely fundamentally on the practice of close reading despite divergences in critical approaches among its adepts. Shakespeare studies has seen in recent years a surge of publications on the subject. The time is ripe, Russ McDonald, Nicholas Nace and Travis Williams declare, for close reading to ‘come out of the shadows’ (2012: xx). But not all close readings proceed in the same way or with the same goals. It has become a subject for disagreement, with its rootedness as a practice now being acknowledged but its qualities and implications contested. Cartwright addresses the following questions: What is close reading? What is its history? What are its branches and assumptions? What are its ideological implications? And how might it be reasonably practised? He reviews the origins of close reading in the UK and outlines New Criticism, its US version. He considers whether close reading is a theory or a practice. He poses the question of whether close reading constitutes immersion or disruption. He concludes with an illustration, for drama, of close reading augmented by rhetorical analysis, with the example of Much Ado About Nothing’s opening scene. Polonius’s catalogue of dramatic genres in Hamlet – ‘tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comicalhistorical-pastoral’ – mocks but also helps substantiate the fact that theatrical genres in Shakespeare’s day did not constitute a strict system of organization but rather a highly flexible, contested set of literary concepts. The resistance of Shakespeare’s dramatic oeuvre to the trifold organizational scheme (comedies, histories and tragedies) embodied in the First Folio, Michelle Dowd reminds us in her chapter, ‘Genre studies’, further attests to the fluid nature of genre and the challenges that scholars have frequently faced when using genre as a theoretical framework for analysing the plays. She traces major developments in genre theory, including

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Russian formalist and Marxist approaches, and considers the specific role of genre criticism within Shakespeare studies. Surveying work by a range of scholars, she provides an overview of the most significant critical approaches to Shakespearean genre, including early typological and formalist studies, the analysis of individual genres and more recent historical and performance-based analyses. Through a reading of The Winter’s Tale, Dowd explores new possibilities for genre criticism, including feminist formalist analysis. Despite the orthodoxies often associated with genre studies, recent scholarship amply demonstrates the vital, productive capacity of generic analysis for understanding the cultural work that Shakespeare’s plays perform both in his era and in our own. Conventional wisdom in the field of Shakespeare studies holds that character studies is a thing of the past, as Michael Bristol observes in his chapter – a leftover from the defunct culture of nineteenth-century Romanticism. For some, it is something even worse, a banal ideological formation devised to mystify and to promote the narrow standards of bourgeois individualism. Bristol wonders if we are just too wised up for our own good. He argues for a radically different view of character studies as not only the one indispensable element for any serious Shakespeare criticism but also one that would be fully compatible with many other theoretical orientations. Many scholars continue to traffic in character. Dramatic works of art are a form of storytelling in which we are shown characters living and moving before us, as Aristotle points out (1968: 7). Bristol uses a combination of philological research and reception history to argue that the discovery of character in the eighteenthcentury literary public sphere is the expression of a deep engagement with the moral seriousness of Shakespearean drama. He also discusses the perhaps-illusory problem familiarly known as ‘confusing fictional characters with real people’ by arguing for an alternative view of the ontology of fictional agents. Bristol concludes by examining what Cordelia does and what happens to her to suggest that we are far from reaching the full development of character studies – because Shakespeare’s characters are not yet done with us.

PART TWO: CHALLENGES TO TRADITIONAL LIBERAL HUMANISM ‘The world is a fascinating place. I see no reason to ignore it in order to be a humanist,’ as Edward Said remarks, wryly, on the theoretical conflict between politics and literature from a traditional liberal humanist perspective (1992). In the 1970s and the 1980s, several critical practices sought to expand the horizon of Shakespeare studies by challenging the premises on which traditional liberal humanism is based, including the nature of the subject, language, reality and knowledge. In different but related ways, each of these entities in human existence comes to be understood as constructed rather than essential. Under the influence of post-structuralist thought from the European continent (primarily France) and changing demographics within the academy, Marxist, new historicist, cultural materialist, feminist and psychoanalytic studies launch interventions into traditional liberal humanism, taking issue with and undermining its assumptions. The publication of several ground-breaking texts ushered in a paradigm

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shift: Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt (1980), Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology and Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries by Jonathan Dollimore (1984), Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism co-edited by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield (1985), The Woman’s Part: Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare co-edited by Carolyn Ruth Swift Lenz, Gayle Greene and Carol Thomas Neely (1980) and Representing Shakespeare: New Psychoanalytic Essays co-edited by Murray Schwartz and Coppelia Kahn (1980). One component of the new postmodern aesthetic involves an abandonment of unity and a heightened sense of fragmentation that manifest themselves as a decentring of the human subject. A second component is an anti-hierarchical impulse and practice, as Grady observes (1991: 209–10). Marxism and cultural materialism thereby take issue with the assumption that the human subject, for example, is exclusively upper class; feminism thereby takes issue with the assumption that the human subject is exclusively male. In the introductory chapter of The Power of Forms (1982), Greenblatt coins the term new historicism to argue for an understanding of Shakespeare’s texts as inevitably enmeshed in the context of early modern England, reacting against both earlier Tillyardian historical criticism and the New Critical focus on Shakespeare’s texts in isolation. Although Greenblatt expresses a preference for the term cultural poetics, the new historicist label sticks. It is commonplace to observe that Shakespeare influenced such great nineteenthcentury thinkers as Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Shakespeare figures significantly in major texts by both of them – whether Capital or The Interpretation of Dreams. But it is revolutionary to turn things on their heads and pose the question: ‘How do Marx and Freud influence Shakespeare?’ Marxism is an influential theory in literary criticism, as Christian Smith points out in his chapter, ‘Marxist studies’. Concepts derived from Marx and his successors have been useful for Shakespeare criticism and have served as a methodological grounding for three critical practices: new historicism, cultural materialism and presentism. Marxist Shakespeare criticism originates in Marx’s critical engagement with Shakespeare’s texts. A close reading of Marx’s use of Shakespeare provides clues for the ways in which he interpreted the plays to critique capitalism. This methodology can be used to re-read Shakespeare’s plays in a Marxist critique of contemporary problems and contradictions. The history of Marxist Shakespeare criticism from Marx’s foundational writings to actual existing socialist countries provides a study of what is at stake for literary criticism in light of the global class struggle. In the West, Marxism has held a central position among critical approaches to literature. Marxist concepts, such as a focus on the economic base of society and an imperative to situate all literature in its historical context, have become core methodologies for critical practices such as new economic criticism and new historicism. Marxism’s historical materialism also serves as a methodological link to other critical concerns, such as gender, race and queer Shakespeare. New historicism is a critical method developed in the United States in the 1970s, as Hugh Grady observes in his chapter, in reaction to older methods that had ignored or downplayed the historical context in which the literary work originated. It distinguished itself from older forms of historicism (c. 1930–70) in its rejection of historical positivism, its close readings of non-literary documents using some of

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the techniques of deconstruction, and its use of critical social theories (e.g. those of Michel Foucault, Clifford Geertz and Karl Marx) to understand how literature participates in socially produced systems of power and exploitation. Its bestknown exponent is Greenblatt, and the method began to gain prominence after the 1980 publication of his Renaissance Self-Fashioning, often seen as the work that inaugurated new historicism – albeit earlier works like those of Stephen Orgel should also be considered part of the movement. It is related in methods and values to the British critical movement, cultural materialism, and it has influenced and been influenced by critical feminism, a movement which, however, has maintained a separate identity. New historicism became widely influential in early modern studies (and in other literary periods) in the 1980s and 1990s. Looking backward can be dangerous, politically speaking, Christopher Marlow points out in his chapter, ‘Cultural materialist studies’. Cultural materialism is nothing if not a way of speaking politically about Shakespeare. On the other hand, ‘the politically committed person looks forward – is committed to a better future’, as Jonathan Dollimore, one of the originators of cultural materialism, notes (2016: 1035). Nonetheless, for cultural materialists the past does have value, and it has often been shown by them to offer a radical corrective to the simplistic celebration of previous eras – and our own – advocated by reactionary thinkers. By contrast, cultural materialism is multifaceted: it is engaged with the past but informed by the present and committed to the future. Its task is to combine theory, politics, close reading and an analysis of the contexts within which texts are produced and received to generate new interpretations of Shakespeare. But if nostalgia is dangerous, what value can there be in returning to the theoretical ‘big bang’ of the 1980s in yet another attempt to ‘Make Cultural Materialism Great Again’? One answer lies in the subtitle of the final book written by Alan Sinfield, the other originator of the approach: there is ‘unfinished business in cultural materialism’ (2006). While Marlow discusses the central tenets of cultural materialism, he also shows why it is not in need of revival. For cultural materialism is ongoing, as Dollimore and Bayot claim; it has always been an ‘evolving project’ (2013: 20). In her chapter, Jessica McCall lays out the evolution of feminist approaches to Shakespeare, beginning with the development of feminist criticism and theory as a product of the late twentieth-century women’s liberation movement. The work of early critics and theorists such as Juliet Dusinberre and the contributors to the essay collection The Woman’s Part: Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare, edited by Lenz, Greene and Neely, debated the possibilities of Shakespeare as a proto-feminist. Early feminist approaches emphasized the agency of Shakespeare’s female characters and, under the influence of new historicism, drew criticism for their failure to recognize Shakespeare’s containment of female characters as ‘chaste, silent, and obedient’. This resulted in the silencing of feminist criticism that argued that Shakespeare offered subversive gender dynamics. Feminist critics pushed back against this view, eventually producing a liberatory critical theory that transcends Shakespeare to map the complexities and nuances of feminism itself. This development is apparent in intersectional critics who theorize the discursive relationship among feminist, gendered, queer, racial and postcolonial readings. Attention to the arguments and

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dismissals of feminist criticism, and feminist critics’ responses to those critiques, demonstrate the necessity of a feminist critical approach. Feminist theory directly addresses the socio-political effect of patriarchal power structures on any reading of Shakespeare, whether historicist or presentist, and provides a theoretical framework for examinations of sexism within Shakespeare’s texts and Shakespearean scholarship. McCall offers a means to consider, explore and critique how women are shaped within Shakespeare’s texts and how readings of Shakespeare affect what women can, should or will be outside of his texts, as Phyllis Rackin has argued (2005). Carolyn Brown’s chapter, ‘Psychoanalytic studies’, maps the evolution of a critical approach to Shakespeare studies that begins as strictly Freudian and gradually expands into a nuanced, multilayered discipline. Chronologically plotting the inception and evolution of a psychoanalytic approach to understanding Shakespeare, she explains the symbiotic impact of these studies on each other and on other critical theories. She explores the setbacks and advances of such an approach and explicates groundbreaking interpretations that result from reading his texts through a psychoanalytic lens. Brown considers the monumental impact of Shakespeare on Freud – and of Freud on Shakespeare studies. She analyses how theorists modify central Freudian tenets to create a diversified approach that focuses less on character study and more on language, text and symbolism. Theorists in the 1980s moved further from Freud to create ego psychology and object relations studies, which led to the heyday of psychoanalytic approaches to Shakespeare as more literary scholars applied the discipline and extended discussions beyond male-centred constructs. Brown explores the impact of theorists such as Erik Erikson, Melanie Klein, Margaret Mahler and Donald Winnicott on readings of Shakespeare. She examines the present status of psychoanalytic approaches to Shakespeare, establishing their sophistication, expansiveness and credibility. A reading of As You Like It exemplifies the usefulness of psychoanalytic concepts (sadomasochism in particular) in understanding the psychological depth of Shakespeare’s characters.

PART THREE: MATTERS OF DIFFERENCE The political dimension of Shakespeare’s texts emphasized by the postmodern critical practices of the 1970s and 1980s continues to develop, combined with an extended, explicit consideration of ‘otherness’: critical race studies, postcolonial studies and queer studies. Even as cultural materialist studies and feminist studies challenge the premises of traditional liberal humanism on the basis of class difference and gender difference, respectively, so, in turn, critical race studies, postcolonial studies and queer studies destabilize the challengers themselves. These critical practices launch interventions into Marxist, new historicist, cultural materialist, feminist and psychoanalytic studies on the grounds that these critical practices exclusively focus on white, imperialistic and heterosexual experience. Instead, they make the case for the visibility and the voice of people of colour, colonized peoples, and gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans* and queers in Shakespeare’s texts, as in contemporary society. In so doing, they not coincidentally argue for the necessity of their occupying subject, rather than object, positions – i.e. speaking, rather than being silent; acting,

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rather than being acted upon; and thereby constructing meaning, rather than having meaning inscribed upon them by others. The assumption that the reader of Shakespeare’s texts, and thereby the constructor of meaning in them, is an elitist white European heterosexual male is dethroned. Critical race studies has been characterized by debate from its beginning, as Arthur Little reminds us in his chapter. And ‘the oldest debate concerns the extent to which “race” can be understood to exist or signify in the early modern period at all’, as he points out, quoting Valerie Traub (2016: 22). Little agrees with Traub but adds that ‘race’ directs us to question whether black people and black bodies had any presence or carried any (racial) meaning in early modern England at all. ‘The oldest debate’ hasn’t been put to rest; rather, it continues to serve as a predicate for scholarship. As recently as 2017, a scholar found it productive to open his study by addressing a refrain he heard from 2007 onward when he attended his first academic conference: ‘There were no black people in England during Elizabeth’s reign’ – a refrain, he says, that became ‘the impetus behind [his] entire project’ on anti-black racism in early modern English drama (Chapman 2017: 1). This refrain isn’t just happening outside of Shakespeare and early modern race studies but within it, driven by new historicist and geohumoralist studies. Little distinguishes between the work propagating this ‘debate’ and those Shakespeare and early modern scholars, like Chapman, whose work is indebted to critical race studies, a field formally initiated in US law schools in the 1980s before expanding to many countries and many disciplines. In tracing Shakespeare and early modern critical race history, Little distinguishes between debate and policing: it is no accident that the relationship between race and the police figures so prominently in Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies. He concludes his chapter with a reading of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that exemplifies race and policing at work. ‘Shakespeare’s plays have been an extraordinarily powerful medium between generations and cultures,’ Ania Loomba notes in Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism, ‘a conduit for transmitting and shaping ideas about colonialism and race’ (2002: 5). As such, Shakespeare is, and always has been, invariably political in nature. So begins Ruben Espinosa’s chapter, ‘Postcolonial studies’. Postcolonial criticism interrogates the ways in which Shakespeare attends to, and is often utilized as an instrument of, colonial domination. It draws on foundational views of the construction of the colonial subject and structures of colonial oppression from pioneering theorists (e.g. Frantz Fanon, Edward Said and Gayatri Spivak), as well as studies that examine the tensions surrounding hybrid cultures and globalization (e.g. those of Stuart Hall, Gloria Anzaldúa, Paul Gilroy and Walter Mignolo). Espinosa surveys the vibrant body of criticism by early modern scholars such as Loomba, Imtiaz Habib and Jyotsna Singh, whose work has both paved and broadened avenues of understanding Shakespeare’s contemporary cultural currency. Amid the intergenerational and cross-historical energies to which Loomba alludes, Espinosa seeks to locate a path to the future of Shakespeare studies – a path that is vividly attuned to the fraught political nature of colonialism, race, ethnicity, hybridity, gender, sexuality, class, economics and citizenship. Through a representative sample of key ideas about colonial and racial discourses and competing histories that shaped and were shaped

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by Shakespeare, Espinosa recognizes in the diverse Shakespeares that this field has tendered an understanding of the power behind plural epistemological standpoints that shape anew a distinctly political Shakespeare. Even before its formal instantiation in 1990, queer theory had had a significant impact on the field of Shakespeare criticism, as Anthony Guy Patricia points out in his chapter, ‘Queer studies’. At first, queer studies tended to focus its energies on deconstructing non-heteronormative representations of sex and sexuality in its overarching challenge to the received supremacy of all things heterosexual. Today, however, queer studies is more diversified, especially as far as Shakespeare criticism is concerned, taking into account conceptions of temporality and history as well as insights from gender studies, feminist studies, race studies, affect studies and transgender studies. Beginning with the work of historians Michel Foucault and Alan Bray, then moving on to the literary critics Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Joseph Pequigney, Patricia provides a critical assessment of queer critical practices within the larger project of Shakespeare studies. Representative critics whose significance Patricia analyses include Gregory W. Bredbeck, Jonathan Goldberg, Bruce R. Smith, Valerie Traub, Mario DiGangi, Alan Sinfield, Theodora A. Jankowski, Jeffrey Masten and Madhavi Menon. Their work, individually and collectively, has transformed our understanding of Shakespeare’s plays and poems from a queer perspective. Patricia concludes with a reading of one of Shakespeare’s straightest plays, Much Ado About Nothing, that shows how to read the play without being heterosexist, as Alan Sinfield puts it, speaking of The Merchant of Venice ([1985] 2006), and which recognizes queerness in the play’s dramatizations of homosociality, friendship, desire, bedfellows, gender roles and sodomy.

PART FOUR: MILLENNIAL DIRECTIONS The millennium ushers in a range of critical innovations and practices: ecocritical studies, computational studies, spiritual studies, presentist studies and global studies. Digital humanities bursts onto the scene. Some critical practices, such as ecocriticism, are inherently presentist in nature, evolving in response to developments outside academia – i.e. the climate crisis that poses an existential threat to nonhuman and human life on earth. Gabriel Egan’s Green Shakespeare (2006) is the groundbreaking monograph that ushers in ecocriticism in Shakespeare studies; its subtitle, From Ecopolitics to Ecocriticism, makes explicit the continuing influence of politics outside academia upon critical and theoretical developments within academia. Naturally enough, other critical practices evolve out of those critical practices that had developed toward the close of the twentieth century. Global studies evolves, in part, out of postcolonial studies and critical race studies. Presentist studies evolves out of cultural materialist studies and in reaction to new historicist studies that had dominated the Shakespeare scene in the 1980s and 1990s. As distinct as they are from one another, they all emphasize the inevitable embeddedness of the text in its political, social, and economic context – whether the context is that of the contemporary theatre practitioner, audience member or reader on the one hand or that of early modern England on the other.

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In his chapter, ‘Ecocritical studies’, Randall Martin introduces Shakespeare ecocriticism through its three most prominent orientations: environmental history; materialist, ecofeminist and posthumanist theory responding to changing conditions of the present-day Anthropocene; and personal and collective activism through ecodramaturgy and performance. A reading of Coriolanus through the lens of freshwater politics illustrates these approaches. The play’s topical crisis over food shortages is related to its under-noticed images of water access and distribution. These allude to the early seventeenth-century diversion of the River Lea into the privately owned New River waterway, which still flows into central London today. Shakespeare recognized social and ecological connections between New River’s appropriation of the River Lea and early modern land enclosure. The latter’s nascent ethos of private capital risk, material commodification and profit is troped by Coriolanus’s fantasy of the heroically autonomous and self-regenerating warrior body. During the time Coriolanus was being written and first performed, however, political and environmental opposition to New River looked likely to succeed. Coriolanus’s crisis of survival subsistence after he is exiled from Rome (dramatically visualized by Ralph Fiennes’s 2011 feature film and Robert Lepage’s 2018 stage production) compels him temporarily to acknowledge his body’s physical needs and interdependencies before he reverts to revenge rage against Rome. Volumnia and his family re-expose these dependencies, which the Volscians fatally exploit. Coriolanus’s tragically belated recognition of nature/culture kinship plays out within Rome’s journey towards civil sustainability and prosperity. Its cautionary tale would have resonated with Jacobean opponents of New River and now critiques the economic paradigm of neo-liberal individualism that underlies Anthropocene crises. Ecocritical and eco-performance research not only brings this now-faltering ideology to account for today’s environmental calamities but also invites Shakespeare’s audiences to embrace personal activism and public stewardship to correct it. Computers are shaping how we experience and engage with Shakespeare’s texts as producers, consumers and critics. Brett Greatley-Hirsch’s chapter, ‘Computational studies’, foregrounds these innovations in digital humanities and their impact on the discipline of Shakespeare studies. He analyses contemporary computational studies of Shakespeare (typically large in scale, comparative in scope and computationally intensive in nature) and situates them within a broader tradition of quantitative criticism – from the introduction of concordances and the study of Shakespeare’s language on the one hand to the stylometric determination of Shakespeare’s canon, chronology and sources on the other. As a case study, Greatley-Hirsch demonstrates the use of Principal Components Analysis (PCA), a multivariate statistical procedure, to explore the significance of latent linguistic patterns across genres in Shakespeare’s dramatic texts. In his chapter, ‘Spiritual studies’, Peter Atkinson charts the emergence of spiritual readings of Shakespeare, as evidenced, for instance, in Spiritual Shakespeares, a collection of essays edited by Ewan Fernie (2005). Atkinson discusses the scope and limitations of the concept of ‘spirituality’ and compares it with adjacent concepts such as ‘religion’ and ‘theology’. Spirituality, after all, does not exist in a vacuum but is believed, practised and reflected upon by individuals and communities. The latter

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often have significant histories and traditions of thought, texts and other sources of wisdom. Spiritual-critical studies, therefore, not only interrogates a phenomenon called ‘spirituality’ (or ‘religion’ or ‘theology’) but also converses with practitioners, who may themselves be critics, historians or philosophers, able to reflect on literary texts themselves. Atkinson relates contemporary spiritual-critical practices to earlier Shakespeare scholars and discusses the relevance of presentism to spiritual readings of Shakespeare. He also discusses the relevance or otherwise of Shakespeare’s own religious belief and practice, insofar as these can be known, as well as his use of the Bible and other spiritual sources. Atkinson concludes with a reading of Henry V that interrogates Henry’s struggle with his conscience over the invasion of France, the venal advice of his spiritual counsellors, the significance of thinking in Shakespeare’s time about the ‘laws of the nations’, and the dramatic relevance of the eventual failure of the war. Looking forward, Atkinson encourages a more vigorous dialogue between literary critics and spiritual practitioners. In his chapter, ‘Presentist studies’, Miguel Ramalhete Gomes traces presentism’s genealogy to 1980s cultural materialism, namely in the ground-breaking work of Terence Hawkes with its focus on the ideological inflections of earlier Shakespeare criticism (1986, 1992). Hugh Grady formalized and synthesized the concept of presentism in a series of studies from the 1990s onwards. Several volumes authored or edited by Hawkes (1986, 1992, 2002, 2007), Grady (1996, 2007, 2013), Evelyn Gajowski (2009a), Linda Charnes (2006) and Cary DiPietro and Hugh Grady (2013) have, in the meantime, brought about a series of ever-widening inflections, from gender and sexuality to ecology, performance and textuality, among other twentyfirst-century political and critical concerns. In fact, rather than reject the nuanced historicist approaches which, for the last forty years, have repositioned Shakespeare in his own context, Gomes argues that presentism seeks instead to complement historicist work with an equally complex awareness of the significance of the critic’s context in shaping Shakespearean criticism. Presentism consistently challenges the ways in which we have been making ‘meaning by Shakespeare’, as Terence Hawkes puts it (1992), thereby inspiring some of the finest Shakespeare criticism of recent years. Gomes concludes with a reading of the meanings that are constructed through Shakespeare’s contribution to Sir Thomas More in the context of the contemporary refugee crisis and the Brexit referendum. To study Shakespearean performance in diasporic, global contexts, as Alexa Alice Joubin argues in her chapter, ‘Global studies’, is to engage in an ethical inquiry into otherness. While postcolonial critics commonly privilege works that critique the role of Western hegemony, the meanings of Shakespeare in such places as South Africa, Brazil and India are not always determined by colonial frames of reference. Joubin proposes new methodologies to further our understanding of Shakespeare in a postnational era. Touring and intercultural Shakespeares thrive in postnational spaces, particularly at international festivals in London, Craiova, Edinburgh, New York, Shanghai, Singapore and other newly emerging and traditional metropolitan centres. Hybrid cultural themes inform many theatre productions. It is therefore no longer useful to consider a production within any one national context, such as ‘Japanese Shakespeare’. Contradictory myths are the foundation of many

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conversations about Shakespeare today. Joubin takes up where Graham Holderness leaves off in his landmark volume, The Shakespeare Myth (1988): international films and performances. Supporting these performances are liberal political ideologies that work against bardolatry and yet condone other aspects of the Shakespeare myth. Two approaches are particularly conspicuous in the application of the global as a myth to Shakespearean performances: the construction of Shakespeare as a cosmopolitan brand and as an aggregate of overlapping localities – the notion that Shakespeare is everywhere in all localities. Site-specific epistemologies inform both approaches. In the process of myth-making, multiple localities are brought together to create a deceivingly harmonious image of Shakespeare. The local is not always the antithesis to the global or an antidote to the hegemonic domination that has been stereotypically associated with the West. As such, Shakespearean myths are repositioned beyond national boundaries and traditionally understood colonial authority.

PART FIVE: TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY DIRECTIONS The final chapters in The Arden Research Handbook of Contemporary Shakespeare Criticism suggest the state of the art in the early twenty-first century. The most cutting-edge developments in the discipline of Shakespeare studies at the present moment include the following critical practices: disability studies, ecofeminist studies, posthumanist studies and cognitive ethology studies. In its emphasis on the subjectivity of differently abled humans, disability studies has affinities with earlier cultural materialist, feminist, critical race, postcolonial and queer studies. Several of these critical practices are related, naturally enough, to ecocritical studies. Ecofeminist studies distinguishes itself from ecocritical studies in its preoccupation with the intersectionality of ecocritical, gender and social justice issues. If Marxism, new historicism, cultural materialism, feminism and psychoanalysis challenged the theoretical underpinnings of traditional liberal humanism in the 1970s and 1980s, posthumanism decentres the human as ‘sovereign subject’, as Karen Raber puts it, in the twenty-first century. Posthumanism simultaneously emphasizes the nonhuman world, although it seeks to understand human enmeshment within that nonhuman world – both flora and fauna. Cognitive ethology also evolves out of ecocriticism, ecofeminism, posthumanism and animal studies, yet, as its name suggests, it draws explicitly on cognitive science and evolutionary science. In her chapter, Katherine Schaap Williams considers how disability studies employs Shakespeare’s texts to bolster its claims about early modern disability and how familiar readings of Shakespeare’s plays may be challenged and compellingly reimagined through frameworks from disability studies. Where generations of critics working on Shakespeare interpreted Richard III through a moral model of disability – the idea that physical disability signifies moral evil – critical disability studies questions this commonplace assumption. Foundational critics such as David Mitchell, Sharon Snyder, Lennard Davis and Tobin Siebers turn to Shakespeare’s Richard III as prime evidence for the problems of using disability as a metaphor or technique of representation. Prompted by this intervention, and drawing upon

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disability theory, recent critical work in Shakespeare studies complicates the limited perspective that aligns early modern texts with static representations of disability, driving a wedge between present and past, and expands our attention to other Shakespearean texts and characters. Williams pursues three interrelated paths with the following aims: she articulates the valuable ideas that critical disability studies can offer to Shakespeare studies by introducing and analysing key concepts in disability theory; she considers how Shakespeare studies can complicate notions of disability that have been read back to the early modern period without attending to historical difference; and she demonstrates how attention to disability can productively complicate our readings of Shakespearean texts by turning to a play, Romeo and Juliet, that does not feature a disabled character but offers crucial insights into the ideologies of ability that shape cultural discourses of difference. Ecofeminism has been a distinct field in its own right since the 1980s, when the term was coined, as Jennifer Munroe and Rebecca Laroche point out in their chapter, even though its roots may lie in environmentalism and ecocriticism. A unique blend of ecological and feminist studies, ecofeminism has its own history and trajectory that keep an eye on issues of eco-justice. Drawing on the work of Rob Nixon, Donna Haraway and Terry Tempest Williams, Munroe and Laroche examine the theoretical concept of refuge and apply it in a reading of Pericles. Marina voices the central tensions of refuge, which in contemporary terms tends to separate human from nonhuman, privileged from non-privileged. Located in both and neither land and sea, as always betwixt and between, she enables an interrogation of exclusive boundaries. Through Marina’s voicing, Munroe and Laroche are able to articulate the tensions of their own positions as both separate from and complicit in the patriarchal, anthropocentric system that subjugates and makes invisible those who/that suffer at its hands. Through Haraway’s conception of the tentacular, a recognition and embrace of our intraconnection with all humans and nonhumans, the Earth becomes a refuge. Posthumanist studies decentres ‘the human’ as a distinct and exceptional sovereign subject, as Karen Raber points out in her chapter. It challenges traditional humanist claims about the perfectibility of ‘Man’, who is the source of a universal morality and an imperial human will that can ameliorate evil and suffering, who is uniquely capable of reason and thereby of transcending the flesh. Instead, posthumanist studies relocates the human as a porous, distributed being, always embodied, always enmeshed in networks of relations to material and non-material things, whose agency is not a given and who emphatically does not occupy the triumphal apex of creation assumed by humanist thought. But what exactly is this humanism that posthumanist studies opposes? And is the human subject it dismantles inevitably and fully present prior to the advent of posthumanist studies in the twentieth century? Neither the theory’s humanism nor its version of the human is necessarily or uniformly recognizable in Shakespeare’s works, which are indebted to a prior and more conflicted understanding of humanism than the Enlightenment philosophy usually taken as a starting point by posthumanist critics and theorists. Raber summarizes the insights of a series of posthumanist methodologies that have recently contributed to Shakespeare studies, including animal studies, ecocriticism,

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cognitive ecology and the new materialisms. She also addresses two questions raised by posthumanist theory: ‘How may Shakespeare studies transform – or differently inform – posthumanist theory, even as the theory revitalizes Shakespeare studies?’ and ‘What limitations and complications arise for scholars using posthumanist theory to read early modern texts?’ How does reading Shakespeare in the context of geological ‘deep history’ change the posthuman interpretation of his writing? In his chapter, ‘Cognitive ethology studies’, Craig Dionne examines Shakespeare in the context of the turn to the nonhuman on the part of cognitive science, evolutionary science and studies in the adapted brain. What if early modern pedagogical manuals, he asks, intuited the view of the co-evolved structures of the human brain on the part of contemporary cognitive science? His analysis of the representation of memory and mimicry in Hamlet reflects on what he calls ‘the evolutionary uncanny’, the role literature plays in shaping our sense of the involuntary reflexes involved in linguistic invention. For socio-biologists and linguists, recursion is considered a fundamental mechanism of human language, a sequence formula that requires its output as a component of its first step, hence the analogy of sourdough yeast (you need sourdough to make sourdough). Hamlet’s conceit of habitual memory – Osric’s ‘yeasty collection’ – calls attention to the regenerative performative elements of his own memory work. If humans figure in the deep history of evolution as exhibiting a plasticity that enables us to adapt to many environments with different selection pressures, then it is because our capacity for self-reflection has enabled us to charge our habitual memory to work toward an endless set of adaptive goals across a range of environments. From this perspective, Dionne argues, early modern humanism seems not so much the birth of the human as the return of a set of co-evolved cognitive attributes released through rote literacy practices. Bearing witness to the deep history of the species within the early modern, Hamlet’s posthuman ontology intimates the serendipity of contingency and the unbound nature of plasticity. The Arden Research Handbook of Contemporary Shakespeare Criticism aims to enable scholars, teachers and students alike to define and refine their own critical practices. All of us have a stake in these critical enterprises – in understanding the nature of literature, in the reading practices, and in the writing practices that characterize our discipline. Once we have a sense of the ‘lay of the land’, critically speaking, in the discipline of Shakespeare studies in the twenty-first century, then we are able to refer to the tools we have at our disposal and put them to use in our own analyses of Shakespeare’s texts. What is at stake in our reading of Shakespeare’s texts in the twenty-first century? – as I have asked elsewhere (2015–present). Why bother to understand the various contemporary critical developments that jostle with one another, vying for our attention, competing with one another to dominate the discipline of Shakespeare studies in recent years? Why are literary criticism and Shakespeare criticism valuable fields of endeavour? As Dympna Callaghan put it at the turn of the millennium (speaking specifically of feminist criticism), ‘Questions about both scholarly and political relevance are of course also questions that feminist Shakespeareans ask themselves all the time because we necessarily also belong to broader intellectual and political communities, whose critiques not only pressure

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but also shape feminist studies of Shakespeare’ (2000: xii). Or, as Arthur Little puts it more recently (speaking specifically of critical race theory), ‘There’s the sense that what’s at stake here really matters’ (2019, emphasis his). Indeed, many of the essays in The Arden Research Handbook of Contemporary Shakespeare Criticism suggest the inseparability of critical practices on the one hand and social justice and political activism on the other. Confronting existential threats to democracy, the human species and, indeed, life on Earth – as we do – heightens our sense of ethical obligation, our sense of ‘the fierce urgency of now’ (King 1967; Gajowski 2009b; DiPietro and Grady 2013) in our work. When we contemplate how critical practices resonate with Shakespeare's texts and, simultaneously, the non-Shakespearean communities in which we are situated, including the existential threats that we currently confront, then we apprehend how these critical practices profoundly engage Shakespeare’s texts and, simultaneously, the twenty-first-century world in which we are inevitably enmeshed.

REFERENCES Anzaldúa, G. (1999), Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, 2nd edn, San Francisco: Aunt Lute. Aristotle (1968), Poetics, trans. H. S. Butcher and F. Fergusson, New York: Hill and Wang. Bray, A. ([1982] 1995), Homosexuality in Renaissance England, New York: Columbia University Press. Bredbeck, G. W. (1991), Sodomy and Interpretation: Marlowe to Milton, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Brooks, C. (1947), The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry, New York: Harcourt, Brace. Callaghan, D. (2000), ‘Introduction’, in The Feminist Companion to Shakespeare, xi–xxiv, Oxford: Blackwell. Chapman, M. (2017), Anti-Black Racism in Early Modern English Drama: The Other ‘Other’, London: Routledge. Charnes, L. (2006), Hamlet’s Heirs: Shakespeare and the Politics of a New Millennium, London: Routledge. Coriolanus (2011), [film] dir. and prod. R. Fiennes, UK: Hermetof Pictures, Piccadilly Pictures and Icon Entertainment International. Coriolanus (2018), [stage production] dir. R. Lepage, Stratford, Ontario, Canada: Stratford Festival. Davis, L. J. (2002), Bending Over Backwards: Disability, Dismodernism and Other Difficult Positions, New York: New York University Press. DiGangi, M. (1997), The Homoerotics of Early Modern Drama, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DiPietro, C. and H. Grady, eds (2013), Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now: Criticism and Theory in the 21st Century, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Dollimore, J. (1984), Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology, and Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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Dollimore, J. (2016), ‘Alan Sinfield: Mentor and Lover’, Textual Practice, 30: 1031–8. Dollimore, J. and J. Y. Bayot (2013), Jonathan Dollimore in Conversation, Manila: De La Salle University Publishing House. Dollimore, J. and A. Sinfield, eds (1985), Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Dusinberre, J. (1975), Shakespeare and the Nature of Women, Basingstoke: Macmillan. Egan, G. (2006), Green Shakespeares: From Ecopolitics to Ecocriticism, London: Routledge. Fanon, F. (1963), The Wretched of the Earth, trans. R. Philcox, New York: Grove. Fernie, E., ed. (2005), Spiritual Shakespeares, London: Routledge. Foucault, M. (1978), The History of Sexuality, vol 1: An Introduction, trans. R. Hurley, New York: Pantheon. Foucault, M. (1979), Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. A. Sheridan, New York: Vintage. Freud, S. (1953–74), The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, trans. and ed. J. Strachey, London: Hogarth and Institute of Psychoanalysis. Gajowski, E., ed. (2009a), Presentism, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Gajowski, E. (2009b), ‘Temporalities, Presentism, Politics’, paper, Presentism: Shakespeare, Sexuality, and Gender Now, Shakespeare Association of America, Washington, DC, 9 April. Gajowski, E. (2015–present), ‘Series Editor’s Preface’, in E. Gajowski (ed.), The Arden Shakespeare and Theory series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Garber, M. (1990), ‘Shakespeare as Fetish’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 41 (2): 242–50. Gilroy, P. (1993), The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Goldberg, J. (2010), Sodometries: Renaissance Texts, Modern Sexualities, New York: Fordham University Press. Goldberg, J. and M. Menon (2005), ‘Queering History’, PMLA, 120 (5): 1608–17. Grady, H. (1991), The Modernist Shakespeare: Critical Texts in a Material World, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Grady, H. (1996), Shakespeare’s Universal Wolf: Studies in Early Modern Reification, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Grady, H. and T. Hawkes, eds (2007), Presentist Shakespeares, London: Routledge. Greenblatt, S. (1980), Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Greenblatt, S., ed. (1982), ‘Introduction’, in The Power of Forms in the English Renaissance, 2–6, Norman, OK: Pilgrim. Habib, I. (2000), Shakespeare and Race: Postcolonial Praxis in the Early Modern Period, New York: University Press of America. Hall, K. (1995), Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Hall, S. (1990), ‘Cultural Identity and Diaspora’, in J. Rutherford (ed.), Identity: Community, Culture, Difference, 222–37, London: Lawrence and Wishart.

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Haraway, D. (2016), Staying with the Trouble, Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Hawkes, T. (1986), That Shakespeherian Rag, London: Routledge. Hawkes, T. (1992), Meaning by Shakespeare, London: Routledge. Hawkes, T. (2002), Shakespeare in the Present, London: Routledge. Hendricks, M. and P. Parker, eds (1994), Women, ‘Race,’ and Writing in the Early Modern Period, London: Routledge. Holderness, G. (1988), The Shakespeare Myth, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Jankowski, T. A. (2000), Pure Resistance: Queer Virginity in Early Modern English Drama, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. King, Rev. M. L. (1967), ‘Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence’, speech, Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam, Riverside Church, New York, 4 April. Lenz, C. R. S., G. Greene and C. T. Neely, eds (1980), The Woman’s Part: Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare, Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Little, A. L., Jr (2016), ‘Re-Historicizing Race, White Melancholia, and the Shakespearean Property’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 67 (1): 84–103. Little, A. L., Jr (2019), Telephone conversation, 12 November. Loomba, A. (1989), Gender, Race, Renaissance Drama, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Loomba, A. (1998), Colonialism/Postcolonialism, London: Routledge. Loomba, A. (2002), Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Marx, K. (1975), Marx/Engels Collected Works, vol. 1, London: Lawrence and Wishart. Marx, K. (1977), Capital, vol. 1, trans. B. Fowkes, New York: Vintage. Masten, J. (1997), Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Masten, J. (2016), Queer Philologies: Sex, Language, and Affect in Shakespeare’s Time, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. McDonald, R., N. D. Nace and T. D. Williams, eds (2012), Shakespeare Up Close: Reading Early Modern Texts, London: Arden Shakespeare. Menon, M. (2008), Unhistorical Shakespeare: Queer Theory in Shakespearean Literature and Film, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Mentz, S. (2009), At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean, London: Continuum. Mignolo, W. (2000), Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Mitchell, D. T. and S. L. Snyder (2000), Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Mitchell, D. T. and S. L. Snyder (2005), Cultural Locations of Disability, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Nixon, R. (2011), Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Parker, P. and G. Hartmann, eds (1985), ‘Introduction’, in Shakespeare and the Question of Theory, vii–xiii, New York: Methuen. Pequigney, J. (1985), Such Is My Love: A Study of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Rackin, P. (2005), Shakespeare and Women, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Said, E. W. (1979), Orientalism, New York: Vintage. Said, E. W. (1992), ‘Literary Criticism and Politics’, paper, Should Literary Criticism Contribute to Politics?, paper panel 649, Modern Language Association Annual Convention, New York, 30 December. Sanchez, M. E. (2019), Shakespeare and Queer Theory, London: Arden Shakespeare. Schwartz, M. M. and C. Kahn, eds (1980), Representing Shakespeare: New Psychoanalytic Essays, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Siebers, T. (2008), Disability Theory, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Sinfield, A. ([1996] 2006), ‘How to Read The Merchant of Venice Without Being Heterosexist’, in Shakespeare, Authority, Sexuality: Unfinished Business in Cultural Materialism, 53–67, London: Routledge. Sinfield, A. (2006), Shakespeare, Authority, Sexuality: Unfinished Business in Cultural Materialism, London: Routledge. Singh, J. (2019), Shakespeare and Postcolonial Theory, London: Arden Shakespeare. Singh, J. and D. Kim, eds (2017), The Postcolonial World, London: Routledge. Smith, B. R. ([1991] 1994), Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare’s England, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Spivak, G. C. (1999), A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Tillyard, E. M. W. (1943), The Elizabethan World Picture, London: Chatto and Windus. Traub, V. (2002), The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Traub, V. (2016), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Williams, T. T. (1991), Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, New York: Second Vintage.

PART ONE

Foundational studies

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CHAPTER 1.1

Close reading and New Criticism KENT CARTWRIGHT

Reading literature closely is a counter-cultural activity. Only intrepid students practise it, guided in shabby classrooms by suspect faculty, hunted by academic administrators who would convert them to engineering majors and harangued by capitalist boosters for ruinously trading their futures as lords of Wall Street for thin-gruel lives as baristas. Yet they persist. They do so, as literature students’ accounts of their own experiences testify, because they find something riveting and transformative in the process of reading and discussing literature. At ground zero of this subversive activity dwells the only world author, Shakespeare, for close reading and his writing seem to have been invented for each other. This is the danger zone, beware: immersing yourself in Shakespeare could ruin your life. Or save it. Close reading has become a topic for disagreement, with its rootedness as a practice now being acknowledged but its qualities and implications contested. A professional consensus has formed that the criticism and teaching of literature rely fundamentally on the practice of close reading, despite divergences in critical approaches among its adepts. As one Shakespearean puts it about her teaching, ‘I could no more dispense with close reading than I could build without hammers and nails’ (Peterson 2017: 48). Shakespearean studies has seen in recent years a surge of publications on the subject (see, for example, McDonald, Nace and Williams 2012; Collins 2014; Parolin and Rackin 2017b; and Lopez 2018). The time is ripe, Russ McDonald, Nicholas Nace and Travis Williams declare, for close reading to ‘come out of the shadows’ (2012: xx). But not all close readings proceed in the same way or with the same goals. So, what is close reading? What are its history, branches and assumptions? What are its ideological implications? And how might it be reasonably practised? In the following sections, we will, first, review the origins of close reading and outline its American version, New Criticism; second, consider whether close reading is a theory or a practice; third, pose the question of whether close reading constitutes immersion or disruption; and, fourth, conclude with an illustration, for drama, of close reading augmented by rhetorical analysis, with the example of Much Ado About Nothing’s opening scene.

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CLOSE READING AND/VERSUS NEW CRITICISM Developed in the 1920s by the Cambridge scholar I. A. Richards, close reading approached poetry in terms of its formal, linguistic and poetic features, without reference to author, date, or historical and cultural context (see Richards 1929; the Table of Contents introduced the phrase ‘closeness of reading’). Richards’s interest was in the personally transformative power of poetry, its psychological and emotional effects, and he evoked that power by stripping away his students’ ‘stock responses’ – those derived from preformed judgements – to force his readers to encounter the literary work on its own terms. Richards wanted to ground literary study in a fact-based practice that might give it standing in an academy then swooning at positivism and the emerging sciences. He saw literature as culturally diagnostic and personally transformative. The term ‘psychology’ appears frequently in Practical Criticism; although Richards had studied behaviourism, he was more Pavlovian than Freudian. Indeed, he regarded Freud as an ‘inept’ reader of literature (Richards 1924: 30), and his work lacks any interest in the ego, id, superego or subconscious. Rather, Richards regards poetry as a superbly complex mode for communicating meanings and feelings; the close reading of it also allowed one to work through the intricacies of evaluation. Poetry is ‘our chief means by which subtle ideas and responses may be communicated’ (Richards 1929: 245), and poetry, properly studied, has formative power for the individual (it employs methods useful for other disciplinary fields, too); it was thus a discipline fitted for the cultivation of citizens of a democracy. In present-day terms, one might fairly think of Richards’s approach as affective and rhetorical, with links, commentators observe, to phenomenology and to subsequent reader-response criticism. For the messianic Richards, then, poetry was ‘capable of saving us’ (Richards 1970: 78). Nonetheless, although Richards acknowledges the ‘quasimagical sway’ that words can have in the hands of a poetic master, he generally takes little interest in the reader’s immersive experience of literature; indeed, he found his students’ attributions of ‘charm’ to various poems to be ‘discouraging’, and he found distasteful the notion of ‘inexplicable’ word-magic (1929: 112, 364). Altogether, Richards launched a movement that displayed, as Terry Eagleton puts it, a ‘courage and radicalism’ that nothing subsequent in literary studies has ‘come near to recapturing’ (1996: 27). Thus Practical Criticism constitutes a foundational document – but one with unforeseen consequences. Those consequences emerged particularly in the United States, where the New Critics of the 1930s and 1940s reformulated Richards’s vision of what poetry was and how it might save us. According to Joseph North, the shift from Richards’s practical criticism to American New Criticism constituted a shift from a ‘materialist aesthetic’, which saw the literary work as continuous with everyday experience, to an ‘idealist’ one, which did not (2017: 28–31).1 New Criticism began as a conservative southern movement that set traditional and communal agrarian values in opposition to rising corporate capitalism and scientific rationalism. The New Critics looked to literature as a fixed star in a rising sea of change and shifting values, reflected in two world wars and an international economic depression. These readers dismissed the

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importance of the writer’s intention (what they called the ‘intentional fallacy’) and of the poem’s effects on the reader (the ‘affective fallacy’). In that second principle, the extremity of their break from Richards’s form of criticism becomes profoundly evident. For the New Critics, poetry was not a transactional invitation but an object, out there in the empyrean, the embodiment of a structure of meaning with inherent dynamics that endured across history (see, for example, Brooks 1947) – and thus, we might say, it promised stability and hope. For the New Critics, literature is a domain apart because literary language is special (while it is ordinary for Richards). Poetic language is thickened with imagery and figuration, and it activates layers of ambiguity; it possesses a density that requires attention and removes it from the everyday; thus poetic language calls attention to itself. (Poetry was the main theatre of discussion for the New Critics.) According to René Welleck and Austin Warren in their influential Theory of Literature (1942), literary language ‘abounds in ambiguities’; it is highly ‘connotative’, ‘expressive’, ‘full of tone and attitude’; thus ‘far from merely referential’ (12). Those qualities of the artefact take it ‘out of the world of reality’ and into that of disinterested contemplation (14). Thus New Criticism can be credited with making central the notions of imagery, paradox, irony and ambiguity that have constituted a lasting legacy to literary criticism.2 Political critics who read for a work’s fractures and faultlines – those places in a text where its dominant ideology seems unable to contain its energies – are heirs of New Critical practice. Indeed, John Crowe Ransom saw literary works as embodying a ‘collision’ between ‘image and idea’, experience and abstraction, that puts tension at their heart (Jancovich 1993: 40). New Criticism, then, was a pre-digital form of pattern recognition.3 Informative studies of patterns emerged, such as, for example, Caroline Spurgeon’s stillinfluential Shakespeare’s Imagery and What It Tells Us (1935). Spurgeon’s work shows, surprisingly, that an urban comedy such as Much Ado About Nothing is full not only of images of ‘swift movement’ but also, less predictably, of those from ‘English country life’ (2005: 263, 264). Discerning the woven tapestry of figurative and rhetorical colours allows the critic or reader to grasp the work whole, to see how each dimension contributes to its overall character. And thus emerges the holy grail of New Critical interpretation, the revelation, despite a work’s difficulty and complexity, of the poem’s essential unity. Critics sought to find a consonance among a work’s disparate parts that produced a sense of hard-won harmony. Of course, the objective of finding unity now looks as if imposed upon, rather than rising from, the practice of close reading. Of the many examples of American close reading of Shakespeare, one might mention Cleanth Brooks’s classic essay on Macbeth in The Well Wrought Urn, wherein the critic finds a pattern of images ‘organically related, modified by “a predominant passion,” and mutually modifying each other’ so as to serve the goal of ‘imaginative unity’ (1947: 26, 27; emphasis added; see 21–46). New Criticism’s key metaphor is of the ‘organic’ nature of the poem, organic in the sense that its aspects work in concert with each other to shape the work as a whole. The idea of the organic work was emphasized in a comment by T. S. Eliot,4 and it became widely shared by the American New Critics (although not invoked by Richards). Perhaps the term gave the literary work a quasi-scientific status (a goal for Richards,

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too) – although very few qualities associated with the term ‘organic’ really apply to a literary work. Other famous metaphors for the artefact included urn (Brooks 1947) and icon (Wimsatt 1954).5 In these evocations, the literary text, even if imbued with nostalgia or mystery, emerges primarily as materialistic, bounded, hard-sided and spatial, an object for admiration and contemplation. There is little room in this view for any sense of, say, a Shakespearean play as something open-ended, temporal, variable or transactional, and the sense of its theatricality largely disappears. The New Critics have been accused of being ahistorical, but that argument can be exaggerated. Certainly, they lacked a Marxist sense of historical process, but many of them knew history well. More importantly, New Criticism might be understood as a response to its own historical moment. Eagleton sees these critics as affecting a stance of neutral, cool objectivity and balanced-mindedness, reflective of a certain democratic outlook in the years of the Cold War (1996: 43–4). One might also see their awkward pseudo-science and objectivism as a proffered alternative to the culture of capitalism, dehumanized industrialization and materialism of their own times. In particular, the democratic virtues of New Criticism deserve emphasis (see, for example, Trilling 1950). One of the side-effects of the movement’s relative indifference to history is that critical work could be done by AnyReader, not just a member of the clerisy. In the case of Shakespeare, the democratic impulse of close reading and New Criticism led to a vision of the plays as geared to cross-sectional audiences (Harbage 1941) and from there to extraordinary and lasting undertakings such as Joseph Papp’s innovative New York Shakespeare Festival, launched in 1954. And the techniques of that early generation of critics, including Richards, remain fundamental to literary pedagogy, as noted. A violent reaction against New Criticism’s marmoreal aesthetics took place with the cultural, political and deconstructive critics of the latter part of the twentieth century, who, in the wake of 1960s activism, wanted to put the artwork in close conversation with the social world and who interpreted the enshrining of it as the institutionalizing of various values that should better be uprooted as patriarchal, classist, elitist and even racist rather than be allowed to flourish under the cover of canonicity. As long as close reading was identified with New Criticism, it was retrograde, in ‘the shadows’. But today close reading has been forgiven – or, perhaps, forgiven in part. In the late decades of the twentieth century and the early decades of the twenty-first – with leftist politics embattled, with the neoliberal capitalist state ascendant and with the global economic recession rattling the brains of parents and politicians – the mission of higher education became for many the search not for truth but for job credentials. Reading literature is fine for when one does not feel like watching TV or surfing the web, but studying literature, getting absorbed in it, looks indulgent, maybe even a bit wrong-headed. On the bright side, this miserable situation calls upon advocates of literary reading, huddled in those shabby classrooms, to defend its transformative power – even rethink it. Indeed, our growing recognition of the differences between ‘hyper’ screen reading and ‘deep’ literary reading (Hayles 2010) urges such a project. No better author exists for that than Shakespeare. To those ends, the next sections undertake, first, to describe close reading and to assess it as a practice with

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theoretical implications. From there, the essay critiques the current emphasis on recognizing discontinuities rather than experiencing enchantment and immersion (values emphasized by present-day theorists of reading). It then proposes combining close reading with dramaturgical reading, thus bringing together enchantment and reflection, and it applies that strategy to the opening of Much Ado About Nothing.

CLOSE READING: A THEORY OR A PRACTICE? Part of the difficulty of understanding whether close reading is a theory or a practice or something of both is the difficulty of explaining what close reading actually is and how it works. Russ McDonald and his fellow editors admit that they ‘know of no single statement by which any critic in any period has satisfactorily articulated the aims, the range, the benefits and the process of close reading’; consequently, they launch their collection ‘without such an impossible formulation’ (2012: xix). Likewise, the literary theorist Jonathan Culler embraces Peter Middleton’s handsthrown-up conclusion that close reading is ‘a heterogeneous and largely unorganized set of practices and assumptions’ (2010: 21). To that heterogeneity, however, McDonald et al. give some form when they describe the close reader’s ‘impulse to return to a passage, to scrutinise its direction or images or sounds, to notice the presence of similar features elsewhere in the work, to linger over the verbal hold that this bit of text exerts upon the mind’ (2012: xx). Here close reading implies a re-reading that focuses on linguistic particularities. More expansively, Annette Federico describes close reading as a deliberately undertaken activity that asks for attention to the real-time experience of reading a literary work united with an effort to step back from the experience in order to better understand (1) the work’s form, its craftsmanship and artistry, (2) the work’s feeling, or its personal and psychological resonance, and (3) the work’s ethos, its implied commentary on human values. (2016: 9) As Federico’s keywords suggest, close reading has both subjective and objective dimensions; emotional and affective on the one hand, yet evaluative and judgemental (even ethical or political) on the other. At the subjective end, the close reader might become absorbed in ‘the numinous power of the aesthetic object’ (Felski 2008: 51). The reader’s ‘scrupulous attentiveness to stylistics and narrative detail’ or other elements can evoke a sense of enchantment and intoxication (Felski 2008: 52; see 51–76), of being inside the artefact’s imagined environment. At the objective end, the close reader might step back to reflect on how, say, a play generates its sense of immersion and wonder. She might also explicate the play for its ethical or social commentary – or critique it for perpetuating the values of a ruling elite, or praise it for resisting them. The spectrum’s seemingly opposite poles threaten conflict, for a work might enchant us while propagating wrong-headed values. That question has been well treated elsewhere (e.g. Felski 2015), but one might offer two comments. First, enchantment and immersion are essential dimensions of reading imaginative literature and cannot be ignored or dismissed. Second, Shakespeare’s works are

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celebrated for presenting multiple sides of an issue, so that their capacity to engage and fascinate comes with a twin facility to provoke arm’s-length reflection. In that respect, they offer a paradigm for literary experience. The present argument takes the position of Federico and others that pleasure, enchantment and the reader’s affective response must be incorporated into any comprehensive theory of close reading. As Richards’s great student William Empson observes, ‘On the face of it, there are two sorts of literary critic, the appreciative and the analytical; the difficulty is that they have all got to be both’ (1949: 249). Readers of Shakespeare’s plays will often feel an oscillation between moments of intense engagement and pauses for reflection, as when a character such as Hamlet steps forward to comment on the action that has just passed – commentary that can become itself a source of absorption. ‘This can be no trick,’ claims Benedick, perfectly misreading an overheard conversation meant, successfully, to trick him (MA 2.3.213), and every reader will experience the delight of his subsequent soliloquy juxtaposed exactly with their recognition of its basis in self-deception. Shakespeare’s plays, moreover, typically proceed cautiously and self-critically about their own emotional force. In the comedies, for example, moments of wonder never strive for the smarmy pathos of late cinquecento Italian comedies. Rather, in Shakespeare, either of the two opposing poles gives way easily to the other. Indeed, for highly engaged readers generally, writes Cristina Vischer Bruns, ‘the reflective mode of reading appears to be no less automatic or “natural” than the immersive mode’ (2011: 47). As Empson and Federico recognize, careful reading requires a sophisticated application of both subjective and objective values. But the language that we use to describe the subjective side of close reading invites confusion. ‘Immersion’, ‘enchantment’, ‘absorption’ and ‘engulfment’ evoke the image of a passive reader limp and powerless before the text as it works its diabolical will upon the roboticized human. Likewise, Stephen Gosson feared that theatre audiences, seeing romantic characters kiss on stage, would be prompted to abandon themselves to lust. More subtly, critics worry that our absorption – for example, in Lorenzo’s attempt to re-establish harmony in the ending of The Merchant of Venice – might divert us emotionally from the play’s unresolved injustices, enchantment defeating thought. Scholars of close reading make clear, however, that inside reading’s immersive dimension, considerable thinking takes place. According to Louise Rosenblatt, an influential theorist of reading practice, during the act of reading – which she regards as transactional – a reader pays attention to ‘[s]ensing, feeling, imagining, thinking under th[e] stimulus of the words’ (1978: 26). To that, she later appends the elements of ‘clarifying, structuring, savoring’ (29) and the ‘compulsion’ only ‘to concentrate on the complex structure of the experience’ (26). Close reading, then, includes thinking inside the immersive experience, under water. It involves numerous mental calculations, including bringing appropriate past knowledge to bear imaginatively on the present moment, sifting information, recognizing tone and selecting elements for attention. The process is also processual and self-modifying, one’s sense of a word’s meaning in a Shakespearean sonnet changing dynamically in the course of a reading, as Stephen Booth has shown

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(1969). It is no accident that the New Critics – despite their unfortunate insistence on the poem as a ‘verbal icon’ – became keen thinkers about diction, metaphor, irony, ambiguity, paradox and the ethical dilemmas of a text. Close reading requires active, not passive or robotic, engagement, and one of its great virtues is that it brings one’s whole being to bear on an artwork. Such immersive reading is a learned activity, not a natural one, as Bruns demonstrates (2011: 37–78). In the twenty-firstcentury world of constant distraction, electronic and otherwise, paying attention to something precise and particular for a sustained period of time is a radical as well as a pleasurable activity. Yet close reading flirts with a down-the-rabbit-hole problem. Empson famously spins a 197-word sentence unpacking the myriad metaphoric dimensions of Shakespeare’s ‘Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang’ from Sonnet 73, so myriad that he finds it impossible to know which of the phrase’s many meanings ‘to hold most clearly in mind’ (1949: 3). Empson’s imaginative critical acuity is exhilarating, and the ‘richness’ of the ruined-choir image indeed creates a ‘heightening of effect’ (3), but the critical model – excessive data, over-determined meaning – may also become a little wearing. Might there finally be limitations in appeals to readers on the grounds of the joys of infinite undecidability (a quality much magnified since Empson)? Such esoteric pleasures tend to detach the literary work from the realm of social experience. Some readers might diagnose the excesses of immersive reading as the solipsistic indulgences of the leisured class, preferring to read instead from a position of moral or sociological clarity. Readers seek meaning (Booth notwithstanding). Thinking about the transformational nature of reading offers some perspective. According to Bruns, drawing from the work of psychologists D. M. Winnicott and Christopher Bollas and from literary scholars such as Louise Rosenblatt and Gabriele Schwab, literary fiction serves as a ‘transitional object’ that allows readers to be both themselves and not themselves, creating a childlike, even dreamlike, space apart where boundaries and categories can be broken down, reformulated or reaffirmed, those effects then consolidated by the reflections of the reader (2011: 26–36). Shakespeare provides something approximating that process in the night adventures in the Athenian Woods of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where the lovers become both themselves and not themselves and where, in the morning, as they mull over what has happened, some loves are reformulated, others reaffirmed. The possible outcomes of this process, so complex and layered, escape easy prediction and feel open, amenable to feelings and thoughts. Enchantment or immersion – for Dream, in the famously liquid environment of the forest – constitutes a necessary condition of the work’s transitional, transactional and transformational activity. That immersive capacity constitutes an ‘ability to recreate the alternative world of the text within oneself’, a cultivated skill of empathetic, imaginative ‘world-making’ that provides ‘the basis of all literary reading’ (Bruns 2011: 49–50); ‘Everything else that one might do with a literary text seems to depend upon first evoking from it an experience’ (Bruns 2011: 48). A reading, then, that refuses any kind of immersive experience in a piece of literary fiction would be hard put to criticize the work, its effect or its value.6 Immersive reading allows the literary text to function as

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a transformational space in which boundaries and categories can be questioned, transgressed and reshaped. In close reading, one can be absorbed in the experience of a category, such as gender, as it undergoes expansion or change (e.g. Viola becomes ‘Cesario’), the effect being so forceful that the reader pauses or returns to analyse its details, feelings and meanings, allowing the experience to embed itself in the psyche. Close reading exists principally as a critical practice, since it can be undertaken from different perspectives and objectives. As Jonathan Gil Harris notes, American New Critics analysed ‘ambiguity and paradox’ in order to achieve ‘serene equanimity’, while contemporaneous Russian Formalists read closely in order to ‘make the familiar strange’, and so to ‘shock and transform’ (2010: 15). But close reading as a practice must finally entail some kind of theory of reading and thus imply certain theoretical obligations, a key one being to make sense of the immersive experience of reading itself.

SHOULD WE ALWAYS READ FOR DISRUPTION? So, how does one practise such a theoretically sensitive close reading of Shakespeare? Experts typically advise us to read ‘normally’ until something bothers us – although, as we shall see, that advice may not fully satisfy. In two ‘slow motion’ Shakespeare seminars, whose meetings involved the students’ reading an act of a play out loud, Marjorie Garber instructed participants ‘to read until they were halted by something that stopped them in their tracks, something they did not already “know” from their cultural consciousness of what Shakespeare had said, written, intended, or meant in the play’ (2010: 153; emphasis added). For Garber, close reading entails the reader’s awareness of being surprised – as if a partially submerged but reflective readerly self intermittently raised its hand. Here, and perhaps representatively, close reading means adopting a certain attitude: a slowing down of reading tempo; a narrowed, focused attention, even concentration; and an alertness for what might ‘stop us in our tracks’. John Guillory pushes further that sense of being ‘halted’ by something peculiar. For him, neophyte college students might ‘comprehend’ a literary text in a generalized way, but they need to cultivate a capacity for estrangement: The skill or tacit knowledge of which I am speaking might even be described as a conceptual break with the level of comprehension. With this break reading begins anew. The text that was thought to be comprehended remains still to be understood. Only at this point, in which reading reverses itself, in which the text at hand becomes suddenly unfamiliar and strange, does interpretation begin. (2008: 9; emphasis added) Where Garber sees a halt, Guillory sees a sharp ‘conceptual break’, comprehension flipped into incomprehension, the literary work defamiliarized and opened into something ‘strange’, perhaps recalling the model of the Russian Formalists. More extreme still, Jonathan Culler envisions close reading as conflict; it requires a respect for the stubbornness of texts, which resist easy comprehension or description … The close reader needs to be willing to take seriously the difficulties

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of the singular, unexpected turns of phrase, juxtapositions, and opacity. Close reading teaches us an interest in the strangeness or distinctiveness of individual works or parts of works. (2010: 22; emphasis added) Culler offers an agonistic model of the reader’s arduous struggle with an obstinate and aggressive opponent eager to throw us off course with ‘unexpected’ moves, compelling our admiration while keeping us always a little in trouble. The editors of the 2017 Early Modern Culture special section on close reading Shakespeare take an even more pugnacious approach towards the text. Of the numerous Shakespeare Association of America seminar papers from which the selections emerged, Peter Parolin and Phyllis Rackin comment: ‘We certainly found that the commitment to progressive and disruptive readings motivated the close reading of many of our contributors’ (2017a: 2; emphasis added). ‘Nowadays,’ they claim, critics reject ‘the chimera of a neutral close reading’ that would reveal an artwork’s ‘smooth, coherent surface’, which they associate with the discredited New Criticism (2). Rather, ‘our active close reading locates and frets away at the problem spots’ and ‘explicitly disrupts the coherences that govern our thinking’ (2; emphasis added). The above descriptions emphasize gaps, breaks, peculiarities and bafflements experienced in close reading. Even more, for some critics, ‘problem spots’ must be rubbed or picked at like sores and ‘coherences’ of thought must be ‘disrupt[ed]’, smooth surfaces splintered. Those accounts offer a kind of phenomenology of the text as Other – and a kind of unpleasant and pernicious Other at that. At their extreme, such models of close reading consciously repudiate continuity and coherence in favor of discontinuity. In some, the process of close reading sounds politically intentional, a bit Marxist, also a bit deconstructive – and it is no surprise that a few of the essays cite Paul de Man’s claim that close reading has the capacity ‘to transform critical discourse in a manner that would appear deeply subversive’ (cited from Garber 2010: 152; see also Culler 2010: 21–2). Such close reading appears to be a step away from the resistant reading in which the critic repudiates the enchantments of the artefact – and, in the case of Parolin and Rackin, a short step. That is, the model of close reading in those statements, when conscripted for ideological purposes, begins to take on the features of the hermeneutics of suspicion. But is that an adequate model of close reading? Estrangement and discontinuity are wonderful things, but ‘coherence’ is hardly the work of the devil. Even the disruptive close reader strives for coherence in her own readings and endeavours to critique from a coherent point of view. Furthermore, appreciating coherence and continuity does not require believing that the artwork is an impervious linguistic construction existing outside of culture and history. Coherence is not, in itself, the enemy of ‘progressive’ critical thinking. ‘Active’ close readers, moreover, cannot themselves escape immersion. If the reading transaction begins with recreating in one’s thoughts and feelings the imaginative world of the poem, novel or play – begins, that is, with immersion, as theorists contend – then the close reader must first have that experience before she can reflect upon it. The sense of an engaged, continuous reading experience must

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inevitably be the precondition for being halted in surprise so that one can begin to fret away at problem spots. Accounts of reading that prioritize disruption tend to neglect the freeing, transactional, border-crossing, category-upending power of immersive reading, which cannot be dismissed as always harmful and dangerous. If it were, then we should not be reading Shakespeare at all. Surely, there can be positive benefits, ethical and otherwise, to the sympathies and attachments that develop within the experience of readerly enchantment. The accounts in question miss, as well, certain pleasures of engaged reading that blend the affective and the cognitive, as when, for example, a reader’s intuiting of the unfolding structure of a work generates surprised delight and a sense of competence. Even more, they miss the fact that the act of looking closely can itself be immersive: Jane Bennett refers to the sense of receptive wonder needed to respond to ‘the marvelous specificity of things’ (2001: 3), and Empson’s almost 200-word sentence on ‘Bare ruined choirs’ looks much like the expression of the wonder that produced it. Exploring the linkages between words or images, as in the work of Patricia Parker (1996), or marking the unfolding, accumulating and changing meanings of a word in a sonnet, as Stephen Booth does (1969), can create their own experiences of wonder towards the artefact. The accounts under discussion, for all their helpfulness, provide only half of the paradigm.

READING BOTH FEELINGLY AND REFLECTIVELY We need a model of reading practice that acknowledges not only discontinuity but also continuity, not only estrangement from the text but also enchantment with it. I want to propose a form of rhetorical and theatrical close reading that recognizes, even enlarges, our sense of the world-creating power of literary experience in a way especially apt for Shakespearean drama. Drama, because of its dialogic nature, builds its environments out of conflict and complex, evolving, sometimes subterranean tensions, steadily building suspense and arousing and deferring expectation – a source of immersion. The version of close reading that I propose draws our attention to dramatic tension and helps to identify those textual qualities that pull the reader’s interest forward by scrutinizing speech within its rhetorical context (my approach is indebted to Bialostosky 2016). A rhetorical approach focuses on concrete, situational questions: where and when is the conversation occurring? Who is speaking to whom and why? Whom does the dialogue include or exclude? What is the speaker’s attitude towards his or her addressee or towards their topic? What is the relationship between statements within a speech or among speeches, including both continuities and conversational breaks or shifts in thought? Thus what is avoided or left unsaid; what is precise and what vague; what seems motivated and what does not? Such questions – and those are more than a single reading can answer – can lead towards both aesthetics and politics, while they anchor discussion in the energy, even struggle, of rhetorical immediacy. As those questions suggest, furthermore, drama requires the reader to make more inferences about the fictional world than a novel does, since the novel’s

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narrator often paints the scene. That quirk of drama allows us to look closely at the experience of reading it. I would combine our rhetorical approach with ‘beat’ analysis; that is, the breaking down of scenes into theatrical ‘beats’ in the manner of dramaturgical dissection, taking my template from the work of Charles and Elaine Hallett (1991). We can think of a dramatic scene as divided into sub-units, or beats, that are largely continuous and coherent in themselves. A beat may be demarcated, for example, by an exchange between two characters on a specific topic; it could be introduced by a question or declaration; it might be ended by the arrival of new characters; it could even have its own beginning, middle and end. Some beats are only expositional, but others can arouse tension and expectation, or give us momentary insights, or raise questions about the larger world of the play, including its social and ideological faultlines. We should think of speeches within a beat as not only communicating information but also aiming to bring about a result or action or to create an effect. To illustrate the ‘beat’ approach, let us turn to the long opening scene of Much Ado About Nothing, which can be manageably broken up into a series of sub-episodes or beats. The first beat is formed by lines 0.1–27, containing the entrance stage direction and the subsequent exchange between Leonato and the Messenger about Don Pedro’s military action and its aftermath; it ends with Beatrice’s interjection (28). The second beat becomes lines 28–90, the conversation between Beatrice and the Messenger (with a few contributions by Hero and Leonato), launched by her interrupting question, ‘I pray you, is Signor Mountanto returned from the wars or no?’ (28–9) and concluded with Beatrice’s affirmation that she will never run mad, ‘No, not till a hot January’ (89), along with the Messenger’s announcement that Don Pedro is approaching (90). After the greetings and exchanges between parties, which constitute the third beat, the next, fourth beat is initiated by the ‘walk[ing] apart’ of Don Pedro and Leonato (106 s.d.) and is filled by the conversation between Beatrice and Benedick (107–39), concluding with Beatrice’s ‘You always end with a jade’s trick; I know you of old’ (138–9), yielding to the re-emergence of Don Pedro and Leonato. And on the scene goes. One can see here how Shakespeare isolates essentially pairs of characters for conversations with rough beginnings, middles and ends (‘You always end with a jade’s trick’), and by alternating them he puts several storylines in play. Reading closely from a rhetorical and theatrical point of view, with an eye towards demarcating the fictional world and the expectations it provokes, what would we begin to notice? Consider the play’s first speeches: leonato

I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Aragon comes this night to Messina. messenger

He is very near by this. He was not three leagues off when I left him. (1.1.1–4) We instantly get the comic situation: the arrival of outsiders into a presumably fixed and ordered social world. In this case the outsider (Don Pedro) is from Spain while the residents are in Sicily (then governed by Spain, although political conflicts and

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differences of national or regional temperament will figure little in the play). The opening lines, however quickly they pass, establish expectations about impending events. But to whom does Leonato speak, and what is his tone? We might first assume that he speaks to the Messenger, who gets the next lines, but that assumption hardly makes sense. For one thing, the Messenger already knows the contents of the letter, so Leonato would have no reason to repeat them to him. For another, the entrance stage direction (to the extent that it implies the order by which characters emerge on stage) places the Messenger far from Leonato: ‘Enter Leonato, Governor of Messina, / Hero his daughter, and Beatrice his niece, / with a Messenger’ (0.1–3). The better candidates for addressees are Hero (especially) and Beatrice. If Leonato makes a point of directing the news toward them, then he surely expects them to find it significant, so that we might imagine the two female characters reacting with some nonverbal signs or agitation. But, then, why does the Messenger rather than Hero or Beatrice get the next speech after Leonato’s news? One possible explanation is that, while the two young women make physical responses (of anticipation, pleasure, uneasiness?), the Messenger steps in to intensify those effects, saying, as it were, ‘And they are almost here!’ That is, since Leonato had referred only to the arrival as happening ‘this night’ (we assume that it is daytime on stage unless specifically told otherwise) and the Messenger corrects that to ‘any time now’, we might infer that the Messenger means with his interjection to heighten the women’s excitement or pleasure. Thus, while the first four lines convey information, they also carry an emotional subtext that traffics in the business of theatre, exciting anticipation in the characters and in the play’s readers or audience, too. If so, the women’s pleased and possibly self-conscious expressions introduce further questions: why would Leonato expect Hero and Beatrice to be, and why might they be, aroused by this information? In answer, we can speculate that between the ladies and the arriving men there is some yet-unknown prior history that justifies their expectations. We sense currents of emotion understood by the characters but not fully by us. These quick, deft theatrical signals, then, pique the reader’s curiosity and involvement. The subtextual interest in the women’s reactions suggests further that these two women and their feelings will figure in the action. Even more, these opening moments hint that Messina itself might be more a woman’s than a man’s world. (Regarding the outsiders, we will shortly learn that they are gentlemen returning from a modest military engagement.) And now we might be ‘halted’ (in the spirit of Garber) by something a little paradoxical. While the males’ attention focuses, if indirectly, on the two women, neither of them speaks – and will not, if the reader glances ahead, until eleven exchanges of dialogue and twenty-seven lines later. Does the structure of dialogue slyly suggest that, if Messina is a woman’s world, it is one that the men like to orchestrate? The entrance and the opening lines, then, concentrate, on the surface, on news of an impending arrival, but subtextually they attend to the women’s silent reactions, and in doing so they begin to sketch out the world of Messina. We might set our inferences from this dramaturgical reading against the Messina as presented in standard critical approaches, which usually home in on the Messenger’s artificial language and Leonato’s sententiousness. While those

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qualities are surely there, they carry none of the emotional interest of the innocuous bit of dialogue that we have just examined. So in four lines we are already deep into sexual and cultural politics! The dramaturgical approach enhances the pleasure of the text, since it brings us close to the interplay of feeling, anxious anticipation, apparent teasing and imminent activity. And now, having aroused expectation, Shakespeare cleverly delays fulfilment by means of a stretch of patriarchal rodomontade before a perhaps exasperated Beatrice (on our behalf as well as her own) finally breaks in. Of course, what we have said so far is hypothesis and inference. Perhaps there are other reasonable ways of making sense of the first four lines – so we can be tentative about our conclusions. What I do want to argue, however, is that close reading from a rhetorical and theatrical point of view has the potential (a) to heighten the reader’s interest and engagement around the business of how theatrical experience is created, here expectation and desire; and, in doing those things, (b) to open a window on the gender and cultural politics of the play in a way that acknowledges the concerns of the ideological reader. Continuity and rupture become complementary. The second beat (1.1.28–90) begins not with a declaration but with a question. Indeed, this beat interrogates more than does the first, for it includes nine questions, mostly from Beatrice, in some sixty lines, as opposed to two questions in the first beat of thirty lines. Here, sentence type provides rhetorical and theatrical suggestiveness, for the dialogue’s questions, along with its exclamations, add urgency and speed, pressing the action forward; they also emphasize the experience of uncertainty and doubt. Initially, why does Beatrice suddenly intervene with her inquiry about ‘Signor Mountanto’? Is there something about Leonato’s rather precious paradox of weeping at joy versus joying at weeping (26–7) that provokes her (more filling in of the differences between men and women in this play)? Is she fed up with Leonato’s tendency, in the first beat, to move from fact to elaboration to airy moral pronouncement (perhaps a male model of humanistic expression)? At any rate, she changes the focus abruptly from the sententious to the personal, a telling discontinuity in the dialogue. Structurally, this second beat of badinage between the Messenger and Beatrice asks and invites questions, including about how the beat might be parallel to, and constitute even a dry run for, beat four, Beatrice and Benedict’s opening skirmish in the ‘merry war’. With the Messenger, Beatrice – not Hero (we might halt to think about that) – emerges as a central speaker, and she whets her rhetorical knife on the Messenger preparatory to her thrusts of wit against Benedick. Beatrice’s good-natured rhetorical manhandling of the Messenger as displaced opponent provides a contrast to the tone of her less good-natured exchange with the real one – and predicts its outcome. What emerges here is that beat analysis combined with rhetorical inquiry, at a micro level, starts to reveal the building blocks with which a scene is constructed as well as broader patterns with eventual implications elsewhere for the play. Of the various matters that might attract comment in the second beat, let us focus on just one, Beatrice’s odd, disruptive back-story involving Benedick. When the Messenger tells us that Benedick has returned ‘as pleasant as ever he was’ (34–5), Beatrice responds (if it is a ‘response’): ‘He set up his bills here in Messina and

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challenged Cupid at the flight; and my uncle’s fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid and challenged him at the bird-bolt’ (36–9). From there, she launches immediately into the matter of eating Benedick’s killings: ‘I pray you, how many hath he killed …’ (39–41). In my experience, performances often cut Beatrice’s bird-bolt speech, a tendency in the theatre that might, in the classroom, provoke instructive discussion. The speech is difficult to understand and seems unmotivated in context, thus functioning as the kind of ‘conceptual break’ – within the text and for the reader – that our theorists would expect readers to notice. At the basic level of understanding, Beatrice’s little narrative requires modest historical and linguistic explication. The Arden editor Claire McEachern explains that ‘bills’ are ‘handbills or posters’ making an announcement; that ‘flight’ might refer to a light and well-feathered arrow shot long-distance (thus different from a bird-bolt), or alternatively to a long-distance archery competition, or even to a flyting, an insult contest (1.1.36c.n.); and that ‘fool’ could indicate a household jester (who is never seen nor ever mentioned again) or to Beatrice herself (1.1.37c.n.). McEachern glosses ‘subscribed for Cupid’ as ‘signed up … as [Cupid’s] representative’ (1.1.38c.n.) and defines ‘bird-bolt’ as the kind of ‘short blunt arrow’ used by a child such as Cupid, clumsier and more short-ranged than the well-feathered arrow (1.1.39c.n.). The OED and the history of Tudor archery can unpack – or perhaps pile up in the spirit of Empson – the data of the passage, but we are still left wondering what it means, how it relates to what comes before and after, whom it is intended for, how it might be performed and what difference excising or retaining it makes – rhetorical and theatrical questions. If this mini-narrative were cut, we would lose its possible parallel to Beatrice’s later comment to Benedick, ‘You always end with a jade’s trick; I know you of old’ (138–9; emphasis added), in the fourth beat, along with whatever information it might contribute to the spectator’s evolving insight into the history of Beatrice and Benedick (it might be read as an allegorized reference to a failed earlier romance). Most importantly, we also lose its provocative sense of being out of place, as if it were an intrusion from a sublevel of Beatrice’s psyche that she cannot make fully specific. Beatrice’s little reflection, that is, entails fascinating aspects of both continuity and discontinuity that colour our understanding of the sexual politics of Messina. The meaning of Beatrice’s anecdote may remain indeterminate, but it still has a rhetorical and theatrical effect. The problem of interpreting Beatrice’s reference might take its place as only the most striking among other interpretive difficulties encountered in the first two beats. (For example, does Leonato’s question about Claudio’s uncle, ‘Did he break out in tears?’ (23), suggest that the father struggles to understand the Messenger as much as does the audience?) Or perhaps Beatrice’s allusion signals that some kinds of knowledge must remain metaphorical and ‘enigmatical’ (5.4.27). In the world of Messina, must characters – or just women – sometimes speak in code? Is Messina a place where the interests of women drive the action but where, paradoxically, women are not allowed to fully express themselves? But my goal here is not to provide a final explanation for Beatrice’s sketchy exposition. Rather, the passage might help us to make a prima facie case for dramaturgical close reading, which provides a method for keeping true to both the immersive and the reflective dimensions of reading experience. Such close reading valorizes discontinuities without fetishizing them; it appreciates linkages

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and coherences; and it uses beat analysis to open up questions about how parts of a scene work together. It is attuned to the creation of suspense and expectation. It invites specific questions at a minute and concrete level, with a purposeful sense of dramatic structure and exigency. It involves the reader in the unfolding, indeed the creating, of the play’s fictional world. Here, details have broad suggestiveness, such as about gender relations, or the dynamics of power, or the difficulty in expressing personal pain from within Messina’s conventions of conversation. Dramaturgical close reading allows us both to immerse ourselves in the energy and suspense of the unfolding play and to fashion an image of the play’s cultural world and its politics. We make surprising connections, play subtext against text, intuit unexpressed desires, recognize superciliousness, forge the imaginative contours of the dramatic world. It is pleasurably exciting and intellectually provocative – even empowering, for it has the urgency of discovery and feels fundamentally important. It’s the kind of mental tonic that might just bring you back again to that shabby classroom.

NOTES 1. Whether Richards’s aesthetic was philosophically ‘materialist’ could be disputed, since Richards thought of poetry as making ‘pseudo-statements’ lacking objective referents in the world. Although Richards repudiated the Kantian notion of a special aesthetic realm, his epigraph for Poetries and Sciences quotes Matthew Arnold declaring that ‘for poetry the idea is everything’ (1970: 14). 2. Terry Eagleton emphasizes William Empson’s contribution to the idea of ambiguity, since, for Empson, ambiguity evoked the range of almost ‘inexhaustible’ meanings in the literary event, while ambivalence and even complementarity suggest a more limited sense of alternatives (1996: 45). 3. For the digital recognition of linguistic patterns in literary works on a vast scale, see Moretti 2013. Of course, Moretti’s notion of ‘reading’ by machine is not the opposite of Richards’s close reading, since, for Richards, ‘distant reading’ would not be reading at all. 4. Eliot used the term, in reference to national literatures, in his influential 1923 essay ‘The Function of Criticism’ (1932: 37). 5. Stephen Greenblatt’s notion of the way a Shakespearean or other literary work ‘contains’ subversive energies may owe an unconscious debt to New Criticism’s underlying image of the artwork as a container. 6. Unfortunately, neither Richards nor most of the New Critics offered much comment on those dimensions of reading. Welleck and Warren describe the ‘pleasure’ of reading literature only as ‘non-acquisitive contemplation’ (1942: 21).

REFERENCES Bennett, J. (2001), The Enchantments of Modern Life: Attachments, Crossings, and Ethics, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Bialostosky, D. (2016), How to Play a Poem: A Bakhtin School Pedagogy for Poetry, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

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Booth, S. (1969), An Essay on Shakespeare’s Sonnets, New Haven: Yale University Press. Brooks, C. (1947), The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry, New York: Harcourt, Brace. Bruns, C. V. (2011), Why Literature?: The Value of Literary Reading and What It Means for Teaching, New York: Continuum. Collins, M. J., ed. (2014), Reading What’s There: Essays in Shakespeare in Honor of Stephen Booth, Newark: University of Delaware Press. Culler, J. (2010), ‘The Closeness of Close Readings’, ADE Bulletin, 149: 20–5. Eagleton, T. ([1983] 1996), Literary Theory: An Introduction, 2nd edn, Malden: Blackwell. Eliot, T. S. (1932), Selected Essays: 1917–32, New York: Harcourt Brace. Empson, W. ([1930] 1949), Seven Types of Ambiguity, London: Chatto and Windus. Federico, A. (2016), Engagements with Close Reading, New York: Routledge. Felski, R. (2008), Uses of Literature, Oxford: Blackwell. Felski, R. (2015), The Limits of Critique, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Garber, M. (2010), ‘Shakespeare in Slow Motion’, Profession, 150: 151–64. Guillory, J. (2008), ‘On the Presumption of Knowing How to Read’, ADE Bulletin, 145: 8–11. Guillory, J. (2010), ‘Close Reading: Prologue and Epilogue’, ADE Bulletin, 149: 8–14. Hallett, C. A. and E. S. Hallett (1991), Analyzing Shakespeare’s Action: Scene versus Sequence, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Harbage, A. (1941), Shakespeare’s Audience, New York: Columbia University Press. Harris, J. G. (2010), Shakespeare and Literary Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hayles, N. K. (2010), ‘How We Read: Close, Hyper, Machine’, ADE Bulletin, 150: 62–79. Jancovich, M. (1993), The Cultural Politics of New Criticism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lopez, J. (2018), The Arden Introduction to Reading Shakespeare: Close Reading and Analysis, London: Arden. McDonald, R., N. D. Nace and T. D. Williams, eds (2012), Shakespeare Up Close: Reading Early Modern Texts, London: Arden. McEachern, C., ed. ([2006] 2016), Much Ado About Nothing, rev. edn, The Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Moretti, F. (2013), Distant Reading, London: Verso. North, J. (2017), Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Parker, P. (1996), Shakespeare from the Margins: Language, Culture, Context, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Parolin, P. and P. Rackin (2017a), ‘Close Reading Shakespeare: An Introduction’, Special Section on Close Reading Shakespeare, Early Modern Culture, 12: 1–4. Parolin, P. and P. Rackin, eds (2017b), Special Section on Close Reading Shakespeare, Early Modern Culture, 12: 1–70. Peterson, J. (2017), ‘The Future of (Close) Reading’, Early Modern Culture, 12: 43–53. Richards, I. A. (1924), Principles of Literary Criticism, London: Kegan Paul.

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Richards, I. A. (1929), Practical Criticism: A Study of Literary Judgement, London: Kegan Paul. Richards, I. A. ([1926, 1935] 1970), Poetries and Sciences, rev. with commentary, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Rosenblatt, L. M. (1978), The Reader, the Text, the Poem: The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. Shakespeare, W. ([2006] 2016), Much Ado About Nothing, ed. C. McEachern, rev. edn, The Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Spurgeon, C. ([1935] 2005), Shakespeare’s Imagery and What It Tells Us, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Trilling, L. (1950), The Liberal Imagination: Essays on Literature and Society, New York: Viking. Welleck, R. and A. Warren (1942), Theory of Literature, New York: Harcourt, Brace. Wimsatt, W. K. (1954), The Verbal Icon: Studies in the Meaning of Poetry, Lexington: University of Kentucky Press.

CHAPTER 1.2

Genre studies MICHELLE M. DOWD

The study of genre has long held a prominent place within literary scholarship, extending back to such originary texts as Aristotle’s Poetics and Sir Philip Sidney’s Defence of Poesy. And yet, perhaps as a direct result of this impressive literary pedigree, it has also frequently been associated with a critical orthodoxy, an interest in categories, rules and forms that might seem opposed to more recent theoretical movements (such as feminist and queer theory, for instance) that explore the fluid and the intersectional. As this chapter demonstrates, however, genre studies is far from a stale or stable category of analysis. Rather, attention to genre has afforded a striking range of nuanced and vibrant analyses of literary works and continues to open new pathways for exploration. This is certainly true for Shakespeare studies, as an interest in Shakespearean genre dates back at least to the publication of the First Folio in 1616. The Folio’s prefatory catalogue indicates that the volume will contain comedies, histories and tragedies, but the contents of the volume itself challenge this simple division, as scholars have frequently noted (Richard III is labelled a history in the catalogue but titled a tragedy later in the volume, for instance). Indeed, the ‘instability in generic labelling’ (Howard 1999: 298) in the Folio bears witness to the slipperiness of genre as an analytical category even in Shakespeare’s day. The resistance of Shakespeare’s dramatic oeuvre to the Folio’s trifold organizational scheme attests to the fluid nature of genre in early modern England and suggests some of the challenges that scholars have faced when using genre as a theoretical framework for analysing the plays. To take another oft-cited example: Polonius’s comical catalogue of dramatic genres in the First Folio Hamlet – ‘tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral’ (2.2.395–7) – mocks but also helps substantiate the fact that theatrical genres in Shakespeare’s day did not constitute a strict system of organization but rather a highly flexible and contested set of literary concepts. Taking this generic flexibility as its point of departure, this chapter provides a critical overview of genre theory as it pertains to the study of Shakespeare’s plays. Tracing major developments in genre theory, including Russian formalist and Marxist approaches, this chapter reviews the most significant critical approaches to Shakespearean genre, including early typological and formalist studies, the analysis of individual genres, and more recent historical and performance-based analyses. The concluding case study of The Winter’s Tale briefly explores some new possibilities for genre criticism, including feminist formalist analysis. Despite the orthodoxies often associated with genre studies, recent scholarship amply demonstrates the vital,

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productive capacity of generic analysis for understanding the cultural work that Shakespeare’s plays perform both in his era and in our own.

GENRE THEORY: A BRIEF OVERVIEW Before turning to the specific history of Shakespearean genre studies, a brief review of genre theory as it pertains more broadly to literary criticism is in order. This summary is not meant to be exhaustive but rather to highlight some of the most influential developments in genre theory beginning in the twentieth century (for a more detailed overview, see Duff 2000: 1–24). It is fitting to begin with the Russian Formalists from the early part of the last century, since genre was so central to their approach to literary study. Victor Shklovsky, Yury Tynyanov and others turned to genre as a way to think through the evolution of literary history. Shklovsky’s term ‘defamiliarization’ describes the process by which literary texts challenge our perspectives; while individual genres can themselves be defamiliarizing through their deployment of unique structures and techniques, Shklovsky also believes that genres have to transform over time in order to retain their force (1990). As Tynyanov puts it, ‘[i]t is impossible to conceive of genre as a static system for the reason that genreconsciousness itself arises as a result of a confrontation with a traditional genre (i.e. as a result of a sense that the traditional genre has been supplanted, even partially, by a “new” one occupying its place)’ (2000: 32). Although the Russian Formalists were often criticized for an overly isolated view of literary genres, statements such as Tynyanov’s suggest their abiding interest in the diachronic mutability of generic structures. Some of the most highly significant statements on genre theory later in the century bear witness to the continued influence of these earlier formalist theorists, even if the connection is sometimes an indirect one. Although the work of scholars such as Northrop Frye, Rosalie Colie and Alistair Fowler resists easy categorization within a clearly defined critical ‘school’, their structuralist approaches to genre build on earlier models while also emphasizing typological (in the case of Frye) and historical (in the case of Colie and Fowler) methods. Frye (whom I will discuss in more detail in the next section) developed his archetypal approaches to genre in Anatomy of Criticism (1957), one of the most influential works of literary criticism from the twentieth century. Frye analyses structural patterns in tragedy, comedy, romance and irony (or satire) by drawing analogies between these generic modes and the four seasons. He concludes that these genres all function as ‘episodes in a total quest-myth’ – a part of his vision that literary criticism ‘has an end in the structure of literature as a total form’ (1957: 215, 342). Rosalie Colie, whose study of Renaissance genres will also get more attention in the next section, adopted a more historical approach to genre, but she shares with earlier formalists such as Tynyanov the conviction that literary genres can only be understood relationally, by attending to the interplay and development of formal elements over time. Similarly, Alastair Fowler, whose work on genre is, like Colie’s, historically minded but not overtly politicized, argues in Kinds of Literature that ‘all genres are continuously undergoing metamorphosis’ (1982: 23). He rejects the notion of genre as a straitjacket (a ‘mere

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curb on expression’) and instead describes the relationship of a literary work to its genre as ‘not one of passive membership but of active modulation’ (1982: 20). However, Fowler, like Frye and some of the earlier formalist critics, is ultimately more interested in what he calls the ‘internal, mediated, or literary causes’ of genre development rather than broader historical factors; he explicitly resists, for instance, the move to ‘turn immediately’ to ‘external causes’ (e.g. historical or cultural events) to ‘account for generic change’ (1982: 277). Marxist and poststructuralist approaches to genre, by contrast, shift more overt focus to the sociological embeddedness of literary works. Mikhail Bakhtin’s essays on the novel, for instance, helped develop the concept of a dialogue or conflict between genres, as well as the notion of heteroglossia, a term that encompasses the extra-literary features of language such as ideological positioning. No text or genre, in other words, can ever be neutral. Tzvetan Todorov later extended and developed Bakhtin’s theories of genre, most notably in his essay ‘The Origins of Genre’, first published in 1976. In that piece, Todorov argues that genre as such ‘has not disappeared; the genres-of-the-past have simply been replaced by others’ (1990: 14). New genres are, therefore, created when older genres are transformed ‘by inversion, by displacement, by combination’ (1990: 14). Genres, Todorov claims, serve as ‘“horizons of expectation” for readers and as “models of writing” for authors’; they ‘communicate indirectly with the society where they are operative through their institutionalization’ (1990: 18, 19). Genres are thus directly related to the ideology of a given society or historical moment; they are ‘the meeting place between general poetics and event-based literary history’ (1990: 19–20). This understanding of genre as a ‘meeting place’ between poetics and history has become a central tenet of much modern genre theory originating from a range of ideological and critical perspectives. As American structuralist critic Jonathan Culler puts it, genres are ‘always historical yet based on some sort of theoretical rationale’ (2009: 881). In Marxism and Literature, Raymond Williams provides a definition of genre that mediates between a strict theory of ‘fixed’ genres and a completely fluid understanding of ‘individual creativity’ (1977: 181). For Williams, genre is ‘neither an ideal type nor a traditional order nor a set of technical rules’. Instead, he emphasizes the socio-historical dimensions of textual forms, arguing that the ‘stance’ of a genre is ‘a social relationship, given a particular form of socio-cultural organization, and that modes of formal composition, over the range from traditional to innovatory, are necessarily forms of a social language’ (1977: 185). Similarly, Fredric Jameson in The Political Unconscious emphasizes the necessarily social and historical nature of literary genres. Offering a cogent critique of Frye’s theories of romance, Jameson rejects the notion that this (or any) genre can be fully understood if it is not historically contextualized. Instead, he argues: The strategic value of generic concepts for Marxism clearly lies in the mediatory function of the notion of a genre, which allows the coordination of immanent formal analysis of the individual text with the twin diachronic perspective of the history of forms and the evolution of social life. (1981: 105)

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This notion of genre as a mediatory construct that negotiates between a text and its cultural contexts leads Jameson to conclude that genres are ‘essentially literary institutions, or social contracts between a writer and a specific public, whose function is to specify the proper use of a particular cultural artifact’ (1981: 106; italics in original). Generic concepts are not inherently meaningful, but rather strategically useful categories through which to understand how literary texts negotiate ideological and historical change. Genres are thus productive sites of negotiation, an idea developed in more recent years by scholars embracing reader response and, most notably, what has come to be called ‘new’ or ‘historical’ formalist methods. In line with Jameson’s emphasis on genres as social contracts, reception critic Wolfgang Iser argues for the utility of generic categorization by emphasizing that generic elements – parts of what he refers to as the ‘literary repertoire’ – ‘supply guidelines for the “dialogue” between text and reader’ (1978: 80). As he concludes: ‘The literary repertoire can thus be seen to have a two-fold function: it re-shapes familiar schemata to form a background for the process of communication, and it provides a general framework within which the message or meaning of the text can be organized’ (1978: 81). Genres offer a framework for intelligibility, a starting point for literary response. Since the turn of the century, calls for a revived formalist criticism have become central to literary scholarship, as critics have sought to bring together the insights of historicism and cultural studies (on the one hand) with formal analysis and close reading (on the other). An understanding of genre as mediation is again central to many of these approaches (for useful overviews, see Rasmussen 2002 and Levinson 2007). For instance, Stephen Cohen suggests that mediation is a productive ‘conceptual paradigm’ for thinking about the intersections of form and history. He writes that ‘mediation’ suggests the ‘forging of a relationship that need not be reduced to reflection, allowing instead for mutual influence and adjustment’. The key to understanding this process of mediation, he argues, is: The materialist insistence on the status of literary forms as social products shaped by specific historical circumstances to perform specific ideological tasks – on forms not simply as containers for extrinsic ideological content, but as practices with an ideological significance of their own. (2002: 32) Caroline Levine, one of the most influential practitioners of new formalist methodology, also argues that critics need to be attentive to how aesthetic forms overlap and intersect with socio-historical forms. In distinguishing ‘form’ and ‘genre’, Levine notes that a genre is a classificatory system, an ‘ensemble of characteristics, including styles, themes, and marketing conventions, [that] allows both producers and audiences to group text into certain kinds’. Recalling Iser’s and Jameson’s appeals to the social contract between author and reader, Levine likewise insists that ‘any attempt to recognize a work’s genre is a historically specific and interpretive act’ (2015: 13). As we will see in the next section, this provisional and historically embedded approach to genre has come to characterize much recent scholarship on Shakespeare’s plays.

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GENRE CRITICISM AND SHAKESPEARE STUDIES Early modern writers themselves demonstrated a particularly keen interest in genre theory, and, therefore, it is not surprising that some of the major statements on genre in contemporary criticism take the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as their primary period of investigation (for instance, Colie 1973; Fowler 1982; Frye 1957). From Sir Philip Sidney’s complaint about plays in which ‘kings and clowns’ mingle (2002: 112) to Polonius’s comedic catalogue of generic mixing, early modern texts took up the subject of generic innovation to both debate and remake the structures of literary discourse inherited from classical and other sources. As Colie has argued: ‘literary invention – both “finding” and “making” – in the Renaissance was largely generic, and that transfer of ancient values was largely in generic terms, accomplished by generic instruments and helps’ (1973: 17). This process of invention was especially lively in the early modern theatre, an institution that relied extensively on classical models and yet was also profoundly experimental and ‘new’: it was a distinct form of urban, commercial entertainment that was produced collaboratively and performed in purpose-built theatres. Genre criticism of Shakespeare thus has a robust modern history, beginning with scholars such as Frye and Colie, and many of these foundational approaches to genre continue to hold sway in new forms in more recent work. Frye’s archetypal readings of early modern dramatic genres have had a significant influence on Shakespearean criticism. Perhaps most notably, Frye’s theories of comedy, romance and the ‘green world’ retain a great deal of their interpretive force in our contemporary moment. Positing a seasonal, mythic understanding of comedy, for instance, Frye argues that the movement away from ‘a normal world’ and toward a forest or other natural setting creates the opportunity for metamorphosis to occur. Frye charts the ‘same rhythmic movement from normal world to green world and back again’ in plays such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It, concluding that ‘the green world charges the comedies with the symbolism of the victory of summer over winter’ (1957: 182–3). Turning to Shakespearean romances such as The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale, Frye emphasizes their reliance on the adventure plot, a quest motif that takes on ‘a sequential and processional form’ (1957: 196; see also Frye 1965). Although scholars (including Jameson, as noted above) have critiqued Frye’s analysis as insufficiently attentive to the historical dimensions of Shakespeare genre, his conceptual framework for approaching the comedies in particular has proven to be productively generative for a wide range of studies. For instance, in his own highly influential study, C. L. Barber extended Frye’s analysis of the comedies to consider their connections to popular social customs, such as seasonal festivities. More recently, Adam Zucker has revisited and revised Frye’s concept of the green world to interrogate how dramatic forms intervene ‘in material cultural and political relationships’ (2011: 30). Like Barber and Zucker, many scholars have turned to individual Shakespearean genres for extended analysis. While some of these studies are more topical than formal in approach (e.g. Bradley 1991; Dollimore 1984), others provide in-depth treatment of Shakespeare’s approach to various dramatic genres, considering

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both classical inheritances and new developments. With a particular focus on his indebtedness to classical models, Robert Miola, for instance, has examined how Shakespeare deploys and modifies materials borrowed from Plautus, Terence, Seneca and other writers. In tracing models for plays such as The Comedy of Errors and Pericles in Roman New Comedy and for tragedies such as Othello and King Lear in Senecan revenge tragedy, however, Miola emphasizes the heterogeneity of many of Shakespeare’s plays – what Colie would refer to as examples of ‘mixed kinds’ (1973: 76). Writing about early modern dramatic comedy, Miola argues that ‘the prevailing poetics of creative imitation produced a dazzling variety of results that testifies to the flexibility of the original elements, to their capacity for refigurations endless and surprising’; there was a ‘polyphony’ and an ‘interplay of voice’ between Renaissance playwrights and their classical sources (1994: 9). Similarly, on tragedy Miola notes that Shakespeare ‘weaves Senecan materials’ into his plays in ‘complicated and surprising’ ways, combining these elements with other materials, including medieval sources as well (1992: 9). Generic experimentation, as Colie and others have demonstrated, was closely bound up with the classical past, as writers such as Shakespeare sought to both imitate and reinvent their classical sources (Howard 1999; Danson 2000: 1–29). Colie’s foundational study of Renaissance genres not only emphasized the creative mixing of forms that was typical of the period, but it also laid some of the groundwork for more historical approaches to genre that would become dominant by the end of the twentieth century. In her analysis of King Lear that concludes her study, for example, Colie situates the play squarely in a historical context. She writes: ‘It is by the opposition and interplay of these traditional and conventional [thematic and structural] elements that we can see how much King Lear is a play about precisely the contemporary social crisis Lawrence Stone has so beautifully described and analyzed’ in The Crisis of the Aristocracy (Colie 1973: 125; Stone 1965). Indeed, being attentive to such historical factors can help us understand how genres change over time, both ‘effecting cultural transfer’ and creating new forms entirely (1973: 127). Colie’s early socio-cultural approach to generic transformations was taken up in the following decade by new historicist critics, most notably by Stephen Greenblatt in his article ‘Murdering Peasants’. An essay that ‘placed genre studies at the center of what became known as the New Historicism’ (Guneratne 2011: 3), Greenblatt’s wide-ranging analysis of Durer, Spenser, Sidney and Shakespeare concludes that ‘intention and genre are as social, contingent, and ideological as the historical situation they combine to represent’ (1983: 13). Although much historicist criticism of Shakespeare in the wake of Greenblatt tended to downplay genre in favour of investigating the ‘discursive links between a given play and a range of extradramatic texts’ (Howard 2007: 50; see also Cohen 2007), the understanding of genres as not only mutable rather than stable but as inherently politically and ideologically invested – an understanding shared by such diverse critics as Greenblatt, Colie and Jameson – would ultimately come to dominate Shakespearean genre criticism in the current century. Indeed, much recent genre criticism assumes the historical contingency of literary genres as a basic starting point for analysis but extends the critical focus to include

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print and performance history as well as adaptation and contemporary media. As scholars such as Andrew Gurr, David Bevington and Jean Howard have argued, Shakespeare’s use of genre was intimately connected to early modern theatrical culture; he regularly borrowed materials and structures from other dramatists and demonstrated an acute awareness of theatrical trends and commercial impetuses. Gurr has emphasized the discrepancies between printed plays (which rarely distinguished between different genres on their title pages up until the Caroline period) and audience expectations, which probably drove theatrical trends, such as the development of tragicomedy in the early seventeenth century (2011). Shakespeare was also highly attuned to the work of his contemporary playwrights: Bevington has demonstrated how Shakespeare adapts the motifs of other dramatists in his histories and early comedies (2011), while Howard has discussed how early modern city comedy (1999) and tragedy (2007) informed Shakespeare’s plays and their depiction of class, gender and geography. In addition to considering how the material practices of the early modern theatre affected dramatic genres, scholars have examined how Shakespearean genres get remade in and through twenty-firstcentury translations and adaptations. Attending to how Shakespeare is taken up in contemporary popular media such as film, for instance, can alert us to the historical transformations of genres. As Douglas M. Lanier writes: ‘Because genres have a particular logic and history, adaptation crucially involves ideological negotiation between different generic imperatives, no matter how interrelated two genres might be’ (2011: 267; see also Henderson 2011 and Huang 2011). Just as Shakespeare experimented with and revised early modern generic practice, so too do modern-day screenwriters, directors and translators use genre as a basis for creative innovation. Scholars of Shakespeare have, however, made even more explicit returns to form in recent years, as part of the ‘new’ or ‘historical’ formalist movement. In part as a response to historicist studies of Shakespearean drama that tended to ‘displace, rather than instigate, an exploration of the formal’ (Cohen 2007: 2), these critics have advocated a renewed and sustained attention to genre that approaches it not as a strict system of classification but as a culturally and historically complex set of expectations. The essays in Renaissance Literature and Its Formal Engagements (Rasmussen 2002) and Shakespeare and Historical Formalism (Cohen 2007) collectively insist that formal and generic conventions can, in Richard Strier’s formulation, serve as ‘indices to large intellectual and cultural matters’ (2002: 211). And other scholars have leveraged the tools of computational stylistics to offer new insights into Shakespearean genre that similarly emphasize its dynamic and transaction qualities (Hope and Witmore 2010). Despite these developments, however, one avenue that has remained relatively unexplored by new formalist criticism of Shakespeare is the link between historicist genre study and feminism. Although feminist criticism of Shakespeare of course has a long and robust critical history (see Jessica McCall’s chapter, ‘Feminist studies’, in this regard), feminist formalism as a critical methodology has been relatively underdeveloped (see Roberts 2007 and Dodds and Dowd 2018). Looking ahead, then, we might ask: what insights can we gain about Shakespearean genre if we integrate formalist, historicist and gendered analysis? And what other opportunities

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might an intersectional approach to genre afford, one that considers not only gender but race, class, sexuality and disability (to name but a few possibilities) as central to our understanding of formal structures? Although space does not permit me to take up all of these topics here, in the case study that concludes this chapter I briefly trace how critics of genre have approached Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, and I highlight some of the insights that might be gleaned from a specifically feminist formalist analysis of this tragicomedy.

THE WINTER’S TALE The Winter’s Tale is a particularly rich play for generic analysis because it blends together and innovatively transforms several of the primary generic modes with which Shakespeare experimented during his career. Although grouped with the comedies in the First Folio, the play, along with Shakespeare’s other late plays including Pericles, Cymbeline and The Tempest, acquired the label ‘romance’ in the nineteenth century. It is also frequently referred to as a tragicomedy, a related generic category that was used by Shakespeare’s contemporaries to refer to mixed dramatic modes that conclude with surprisingly happy endings, a form made especially popular through the works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher. In its own day, then, The Winter’s Tale was a creative generic experiment and a play that capitalized on some of the most commercially popular theatrical trends of its moment. The play’s first three acts take the shape of an Aristotelian tragedy, concluding with Leontes’ too-late recognition that his wife and son have died because of his jealousy. The final two acts, however, unfold as a pastoral, romantic comedy and conclude with forgiveness and familial restoration (see Pitcher 2010: 16–17). Shakespeare’s primary source for this story was Robert Greene’s prose romance, Pandosto, an Elizabethan bestseller first published in 1588 (see Newcomb 2002 and Pitcher 2010: 94–7). But Shakespeare significantly restructured the story, offering a pointed revision of Greene’s tragic version (in which Hermione’s death is final and Pandosto, the Leontes figure, commits suicide at the end of the play). The Winter’s Tale’s formal oddity, epitomized in its unique blending of generic source materials, has long intrigued Shakespearean critics (see, for example, Cobb 2007; Danson 2011; Nuttall 1966). Many scenes throughout the play include a mixture of genres and formal structures, but the end of Act 3 announces the text’s formal hybridity in a particularly bracing way. Upon finding the body of Antigonus as well as the infant Perdita on the shores of Bohemia, the shepherd and his son, the clown, discuss these events from different vantage points. As the clown describes the recent shipwreck and the death of Antigonus at the hands of the play’s infamous bear, his father shifts both his son’s and the audience’s perspective: clown

I have not winked since I saw these sights. The men are not yet cold under water, nor the bear half dined on the gentleman – he’s at it now. shepherd

Would I had been by to have helped the old man!

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I would you had been by the ship side, to have helped her; there your charity would have lacked footing. shepherd

Heavy matters, heavy matters. But look thee here, boy. Now bless thyself; thou met’st with things dying, I with things newborn. (3.3.101–11) The conversation marks the turning point of the play, its shift from tragic to comedic action, from death to birth. But even as the shepherd urges us to transition to a new set of generic expectations, the play is not quite as binary in its structure as this exchange may appear to suggest. The clown, for one, discusses the tragic events he has witnessed in a comedic tone: his speech here and throughout is riddled with puns and blunt commentary that belie the seriousness of the events he describes. It is the shepherd whose move towards comedy and the promise of redemption is laced with sincere concern and empathy. Part of the wonder of The Winter’s Tale, then, is in how it both shapes and resists audience expectations of generic actions and their likely consequences. Troubling any easy division between generic modes, the play ‘provoke[s] uncertainty’ (Cobb 2007: 20) in its audiences in a way that highlights its central theme of transformation. The unique generic structure of The Winter’s Tale has been interpreted in various ways by scholars. Frye applied his typological approach to genre to the play, arguing that its plot traces the mythical and seasonal movements from winter to spring, with the Bohemian pastoral scene and the romance between Florizel and Perdita offering the promise of summer as well. The play’s conclusion promises a return to order, ‘the world symbolized by nature’s power of renewal’ (Frye 1965: 116). In keeping with the prominence of historicist and political genre criticism throughout much of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, numerous other critics have sought to unpack the ideological significances of The Winter’s Tale’s tragicomic structure, focusing on, for instance, the theological (Diehl 2005; Jensen 2004; Lupton 1996) and the economic (Bristol 1991; Forman 2008) implications of the play’s generic hybridity. Such readings participate in the broader effort to reassess the genre of tragicomedy as a vibrant political form rather than an inherently conservative one (see Forman 2008: 6–7; Lesser 2007; McMullan and Hope 1992; Schmidt 2013: 175–223). But The Winter’s Tale also showcases some of the opportunities afforded by a specifically feminist approach to genre and literary history. The play borrows and reframes the lost-child plot popularized by Roman New Comedy, a dramatic subgenre central to grammar-school education in Shakespeare’s England and one that became instrumental in the development of both comic and tragic modes in the period. New Comedy played a particularly prominent role in the development of tragicomedy, as the motif of the lost child who is ultimately reunited with her parents (usually a father) is an underlying feature of most of Shakespeare’s late plays, including The Winter’s Tale (Miola 1994: 140–69). What’s striking about Shakespeare’s version of the story, however, is his specific emphasis on lost daughters and heiresses. Although the Perdita plot is taken from Greene’s romance, we can also trace a pattern throughout Shakespeare’s other late plays in which

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heiresses are ‘lost’ and that loss in turn drives the plot and formal momentum of the play. In The Winter’s Tale, Perdita’s abandonment in Bohemia occasions the break between the play’s two structural parts, but the familiarity of the lost-child motif to many theatregoers in Shakespeare’s time would also have elicited audience expectation of generic resolution: a familial return that will (however unexpectedly in manner) cap off the daughter’s wanderings during the play. Indeed, the oracle of Act 3, which announces to Leontes and the court that ‘the King shall live without an heir if that which is lost be not found’ (3.2.132–3), makes it clear that the play’s formal structure is tied to its search for genealogical restitution. Experimenting with classical models and newer generic innovations, Shakespeare thus makes women and their loss central to his story while also mitigating the uncertainty of the heiress’s position by relying on specific generic precedents (for a more detailed analysis, see Dowd 2019). Tragicomedy and New Comedy, in this example, serve as formal interlocutors to gendered and cultural ideologies. This brief exploration of The Winter’s Tale is meant to be suggestive, to offer an example of how new formalist approaches to Shakespeare and genre might broaden our own expectations as to what ‘genre studies’ might mean as a critical methodology. One of the benefits of new formalism is its methodological capaciousness: it casts a net wide enough to consider historical and cultural factors and yet attend to the nuances of structure, plot and pattern. Looking ahead, there is both opportunity and need to push historical formalist readings beyond what have to date been their traditional points of focus (e.g. politics, economy, religion) and toward new analyses that consider not only gender but race, sexuality and disability, among other possibilities. If genres only acquire meaning through a diachronic process of transformation and renegotiation, then how might our contemporary moment speak back to and offer insight into Shakespearean genre? How might, for instance, the #MeToo movement influence our interpretation of Shakespeare’s so-called ‘problem comedies’, not just topically but as comedies (see Kolb 2019), or how might recent work in trans theory or critical race theory inform our response to Shakespearean mixed modes, perhaps resulting not just in new readings of individual texts but in new theories of generic development? By understanding genres as flexible, contested and always intertextual, scholars can continue to make Shakespearean genre criticism a progressive, vibrant and relevant critical endeavour.

REFERENCES Bakhtin, M. (1981), The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, ed. M. Holquist, trans. C. Emerson and M. Holquist, Austin: University of Texas Press. Barber, C. L. (1959), Shakespeare’s Festive Comedy: A Study of Dramatic Form and Its Relation to Social Custom, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Bevington, D. (2011), ‘Shakespeare’s Development of Theatrical Genres: Genre as Adaptation in the Comedies and Histories’, in A. R. Guneratne (ed.), Shakespeare and Genre: From Early Modern Inheritances to Postmodern Legacies, 85–99, New York: Palgrave.

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Bradley, A. C. ([1904] 1991), Shakespearean Tragedy, reprint, New York: Fawcett Premier. Bristol, M. (1991), ‘In Search of the Bear: Spatiotemporal Form and the Heterogeneity of Economies in The Winter’s Tale’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 42: 145–67. Cobb, C. J. (2007), The Staging of Romance in Late Shakespeare: Text and Theatrical Technique, Newark: University of Delaware Press. Cohen, S. (2002), ‘Between Form and Culture: New Historicism and the Promise of a Historical Formalism’, in M. D. Rasmussen (ed.), Renaissance Literature and Its Formal Engagements, 17–42, New York: Palgrave. Cohen, S., ed. (2007), ‘Introduction’, in Shakespeare and Historical Formalism, 1–27, Aldershot: Ashgate. Colie, R. L. (1973), The Resources of Kind: Genre Theory in the Renaissance, ed. B. K. Lewalski, Berkeley: University of California Press. Culler, J. (2009), ‘Lyric, History, and Genre’, New Literary History, 40: 879–99. Danson, L. (2000), Shakespeare’s Dramatic Genres, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Danson, L. (2011), ‘The Shakespeare Remix: Romance, Tragicomedy, and Shakespeare’s “Distinct Kind”’, in A. R. Guneratne (ed.), Shakespeare and Genre: From Early Modern Inheritances to Postmodern Legacies, 101–18, New York: Palgrave. Diehl, H. (2005), ‘“Strike All That Look Upon With Marvel”: Theatrical and Theological Wonder in The Winter’s Tale’, in B. Reynolds and W. N. West (eds), Rematerializing Shakespeare: Authority and Representation on the Early Modern Stage, 19–34, New York: Palgrave. Dodds, L. and M. M. Dowd (2018), ‘The Case for a Feminist Return to Form’, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 13: 82–91. Dollimore, J. (1984), Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology, and Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, Brighton: Harvester. Dowd, M. M. (2019), ‘Judith Shakespeare’s Brother’, Modern Language Quarterly, 80: 51–74. Duff, D., ed. (2000), Modern Genre Theory, Harlow: Longman. Forman, V. (2008), Tragicomic Redemptions: Global Economics and the Early Modern English Stage, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Fowler, A. (1982), Kinds of Literature: An Introduction to the Theory of Genres and Modes, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Frye, N. (1957), Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Frye, N. (1965), A Natural Perspective: The Development of Shakespearean Comedy and Romance, New York: Columbia University Press. Greenblatt, S. (1983), ‘Murdering Peasants: Status, Genre, and the Representation of Rebellion’, Representations, 1: 1–29. Guneratne, A. R., ed. (2011), ‘Introduction: Kin, Kind, and Shakespeare’s Significance to Genre Studies’, in Shakespeare and Genre: From Early Modern Inheritances to Postmodern Legacies, 1–14, New York: Palgrave. Gurr, A. (2011), ‘“The Stage Is Hung with Black”: Genre and the Trappings of Stagecraft in Shakespearean Tragedy’, in A. R. Guneratne (ed.), Shakespeare and Genre: From Early Modern Inheritances to Postmodern Legacies, 67–82, New York: Palgrave.

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Henderson, D. E. (2011), ‘Shakespearean Comedy, Tempest-Toss’d: Genre, Social Transformation, and Contemporary Performance’, in A. R. Guneratne (ed.), Shakespeare and Genre: From Early Modern Inheritances to Postmodern Legacies, 137–52, New York: Palgrave. Hope, J. and M. Witmore (2010), ‘The Hundredth Psalm to the Tune of “Green Sleeves”: Digital Approaches to Shakespeare’s Language of Genre’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 61: 357–90. Howard, J. E. (1999), ‘Shakespeare and Genre’, in D. S. Kastan (ed.), A Companion to Shakespeare, 297–310, Malden: Blackwell. Howard, J. E. (2007), ‘Shakespeare, Geography, and the Work of Genre on the Early Modern Stage’, in S. Cohen (ed.), Shakespeare and Historical Formalism, 49–67, Aldershot: Ashgate. Huang, A. (2011), ‘Comical Tragedies and Other Polygeneric Shakespeares in Contemporary China and Diasporic Chinese Culture’, in A. R. Guneratne (ed.), Shakespeare and Genre: From Early Modern Inheritances to Postmodern Legacies, 157–72, New York: Palgrave. Iser, W. (1978), The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Jameson, F. (1981), The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Jensen, P. (2004), ‘Singing Psalms to Horn-Pipes: Festivity, Iconoclasm, and Catholicism in The Winter’s Tale’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 55: 279–306. Kolb, L. (2019), ‘The Very Modern Anger of Shakespeare’s Women’, Electric Literature, 6 February. Available online: https://electricliterature.com/the-very-modern-anger-ofshakespeares-women/ (accessed 14 June 2019). Lanier, D. M. (2011), ‘“I’ll Teach You Differences”: Genre Literacy, Critical Pedagogy, and Screen Shakespeare’, in A. R. Guneratne (ed.), Shakespeare and Genre: From Early Modern Inheritances to Postmodern Legacies, 257–70, New York: Palgrave. Lesser, Z. (2007), ‘Tragical-Comical-Pastoral-Colonial: Economic Sovereignty, Globalization, and the Form of Tragicomedy’, ELH, 74: 881–908. Levine, C. (2015), Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Levinson, M. (2007), ‘What Is New Formalism?’, PMLA, 122: 558–69. Lupton, J. R. (1996), Afterlives of the Saints: Hagiography, Typology, and Renaissance Literature, Stanford: Stanford University Press. McMullan, G. and J. Hope (1992), The Politics of Tragicomedy: Shakespeare and After, London: Routledge. Miola, R. S. (1992), Shakespeare and Classical Tragedy: The Influence of Seneca, Oxford: Clarendon. Miola, R. S. (1994), Shakespeare and Classical Comedy: The Influence of Plautus and Terence, Oxford: Clarendon. Newcomb, L. H. (2002), Reading Popular Romance in Early Modern England, New York: Columbia University Press. Nuttall, A. D. (1966), William Shakespeare: The Winter’s Tale, London: Edward Arnold.

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Pitcher, J., ed. (2010), ‘Introduction’, in The Winter’s Tale, 1–135, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Rasmussen, M. D., ed. (2002), ‘Introduction: New Formalisms?’, in Renaissance Literature and Its Formal Engagements, 1–14, New York: Palgrave. Roberts, S. (2007), ‘Feminist Criticism and the New Formalism: Early Modern Women and Literary Engagement’, in D. Callaghan (ed.), The Impact of Feminism in English Renaissance Studies, 67–92, New York: Palgrave. Schmidt, G. A. (2013), Renaissance Hybrids: Culture and Genre in Early Modern England, Farnham: Ashgate. Shakespeare, W. ([1623] 2006), Hamlet: The Texts of 1603 and 1623, ed. A. Thompson and N. Taylor, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. ([1623] 2010), The Winter’s Tale, ed. J. Pitcher, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shklovsky, V. (1990), Theory of Prose, trans. B. Sher, Elmwood Park: Dalkey Archive. Sidney, P. ([1595] 2002), An Apology for Poetry, Or, the Defence of Poesy, ed. G. Shepherd and R. W. Maslen, 3rd edn, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Stone, L. (1965), The Crisis of the Aristocracy, 1558–1641, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Strier, R. (2002), ‘How Formalism Became a Dirty Word, and Why We Can’t Do Without It’, in M. D. Rasmussen (ed.), Renaissance Literature and Its Formal Engagements, 207–15, New York: Palgrave. Todorov, T. (1990), ‘The Origin of Genres’, in Genres in Discourse, trans. C. Porter, 13–26, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tynyanov, Y. (2000), ‘The Literary Fact’, trans. A. Shukman, in D. Duff (ed.), Modern Genre Theory, 29–49, Harlow: Longman. Williams, R. (1977), Marxism and Literature, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Zucker, A. (2011), The Places of Wit in Early Modern English Comedy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

CHAPTER 1.3

Character studies MICHAEL BRISTOL

It might be said that character studies represents the trailing edge in Shakespeare criticism. To this, I would reply that the trailing edge is integral to the structure of an aeroplane’s wing, and, moreover, it is where certain features are located required for stability in flight. Conventional wisdom in our field holds that character study is a thing of the past, a leftover from the defunct culture of nineteenth-century Romanticism. For some it is even worse, a banal ideological formation devised to mystify and to promote the prevailing ideology of bourgeois individualism (Belsey 1985: ix; Bristol 1990: 73 ff.). Sometimes I wonder if we are just too wised up for our own good. This essay will argue for a radically different view of character study as the indispensable element for serious critical engagement with Shakespeare’s works. After all, what else is there to talk about once we recognize that the actions performed by the dramatis personae are what distinguishes dramatic art from other narrative genres? My basic claim, then, is that character study is the general case of theoretical orientation to dramatic art and that other theories are specific instantiations, each built on its own specialized vocabulary. I realize that this is a sweeping assertion, if it is not altogether outrageous, but my hope is that it will gradually seem a little more plausible as my argument develops. This essay begins with the observation that a work of dramatic art emphatically foregrounds the activity of its characters, a realization already obvious in literary inquiry of antiquity. Using a combination of philological research and reception history, I will then address discoveries about Shakespeare’s characters in the eighteenth-century literary public sphere to show how these reflect a deep engagement with the moral seriousness of Shakespearean drama. Following from this, I propose to address the problem familiarly known as ‘confusing fictional characters with real people’ by arguing for an alternative view of the ontology of fictional agents. In a final section, I look at what Cordelia does and what happens to her to suggest that we are far from reaching the full development of character study – because the characters are not yet done with us. In a sense, the argument I propose to conduct hardly needs elaboration, since it is an open secret that many scholars continue to traffic in character study, generally sailing under false colours so as to avoid hostile attention. This is possible because the study of character is fully compatible with many other theoretical orientations. I hold no brief to disparage other theories. There are obviously many heuristic strategies that can help us articulate the complexity of Shakespeare’s art. But I do want to maintain that

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full engagement with the richness of his dramatic characters is a necessary if not a sufficient condition for reaching an understanding with his works.

‘TO ACT, TO DO, TO PERFORM’ Dramatic art is a mode of narrative representation in which we see ‘characters living and moving before us’ (Aristotle 1968: 7). Showing and doing by means of actors representing fictional agents – characters – are the primary expressive vectors in dramatic art, and the presence of the actor-in-character is what distinguishes drama from other narrative modes, where actions are mediated by a storyteller’s voice. We can get a better sense of both ‘doing’ as theatrical performance and ‘showing’ as the existential condition of the performing artist in the notion of scripted embodiment (Rokem 2010). The actor is fully present as a real person, but the actions performed are fictional, an equivocal state of affairs that has been viewed by some observers as false, derivative, meretricious. The most sensible way to engage with the narrative unfolding of dramatic action, however, is to accept the equivocal terms of dramatic art by seeing the action as spectator and hearing the character’s speech as audience. It is not the only way to engage with drama, because we can have the script without the embodiment when we read, but this does not release us from our obligations to the characters who are present for us in our own imagination. In Part 6 of the Poetics, Aristotle argues for the primacy of plot as the indispensable requirement in the perfection of dramatic form, since it is a representation ‘not of men, but of an action and of life, and life consists in action, and its end is a mode of action, not a quality’ (1968: 62). Aristotle’s concept of action is unintelligible without presupposing agents who pursue happiness in what they do. Action, along with act and acting, refers to forms of world engagement that a real person might undertake. These same terms have a contrasting but equally strong sense of pretence, fictive deeds of dramatic characters during theatrical performances or the phony histrionics of drama queens in real life. The tension creates the first of several productive equivocations that typify the practice of character study by inviting us to react to an actor’s performance in much the same way as we respond to our friends, family members and those annoying colleagues who write articles we don’t agree with. A meaningful approach to this material has to start by working out exactly what happens to the characters and what they do as they follow their narrative trajectory. The difficulty is that Shakespeare’s dramatic fictions are incompletely determined, filled with important scenes he never wrote, and so understanding what happens requires using our background knowledge of how the world works to fill in significant detail about what isn’t explicitly stated. We can often give an accurate account of the actions characters perform, but explaining why they do things is generally more speculative. This is no less true of the annoying colleagues. Shakespeare has often been described as elusive, and it is certainly true that there is very little to go on when specifying what set of beliefs he was trying to promote. Characters are living and moving, showing and doing, without any apparent supervision by an authorizing voice and therefore no authorial guidance to regulate

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our response. This state of affairs is going to generate uncertainties, whether we are confronted with real actors on stage or imaginary persons conjured up in our own minds. ‘Students of philosophy typically operate with the assumption that the propositions contained in the texts they analyse can also be treated as statements of beliefs,’ as Quentin Skinner observes. ‘It would be extremely unwise, however, to make any comparable assumptions about Shakespeare’s texts … There is almost no evidence outside his works that would enable us to corroborate any claims we might feel inclined to make about his plays as statements of his beliefs’ (2009: 271). What Skinner doesn’t quite manage to say here is that a philosophical treatise can never capture the experiential density of a work of art. The clarity and conceptual precision of a philosophical argument comes at the rather significant cost of anything like the felt immediacy of any one of Shakespeare’s performance texts. Nevertheless, entire libraries of books have been written claiming that Shakespeare’s beliefs, his political allegiances, his orientation in a space of ethical questions can be adduced by sufficient immersion in documents from his historical context. Under the circumstances, then, I believe we should embrace the heterogeneity of his works, their provisional and unfinished construction, the multiplicity of viewpoints set forth by one or another character. Rather than trying to discover a comprehensive standard of value or a singular point of view, we will have to be satisfied with what the actors moving and doing put before us. Because in the end the only point of view that is going to matter is right where you are watching the action from Seat 14, Row F.

‘ABOVE THE DIRECTION OF THEIR TAILORS’ Although it is primarily associated with nineteenth-century Romanticism, character study is a series of discoveries by late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century critics. Character is a complex word in English, with a broad range of usage, much of which can be found in Shakespeare, although he does not use this word in its sense of a dramatic agent (Porter 1991). The term of art for Shakespeare is ‘persons of the drama’. The first use of character in the OED to signify ‘a person portrayed in a work of fiction, a drama, a film’ appears in 1664 in the dedication to John Dryden’s The Rival Ladies: ‘He may be allow’d sometimes to Err, who undertakes to move so many Characters and Humours as are requisite in a Play’ (1965: 95). He goes on to specify that he is talking about ‘imaginary persons’. This observation by a working playwright seems to confirm my earlier suggestion that the characters in a drama are not always under the control of the author. Dryden’s use of character as his term for the role performed by a human actor is a belated usage, developing along lines of metonymic drift and thus preserving traces of many earlier significations. In Ancient Greek, character is an engraving tool. Our English word, character, comes from this notion of engraving, and thus its semantic links are with ideas of marking, writing, scarring. Eventually the word takes on a contrasting sense of something distinctive within a person that motivates their actions: ‘those principles from which men would act, if occasions and circumstance gave them

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power; and which, when fixed and habitual in any person, we call his character’ (Butler 1896: 330). Shakespeare uses character at least once to indicate outward appearance: ‘I will believe thou hast a mind that suits / With this thy fair and outward character’ (TN 1.2.47–8). There is also an ambiguous suggestion of something hidden within, apparent only to a few: ‘Angelo / There is a kind of character in thy life / That doth to the observer thy history / Fully unfold’ (MM 1.1.28–30). Dryden’s adaptation of the word to signify the role played by an actor in one of his plays then equivocates between what is revealed and what is hidden. But this will be a productive and in some sense a necessary equivocation that speaks to what is essential for the genres of dramatic art. As a working dramatist, Dryden saw that character could stand for the conceptual richness of his idea that fictive persons must be endowed by their creator with both a gestural style and a complex interior life made evident in and through their demeanour. The earliest critical essay on the ‘persons’ of Shakespeare’s art appears as letter 123 in Margaret Cavendish’s CCXI Sociable Letters Written by the Thrice Noble, Illustrious, and Excellent Princess, the Lady Marchioness of Newcastle (1664). Cavendish defended Shakespeare both for the realism of such figures as Cleopatra and for the variety of the social landscape he created in his plays. She was notably enthusiastic about The Merry Wives of Windsor, suggesting that the vivid depictions of Mrs Page and Mrs Ford might almost make you think Shakespeare was a woman. Her comments on Shakespeare’s tragic figures manage to summarize the force of character criticism in just one complex sentence: ‘in his Tragick Vein, he Presents Passions so Naturally, and Misfortunes so Probably, as he Peirces the Souls of his Readers with such a True Sense and Feeling thereof, that it Forces Tears through their Eyes, and almost Perswades them, they are Really Actors, or at least Present at those Tragedies’ (1664). Cavendish does not adopt Dryden’s usage of the term character in her discussion of Shakespeare’s psychological and social realism. The convergence comes later among eighteenth-century critics who found Shakespeare’s characters remarkable in their refusal to conform to predictable social expectations: ‘Shakespeare’s characters are standards of fashion: like Gentlemen that are above the Direction of their Tailors, and can adorn themselves without the Aid of Imitation’ (Theobald 1733: ii–iii). Gentleman above the direction of their tailors exhibit agency, not only in their appearance but also in their social conduct. As the editor of Shakespeare’s Works, the oft-maligned Lewis Theobald was surprised to find similar marks of distinction and idiosyncratic patterns of self-expression in the dramatis personae of the plays. Shakespeare’s characters are not foppish imitations, and here the equivocation always present in any notion of character is weighted towards what we can see and what commands our respect. In 1769, Elizabeth Montagu published what may be the earliest full-length critical monograph on Shakespeare’s plays. Her book was published anonymously, evidently because she was concerned that her ideas would not be taken seriously if they were proposed by a woman. Despite its almost complete neglect since Montagu’s death in 1800, her book is paradigmatic for the structure of almost every volume of Shakespeare criticism written since its publication. She follows Aristotle

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in defining dramatic narrative as ‘The imitation of the actions of men, by means of the actions themselves’ (1810: 25). Of immediate interest here, however, is her brief account of Shakespeare’s art of characterization: ‘The dramatis personae of Shakespeare are men, frail by constitution, hurt by ill habits, faulty and unequal: but they speak with human voices, are actuated by human passions, and are engaged in the common affairs of human life. We are interested in what they do, or say, by feeling, every moment, that they are of the same nature as ourselves’ (1810: 60). Although this echoes Theobald’s sense of the idiosyncratic self-affirmation of Shakespeare’s characters, Montagu’s articulation sounds quite different from gentlemen above the direction of their tailors. Her account is far more sensitive to the inner life of the dramatis personae. She is interested in what lies behind their self-affirmation, attributes we can only sense by way of sympathetic identification. Cavendish, Theobald and Montagu can serve as illustrations of the foundational principles of character study. It is a deep, solid foundation, and it persists in spite of recent efforts to dislodge or marginalize the patterns of response it supports. Character criticism expands and flourishes throughout the nineteenth century, notably in discussions by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Hazlitt, Anna Jameson, Mary Cowden Clarke and many others. The great summa of this tradition is A. C. Bradley’s Shakespearean Tragedy, first published in 1904. This book of 400+ pages is still in print today, and also available in more than one online edition, more than a century after it first appeared. Bradley’s book has had the rather paradoxical effect of contributing to the eclipse of character criticism for much twentieth-century scholarship. After Bradley it seemed that there couldn’t possibly be anything more to say about Macbeth, or Hamlet, or Othello. And his encyclopedic style of discussion came to seem passé for generations of critics influenced by literary modernism. Of course when something is in eclipse it has not ceased to exist; something is just getting in the way of seeing it. Eventually the shadow passes. Among the many and various more recent examples of character study, I want to single out two particularly noteworthy discussions that have not had the kind of recognition they deserve. Bert States’s Hamlet and the Concept of Character examines the actor’s task in delineating the character they are enlisted to play. The challenge is to articulate a strong sense of personal identity despite a proliferation of varied traits and unanticipated behaviours. Dramatic character, in States’s account, is localized in the first instance in the actor’s body and fully achieved through a complex dialogue between actor and text. The basic intuition here is that each one of us encounters the world in a first-person orientation, but we nevertheless must interact with our social environment in a way that has a significant impact on others’ actions. Actors then have to create their make-believe characters in an uneasy balance between their agency and the external contingencies that frustrate and constrain their desires. This is true both at the level of performing and of what is performed. Actors have to trust each other on stage and open up their characters to significant interaction with each other. Our interest in fictional character flows from an interest we take in other people and from our need to grasp their intentions and beliefs as well as their unconscious motives. ‘Character is the qualitative and intentional face of human action’ (States 1992: 143).

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Christy Desmet’s Reading Shakespeare’s Characters: Rhetoric, Ethics, and Identity builds on Aristotle’s discussion of character and action to develop a robust picture of the representation of human selves in drama. Her primary focus is on the idea of character as the ‘ethical identity’ of Shakespeare’s dramatis personae. For Desmet, character is actualized in and through rhetorical practices. The rhetoric of Shakespeare’s blank verse is the raw material out of which an actor creates a dramatic character. Reading Shakespeare’s Characters begins with a discussion of criticism’s unwillingness to acknowledge Ophelia’s character as a rhetor, that is, as a linguistic agent capable of expressing an important part of the truth about her world. Ophelia’s fate, both in narrative and in criticism, is to be seen and objectified but not to be heard. ‘The rhetoric available to Ophelia conspires to silence her’ (Desmet 1992: 13). Bert States also has much to say along these lines on the character of Ophelia. The aim of both discussions is to recover a fuller sense of Ophelia’s agency and of the complex social networks in which she finds herself fatally enmeshed ‘When down her weedy trophies and herself / Fell in the weeping brook’ (Ham 4.7.174–5). This chapter builds on some of the essays in Shakespeare and Character: Theory, History, Performance and Theatrical Persons, edited by Paul Yachnin and Jessica Slights (2009). Further evidence of the renewed vitality of character criticism will be found in Shakespeare’s Sense of Character: On the Page and from the Stage, edited by Yu Jin Ko and Michael W. Shurgot (2012). Face-to-Face in Shakespearean Drama: Ethics, Performance Philosophy, edited by Matthew James Smith and Julia Reinhard Lupton (2019), is an exceptionally strong collection of essays on the forms of oneon-one dramatic encounters. Shakespeare’s characters exhibit an existential singularity that demands our respect. They are like themselves alone and thus in some sense opaque. Nevertheless, it is possible for us to engage sympathetically with their passions and feel genuine emotion when they come to grief. This is not exactly a theory, if by theory we mean an abstract paradigm that enables us to explain a given set of phenomena, in this case a fully specified population of fictional beings created by Shakespeare. It would be better to recognize the basic principles of character study as an ethical orientation, recognizing Shakespeare’s plays as a domain of value. On this view the study of Shakespeare’s plays is best understood as belonging to the field of moral inquiry. And, of course, this depends to a great extent on our ability to engage with Shakespeare’s characters as if they are real people, ‘of the same nature as ourselves’ (Montagu 1810: 60).

CONSIDER HAMLET AS A RECENTLY DECEASED ACQUAINTANCE The suggestion is taken from an essay by Hartley Coleridge (1828: 585): his intention was to focus on Hamlet’s character without getting distracted by speculating on what Shakespeare was thinking when he created the part for an actor to perform. What is wrong with talking about fictional characters as if they were real people? What would

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be the alternative? I can think of no widely accepted vocabulary for talking about fictional characters as if they weren’t real people. Instead of complaining about this as if it were hopelessly naïve, I think it would be more honest to recognize Coleridge’s suggestion as an acknowledgement of the imaginative power of Shakespeare’s art. Resistance to what is otherwise a completely understandable response to the agents who populate a work of fiction has little to do with metaphysical distinctions between the actual and the imaginary. If you’ve ever played with a doll or an action figure, you already know this. And, in fact, the objection to ‘confusing’ fictional characters with real people has been put to rest for us as early as Samuel Johnson’s preface to his edition of Shakespeare’s Works: It is false, that any representation is mistaken for reality; that any dramatick fable in its materiality was ever credible, or, for a single moment, was ever credited … The truth is that the spectators are always in their senses, and know, from the first act to the last, that the stage is only a stage, and that the players are only players. (1968: 76–7) We hardly need an authority like Samuel Johnson to point this out, however. The average four-year-old can explain make-believe. She can also trick you into eating make-believe cookies made out of Play-Doh. What is often referred to as ‘talking about fictional characters as if they were real people’ is the use of folk psychology as a heuristic for interpretation. Folk psychology is a life skill that everyone acquires in some form. It is based on the assumption that persons, including make-believe ones, have reasons for what they do but that those reasons are frequently opaque. This is a necessary resource for our everyday social interactions, but it is also constitutive of our ethical stance, the way we are oriented ‘in a space of moral questions’ (Taylor 1989: 29). What’s being described as a ‘confusion’, then, is perhaps better understood as a capability, applying an already acquired life skill to a highly detailed thought experiment. It also suggests that works of dramatic art have the specific moral gravity to engage our faculties of practical reason and judgement. Fictional characters are not biological organisms; everybody gets that. But it does not follow from this that fictional characters are not real. It would be better for us to recognize Hamlet as a simulation generated by an author’s text. ‘He is, in the most restricted sense, a series of words, of inscriptions and sounds … a program of sorts, a relatively short patch of code designed to write (in the mind, in text, on stage) infinite renditions of itself’ (Brodsky 2012: 158). These infinite renditions – scripted embodiments – appear in reality whenever we read, or even think about, the play. In a theatrical performance, the ‘patch of code’ is uploaded to an actor’s body, achieving highly visible, although temporary, sensuous concreteness. An even simpler way to express this is to point out that, in the fictional universe of a Shakespeare play, the characters are real people acting in a possible world and to pretend otherwise is to miss the point of dramatic art. The mixed reasoning that enables us to respond fully and coherently to a fictional character is, strictly speaking, a logical fallacy, combining premises drawn partly from the fictional world and partly from lived experience (Lewis 1983). Informal fallacy or not, however,

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the case looks very different once we recognize that mixed reasoning is the faculty of imagination, not always conformable to the strict logical standards of analytic philosophers but all the more powerful because of that freedom. Discomfort about ‘confusing’ fictional characters with our close friends and annoying colleagues is real discomfort, and it should not be dismissed as a groundless prejudice. But things are not what they appear to be. For one thing, the apparent confusion is really a concern about the necessity of putting ourselves in the picture. If you take character study seriously, there is no place to hide. The discomfort we might feel about this supposed confusion is the misrecognition of a deeper anxiety about the possibility of surrendering to genuine emotional anguish in response to what happens in a Shakespeare play. Bertolt Brecht’s mistrust of empathy is widely known, and he is at some pains to protect his audiences from getting emotionally involved by the use of various estrangement devices. This has had a significant impact on critics who take a strong political stand in their writing (Coodin 2012: 64–5). But it is T. S. Eliot who has had a far greater influence over the way we are trained in the profession of literary inquiry. In The Sacred Wood, Eliot counsels us to reject the typical response of a sentimental person for whom ‘a work of art arouses all sorts of emotions which have nothing to do with that work of art whatever, but are accidents of personal association’ (1997: 5). I still remember admonitions in graduate school to exhibit ‘maturity’ in responding to the objects of literary scholarship, and Eliot’s name was frequently invoked in support of these attitudes. In retrospect, I wonder why our teachers then were so deeply concerned with anaesthetizing us to the emotional power of great works of art. What existential losses do we incur through our disciplinary attitude of disenchantment? Is it possible that readers who integrate their personal associations into their understanding of a work of dramatic art maintain some kind of critical advantage simply by virtue of their own apparent naïveté?

‘JUST LIKE MY SUCKY LITTLE SISTER’ Thinking about the challenge of any work of art, Marly Krushkhova observes, ‘It was sometimes best, when it came to the mystery that was art, to come as a child. The child saw things that were too obvious, too evident for the trained eye’ (Gibson 1986: 129). I think the young woman who spoke up in my class one day to insist Cordelia was ‘just like my sucky little sister’ was deeply hurt by what she was seeing in King Lear and defenceless against the emotional devastation the play can wreak on anyone. She was particularly upset by the way other characters in the play and critics who write about the play all rush to Cordelia’s defence. What would happen if we were to acknowledge her resistance and take that emotion as the starting point of our interpretation of Cordelia and her family? The first thing to notice is that this observation would only be made by an older sister – Goneril, let’s say – living and moving before us. How well do we understand her point of view or Regan’s, and, for that matter, does anyone bother to acknowledge that the sisters are differentiated characters, each with a distinct point of view? Generally, we hardly even notice

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them as anything other than personifications of badness. If you are an actor whose task is to perform the role of Goneril or of Regan, you might be looking for a richer motivational scenario, something that draws on your full creative resources. As soon as we recognize the human presence of the two older sisters, we are made aware of the role played by Cordelia in bringing about the family disaster. A family does not run on frank dialogue and rational deliberation like civil society; it has an emotional structure that bears a striking resemblance to a royal court. To have a sufficient grasp of each character, we would need to recognize how each is situated in the various knots and double binds of the family’s history of giving and taking (Laing 1972; Bateson 1972: 271–8). Goneril understands the game she is expected to play. She knows what her father wants and, after all, he is dispensing considerable largesse at the moment, so why not give it to him? In any case, her response to her father’s embarrassing demands is, presumably, motivated by the intent to keep peace in the family. There is such a thing as genuine phoniness and we all know what it sounds like. It is what we do to avoid hurting another person’s feelings, to keep the flow of social interaction running smoothly and to reinforce the connections we weave with friends, family, colleagues (Kingwell 1993). And in fact the desire to keep peace in the family can be honestly felt even if it is dishonestly expressed: Sir, I do love you more than word can wield the matter, Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty, Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare. (1.1.55–7) This is over the top, no doubt about that, but is it therefore necessarily insincere and calculating? Can this not be performed as a desperate expression of unrequited love, an extravagant plea for tenderness from an older child deeply hurt by the lavish affection shown by her father to a younger sibling? What we see in the first scene in King Lear is not the first move in the game. This is a ceremonial occasion, but it is also a family gathering where everybody is looking sideways. Lawrence Becker has described family relationships as profound, characterized by both depth and by obscurity. Interactions occur with such frequency over the course of a lifetime, where giving and taking are so tightly condensed, that it becomes impossible to calculate benefits and obligations (1990: 185). If the little sister always gets a bigger scoop of ice cream, then it stands to reason that the big sister will have built up a reservoir of grievance. And, of course, the little sister does not understand why the big sister should resent her role as the favoured child, since, after all, the big sister is mean to her when the parent is not looking. So a family is also a system of wounds that can’t be mended and debts that can’t be paid. What Goneril and Regan say in response to Lear’s question is easy to dismiss as the usual family hypocrisy. As most of us know all too well, however, there can be worse things than the usual family hypocrisy. Tact, diplomacy, sensitivity to the feelings of others have an important social function, more so perhaps in families than in any other mise-en-scène, because you might blurt out something to one of your

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relatives your wife will never be able to forgive you for. Given the circumstances – the king’s abdication, the allocation of land, the impending announcement of Cordelia’s marriage – what does the most damage is Cordelia’s honesty in saying to her father, ‘I love your majesty according to my bond, no more no less.’ What makes this so shocking is that Cordelia has a fairly obvious alternative. She can easily come up with a rhetorically lavish profession of her love – and she wouldn’t even be lying. And, in that case, she gets the bigger scoop of ice cream and she gets to waltz off to France with her new husband, leaving the two older sisters to look after their ageing and difficult parent. Lear is not a particularly sympathetic character, and a lot of what happens in the play exhibits the full extent of his suffering. It is easy to feel that he has brought this upon himself. But it is Cordelia’s choice that motivates the story. So why doesn’t she just take the money and run? In the unlikely event that I were being asked to perform this role, I would focus most of my attention on trying to answer this question. ‘Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies’ (Prov. 31.10). This view of Cordelia and her virtue is certainly part of the play. The King of France is even willing to marry her without a dowry: Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich being poor, Most choice forsaken and most loved despised, Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon, Be it lawful I take up what’s cast away. Gods, gods! ’Tis strange that from their cold’st neglect My love should kindle to inflamed respect. (1.1.252–7) Other men rush to her defence as well – Kent, the Fool, Stanley Cavell – all take her side, holding Lear uniquely responsible for everything bad that happens in the play. And, of course, this exacerbates the ‘sucky little sister’ scenario if you’re able to understand this from the perspective of the older sisters, who see less of virtue in her than the desire to get the biggest reward without having to do anything to earn it. Cordelia’s virtue is her insistence on the truth and the courage to express it. Her father is asking too much, and she resents his determination to stage this embarrassing charade, with her sisters and her prospective husband watching. Faced with choosing between a gift that will leave her perpetually indebted and maintaining her integrity, Cordelia decides defending her independent personhood is the better alternative. If we can see Goneril’s words as needy and expressive of unrequited love, can we not then see Cordelia’s speech as a mature and dignified refusal to demean herself, where ‘no more no less’ (1.1.93) articulates her own sense of self-possession? Rabbi Hillel would ask, ‘If I am not for myself, who will be for me?’ Aristotle would argue for the value of self-love, a deep respect for the value of personal excellence (1962: 273–6). Nietzsche would call it living for herself in trust and openness (1996: 24). I find her self-affirmation admirable. But her timing could not be worse. People are judged for the consequences of their actions, notwithstanding the excellence of their

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character. And, in any case, we can’t be sure whether this is her all-things-considered best judgement or an impulsive, panicky response to an unbearable situation. The problem is not that Cordelia makes the wrong choice. I have no interest in accusing her of bad faith or of plotting with the King of France to take over the country, Bolingbroke-wise, by launching an invasion. The problem is that no acceptable choices seem to be available. Her response has to satisfy the requirements of an extremely complex situation. We can say, however, that Cordelia exhibits the virtues of honesty and fortitude in a situation that cries out for prudence. Virtue, it seems, is not the answer to every ethical question. And here we reach the last of the several equivocations that character study must embrace. As with action and character, virtue is a complex word in English. It has its greatest currency as the word for any of several morally admirable qualities, often as a synonym for a woman’s chastity but also including notions of honesty, fortitude, prudence, generosity and the like. But virtue also retains the older sense derived from Classical Greek, arete, personal excellence, an ensemble of discrete virtues that enable us with a capacity to act upon the world. Shakespeare’s usage of virtue slides between any of the particular dispositions, chastity, let’s say, for Isabella and the larger sense of personal excellence and self-affirmation. For many characters, virtue in either sense is fallible when, as often happens, it is too narrowly embraced – Coriolanus’s courage would be the exemplary case. Virtue makes characters vulnerable when it serves the interest of self-deception. Cordelia is deceived in thinking Lear’s love for her is unconditional. But she is also deceived about her love for him, as she comes to realize she cannot control his actions. Cordelia herself uses virtue only once, when she invokes the healing properties of those simples that give promise to relieve her father’s anguish: All blest secrets, All you unpublished virtues of the earth, Spring with my tears. Be aidant and remediate In the good man’s distress. (4.4.15–18) There is temporary remission of the wrongs done on both sides in her acts of contrition. Sadly, ‘all you unpublished virtues of the earth’ are not enough; forgiveness comes too late and their deaths are without consolation. I have to believe that Cordelia’s virtue, understood as the excellence of character that motivate her actions, flows from the goodness of her disposition, but it is also the proximate cause of her undoing. The play Shakespeare wrote is unbearable. ‘I might relate that I was many years ago so shocked by Cordelia’s death,’ as Johnson notes, ‘that I know not whether I ever endured to read again the last scenes of the play till I undertook to revise them as an editor’. But you can’t change the ending, no matter how unbearable it is; according to Lord Morpheus, ‘the great stories will always return to their original form’ (Gaiman and Zulli 1990). Or, as another student of mine once said, ‘One must be prepared to crack and to extract one’s own suffering from this fiction.’

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CODA Drama is an art unfolding in time, like music or dance or gardening. The work of the theatrical performer is to embody for us the fluid, often uncertain development of their character’s states of mind. The work of literary inquiry is similar, mapping the response of individual characters to the larger narrative trajectory and coordinating that response with what is subjectively meaningful. On this view, character study asks for a performance; not just the one we are watching or the one we are imagining as we read but the self-reflexive one we feel and comprehend in our own response. Performance is another complex, equivocal word, it seems. A physician is said to perform surgery on the anaesthetized body of a patient in an operating theatre. A musician performs a composition by playing their violin. An actor performs the role of Cordelia. Skilled world-engagement is the common element in these usages, which embrace both actual lives and fictional imaginings. Years ago I taught King Lear at the end of every semester. In the final lecture I would conclude by reading these lines: ‘When we are born we cry that we are come / To this great stage of fools’ (4.6.178–9). I would say, ‘This is the cadence of King Lear. I think it is one of the greatest things ever written – and it breaks my heart every time.’ My eyes would tear up, my voice would break, and the room would go dead quiet. They would wait until I left the podium before they packed up and rustled out. Thinking back on this, I have to smile. It was just a performance. But it had to be real to work the way it did.

REFERENCES Aristotle (1962), Ethics, trans. J. A. K. Thomson, Harmondsworth: Penguin. Aristotle (1968), Poetics, trans. H. S. Butcher and F. Fergusson, New York: Hill and Wang. Bateson, G. (1972), Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology, Chicago: University Chicago Press. Becker, L. (1990), Reciprocity, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Belsey, C. (1985), The Subject of Tragedy: Identity and Difference in Renaissance Drama, London: Methuen. Bradley, A. C. ([1904] 1991), Shakespearean Tragedy, foreword by J. Bayley, Harmondsworth: Penguin. Bristol, M. (1990), Shakespeare’s America / America’s Shakespeare, London: Routledge. Brodsky, S. (2012), ‘Britten as Author: Six Notes on a Mystic Writing Pad’, in Great Shakespeareans, vol. 11, 158–204, London: Continuum. Butler, J. (1896), The Analogy of Religion Natural and Revealed to the Constitution and Course of Nature, Oxford: Clarendon. Cavendish, M. (1664), CCXI Sociable Letters Written by the Thrice Noble, Illustrious, and Excellent Princess, the Lady Marchioness of Newcastle, London: J. Tonson. Coleridge, H. (1828), ‘On the Character of Hamlet’, Blackwoods Magazine, 24: 585–92.

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Coodin, S. (2012), ‘Fiction, Emotion, and Moral Agency’, Forum: Shakespeare and Moral Agency, Shakespeare Studies, 40: 63–9. Desmet, C. (1992), Reading Shakespeare’s Characters: Rhetoric, Ethics, and Identity, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. Dryden, J. ([1664] 1965), ‘Dedication to the Right Honourable Roger, Early of Orrery, The Rival Ladies’, in The Works of John Dryden, vol. 8, Plays: The Wild Gallant, The Rival Ladies, The Indian Queen, 95–102, Berkeley: University of California. Eliot, T. S. (1997), ‘The Perfect Critic’, in The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism, 2nd edn, London: Faber. Gaiman, N. and M. Zulli (1990), ‘Men of Good Fortune’, in The Sandman 13, New York: DC Comics. Gibson, W. (1986), Count Zero, New York: Ace. Johnson, S. (1968), ‘Preface’ and ‘Notes to Measure for Measure’, in A. Sherbo (ed.), The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, vol. 7, New Haven: Yale University Press. Kingwell, M. (1993), ‘Is It Rational to Be Polite?’, Journal of Philosophy, 90: 387–404. Laing, R. D. (1972), Knots, New York: Vintage. Lewis, D. (1983), ‘Truth in Fiction’, in Philosophical Papers, vol. 1, 261–80, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Montagu, E. ([1769] 1810), An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespeare Compared with the Greek and French Dramatic Poets, with Some Remarks upon the Misrepresentations of Mons. de Voltaire, London: Harding and Wright. Nietzsche, F. (1996), Genealogy of Morals, trans. D. Smith, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Porter, J. (1991), ‘Character and Ideology in Shakespeare’, in I. Kamps (ed.), Shakespeare Left and Right, 131–46, New York: Routledge. Rokem, F. (2010), Philosophers and Thespians: Thinking Performance, Stanford: Stanford University Press. Skinner, Q. (2009), ‘Afterword: Shakespeare and Humanist Culture’, in D. Armitage, C. Condren and A. Fitzmaurice (eds), Shakespeare and Early Modern Political Thought, 271–81, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Smith, M. J. and J. R. Lupton, eds (2019), Face-to-Face in Shakespearean Drama: Ethics, Performance Philosophy, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. States, B. O. (1992), Hamlet and the Concept of Character, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Taylor, C. (1989), Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Theobald, L. (1733), ‘Preface’, in The Works of Shakespeare in Seven Volumes, London: J. Tonson. Yachnin, P. and J. Slights, eds (2009), Shakespeare and Character: Theory, History, Performance and Theatrical Persons, New York: Palgrave MacMillan. Yu, J. K. and M. W. Shurgot, eds (2012), Shakespeare’s Sense of Character: On the Page and from the Stage, Burlington: Ashgate.

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PART TWO

Challenges to traditional liberal humanism

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CHAPTER 2.1

Marxist studies CHRISTIAN SMITH

Similar to feminist, race and queer Shakespeare criticism, Marxist Shakespeare criticism has an activist aim – critique of the problems of the present time rooted in a close reading of Shakespeare’s texts and performances. Feminist criticism confronts misogyny, race criticism confronts racism, and queer criticism confronts homophobia. Similarly, Marxist criticism confronts a problem; it interprets Shakespeare in light of that problem. What is the problem it confronts? The answer to this question is not uncomplicated. In fact, it is fiercely contested, because the problem is so fundamental to contemporary life that to admit it is a problem is to end up in critical engagement with all institutions of modernity. If one is genuinely committed to one’s criticism, then the logical conclusion of Marxist Shakespeare criticism is an activist political stance. This is asserted in Karl Marx’s 11th Thesis on Feuerbach: ‘The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.’1

KARL MARX Searching for the origins of Marxist Shakespeare criticism lands one in an unexpected place – Karl Marx’s childhood. Before Marx was a ‘Marxist’, he was a reader of Shakespeare.2 He was educated by his father’s closest friend, Ludwig von Westphalen, who created a little academy to educate his children and the Marx children. World literature, especially Shakespeare, enlightenment philosophy and Saint-Simonist politics formed the core of the curriculum. The little academy read Shakespeare at home and on walks through the countryside. Marx learned Shakespeare’s lines on foot and in motion. Evidence from the present author’s research suggests that Shakespeare was a formative influence on Marx. He began to quote from and allude to Shakespeare early in his formation as a writer. Marx took ideas that he found first in Shakespeare and made them part of his critique of the political and economic conditions that he faced growing up in Vormärz Germany. He quoted from or alluded to Shakespeare nearly 200 times in his writings; many of these instances occur at key moments in the development of Marx’s thought. Put another way, Marx’s reading of Shakespeare helped Marx develop Marxism. Shakespeare’s plays and poems offered conceptual resources for Marx. A key point to understand here is that the relationship between Marxism

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and Shakespeare studies is genetic; Shakespeare’s lines are written into the DNA of Marxism. At some point during their time in von Westphalen’s little academy, young Karl Marx fell in love with von Westphalen’s daughter, Jenny. Their extant letters reveal that their affection grew from their shared love of literature and their shared political consciousness. They married in 1843 and began a collaborative partnership that not only founded what we call today Marxism but also organized and led revolutionary activity in the nineteenth century. They continued to read and even perform (in their house) Shakespeare throughout their lives. They raised three daughters who became readers, actors and teachers of Shakespeare. In 1877, the Marxes formed a Shakespeare reading and acting club, the Dogberries. Karl led his family on hikes through London, reciting lines from Shakespeare as they walked, just as his mentor had done when he was a child. Shakespeare was a central component of the education in the Marx family. After graduation from university in Berlin, Marx landed a job as a journalist for a liberal newspaper, the Rheinische Zeitung. In his first article, he takes up the question of press censorship (Marx 1975a). The Prussian state, which was the hegemonic core of the German states following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, appointed assemblies to govern its occupied territories and imposed strict censorship on reporting about these assemblies. In the article, Marx, who had been a student of Hegelian philosophy, assesses the state through Enlightenment and Hegelian criteria. He finds that the existing Prussian state fell short of its own ideal. He begins his article with an allusion to Hamlet in which the role of the press is to be a mirror of recognition held up for the people and their institutions. This is an allusion to Hamlet’s line, ‘to hold as ’twere the mirror up to Nature’ (3.2.21–2). Without this mirror, one cannot know oneself; one cannot adequately develop one’s consciousness (Geist). Throughout the article, Marx recruits lines from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, King Lear and The Merchant of Venice to make the case that the Prussian state is not enlightened or just. His critique continues in other articles that he wrote throughout 1842 and 1843, where he also quotes from or alludes to Shakespeare. Then, in October 1842, Marx wrote a long article on the Prussian criminalization of the theft of fallen wood in the forests, in which Marx continues his Hegelian critique of the state but also develops his first economic critique of private property. Once again, he uses lines and scenes from Shakespeare. However, this time Marx arrives at a more radical conclusion; not only does the Prussian state not live up to the philosophical ideal of a good state, but no state functioning within capitalism can live up to this ideal. He shows that private interests, upon which the capitalist state is based, are necessarily diametrically opposed to human interests. He frames his argument using the plot of the trial scene in The Merchant of Venice and quotes the reversal where Portia turns the legal tables on Shylock and strips him of his possessions and his life.3 A close reading of this article reveals where Marx’s developing logic leads him from Left Hegelian philosophy to revolutionary anticapitalism. It is here, in a Shakespearean reading of the historical shift to private property, that Marx became a Marxist.

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Following Marx, critique of the capitalist state is a key task of Marxist Shakespeare criticism. This is a logical and more or less straightforward task in Shakespeare criticism because Shakespeare registered the problems and contradictions of the capitalist absolutist state when it was in its historical embryonic form in the early modern period. In fact, Shakespeare was prophetic about some of the key problems of the modern state and society, including permanent war (in the histories), the distortion caused by a money economy (Timon of Athens, King John) and the authoritarian sovereign and the state of exception (Richard III, Macbeth). The Merchant of Venice, a play which Marx quoted from and alluded to fifteen times in his writings, can be read as a case study for the violent shock of the new economy and its inhumane jurisprudence. Marx’s use of lines from these plays in his development of Marxism makes salient Shakespeare’s critique of the early modern state. As Kiernan Ryan states anachronistically, ‘Shakespeare was a Marxist long before Marx’ (2001: 230). Contemporary Marxist Shakespeareans continue this critical task. They are necessarily presentist in their readings – offering a critical opposition to the contemporary capitalist state and supranational institutions. Marxism is grounded in a critique of capitalism. The critique is not simply economic; instead it reads capitalism as a historical world system maintained by a specific set of social relations between classes and between nations divided into core and periphery. There exists, in Shakespeare studies, a type of criticism called new economic criticism. This body of work looks at economic and quantitative language in the plays. Ivo Kamps writes in the Series Editor’s Preface to an edited volume on new economic criticism that the authors ‘analyze the impact of nascent capitalism, commodity fetishism, commodity markets, the use of debit and credit, international trade, usury, prostitution and pandering, gift exchange, and poverty – all in direct connection to the early modern theater’ (2003: viii). While all of these topics are relevant to Marxist criticism, new economic criticism is not Marxist. What distinguishes the two is the historical revolutionary imperative in Marxism. Marx logically derived revolution from his study of the state, and he did so from the starting point of the plight of the victims of capitalism. Marx used his journalism to elevate material needs to the level of philosophy. He writes in a 14 July 1842 article: Philosophers do not grow on their own like mushrooms out of the ground; they are fruits of their time, of their nation, whose most subtle, valuable and invisible juices flow in the philosophical ideas. The same spirit that constructs railways with the hands of workers, constructs philosophical systems in the brain of philosopher. Philosophy does not exist outside the world, any more than the brain exists outside man because it is not situated in the stomach. (Marx 1975b: 195) Marxist Shakespeare critics can substitute themselves for philosophers in the statement above. They do not simply read economics in Shakespeare; theirs is a political oppositional reading of the social relationships that underlie the economics. Marx’s longest and most developed text, Capital, is a masterpiece of persuasive argumentation that critiques political economy with the intention of constructing working-class consciousness in opposition to capitalism (1977a). The text is

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rich in quotations and allusions from world literature, including at least thirteen Shakespearean instances. Shylock, from The Merchant of Venice, appears at one point standing for the capitalist who rips the heart out of the workers and, at another point, as the worker who loses his life when he loses the means whereby he lives. The plight of the lovers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the predicament of Mistress Quickly in 1 Henry IV are used to register the contradictory nature of commodities. The first chapter of Capital works logically from the starting point of the commodity to its fantastical operation in commodity fetishism (1977a). The key mechanism here is inversion. Capitalism, through its imperative to commodify everything, inverts relations between things and people. To register the inversion of commodity fetishism, Marx ends his chapter on the commodity with the absurd reversal from the clown Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing: ‘To be a wellfavoured man is the gift of fortune; but reading and writing comes by nature’ (1977a: 177). The registration and critique of capitalism’s inversions is the second key task of Marxist Shakespeare criticism. Reading Shakespeare is well suited for this task, since Shakespeare himself registers the topsy-turvy nature of the money economy. One of the best examples of this is Timon’s rant against gold. Marx quotes this entire section six times in his economic writings: What is here? Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold? … Thus much of this will make Black white, foul fair, wrong right, Base noble, old young, coward valiant. Ha, you gods, why this? What this, you gods? Why, this Will lug your priests and servants from your sides, Pluck stout men’s pillows from below their heads. This yellow slave Will knit and break religions, bless th’ accursed, Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves And give them title, knee and approbation With senators on the bench. This is it That makes the wappered widow wed again, She whom the spittle-house and ulcerous sores Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices To th’April day again. Come damned earth, Thou common whore of mankind that puts odds Among the rout of nations. (4.3.25–44) Shakespeare registers the power of this substance – gold – to cause radical inversions. He begins with simple opposites (e.g. black to white, foul to fair, wrong to right) and then names political inversions (e.g. religious reversals, political paradoxes) and finally drops into the absurd depicted through grotesque sexuality – gold can

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revitalize a sexually exhausted old woman, one so disgusting that even a lepers’ hospital and the very sores on the lepers would vomit at her. In the second chapter of Capital, on the exchange of commodities, Marx uses an allusion to Miguel de Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote. He writes that the commodity ‘is always ready to exchange not only soul, but body, with each and every other commodity, be it more repulsive than Maritones herself’ (1977a: 179). The primary conceit in Don Quixote is inversion. Each of Quixote’s adventures is premised upon an inversion. Maritones is an ugly, repulsive and brutal character that Quixote takes to be the goddess of beauty. The inversion uses the same rhetorical methods as Shakespeare’s Timon. The repulsive woman is inverted and transformed by the function of the text’s change agent – gold in Timon and the knight’s madness in Don Quixote – into its sexually desirable opposite. In this manner, Marx captures the crux of the contradiction of the commodity form. Inversions also register the form of commodity fetishism, where the commodity is endowed with a property it does not possess; a property that is, instead, the result of social relations. A key move Marx makes here is to read tragedy in comedies. The comedic, both generic and tonal, attracts the reader, but its inversion, the tragic, makes the critical point. If this method is reflected back onto Shakespeare’s plays, then Marxist Shakespeare criticism can perform a reading which seeks the dialectical inversions in the plays. Marx’s quotation from Much Ado’s Dogberry alerts the critic that at the core of Much Ado sits a tragedy of misogyny and that it is Dogberry’s inverted ineptitude that provides the plot turn which saves Hero. Similarly, Marx’s use of Lysander’s pithy line to Hermia – who has just been forced to choose between obedience, exile or death – that ‘the course of true love never did run smooth’ (1977a: 202) reveals the tragic shadow of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Further, Marx’s use of Shylock as both the antagonist and the protagonist of the working-class struggle signals the generic problematic of The Merchant of Venice. Marxist Shakespeare critics, following Marx’s attention to dialectical inversions, possess the critical tools to read the dialectical form and generic instability of Shakespeare’s plays and to understand the manner in which Shakespeare used inversions and instabilities to register the shock of the new global order. Marx’s analysis of the inversions caused by the commodity form is the groundwork for his critique of capitalism’s destructive effects on humans. He proceeds in the same logical dialectical manner to show that the commodity economy also inverts the relationship between subjects and objects and alienates humans from sovereignty over their bodies and minds. The motor of this alienation is the commodity’s need for equivalence, which alienates use-value and particularity, and its need to generate profit, which alienates economics from ethics. Through the sale of their labour power on the job market and through the division of labour in the workplace, humans are alienated from their productive capacity, their self-preservation and their human rights. Power over the labourers is handed over, seemingly, to the commodities upon which the humans are labouring and to the money that finances the operation. Marx illustrates this inversion and alienation with a chiasma: ‘personification of things and thingification (reification) of persons’ (1977a: 209). Through this inversion, the subject and the object have changed places – objectification of the subject and

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subjectification of the object. Where once humans used tools, now tools use humans. However, the commodities (means of production and products) and the money that finances them (capital) are not subjects who can wield power. Standing behind them are the capitalists who own them. Inversion is revealed to be the labourers’ lost battle in the class war against the capitalists. Reification is a common trope in Shakespeare. He describes characters without pity or sympathy as being rock-like, hard or ‘flinty’ (Tim 4.3.479). Marx uses lines spoken by these characters to register capitalism’s inhumanness. For example, Marx used imagery and plot from The Merchant of Venice as a rhetorical scaffolding upon which to construct his concept of human alienation and reification. When explaining how capitalists opposed limitations on working hours for children, Marx writes: ‘Capital answered: “My deeds upon my head! I crave the law, / The penalty and forfeit of my bond”’ (1977a: 399). This is the Shylock who stands for the new jurisprudence of the mercantile state law in which the financial contract prevails over pity and human life. He writes of the ‘Shylocks of the aristocracy’ who have foul and overcrowded labour camps on their lands (1977a: 840). To register the opposite side of the chiasma, Marx quotes from the trial scene of The Merchant of Venice when describing the alienation of the worker from the means of production: ‘You take my life / When you do take the means whereby I live’ (1977a: 618). This line comes from the same scene which Marx quotes in his first economic text, the ‘Theft of Wood’ article in 1842. In light of how dehumanization has proceeded in modernity, both Shakespeare and Marx were frightfully prophetic. Following Marx, a key task of Marxist Shakespeare criticism is to use readings of Shakespeare to critique the state of alienation and reification in the present world. Marx’s critique of the capitalist world system leads him to logically derive the case for overthrowing it. Marxism works as a method that does not impose revolutions upon history but, instead, close reads capitalism and discovers the contradictions and fracture points which will bring about its own demise. This method is called historical materialism. Marx writes: ‘People make their history, but they do not make it of their own accord, just as they please, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and handed down from the past’ (1963: 15). And then: In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into determined relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production that correspond to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond determined forms of social consciousness. (1977b) This is one of the key notions that requires Marxist critics to launch their critique from an analysis of the material and economic conditions depicted in the text. Marx takes his cue from Shakespeare; not only is Shylock, quoted above, undone by the seizure of his economic resources but also the dramatic status of characters such as Lady Anne in Richard III and the Apothecary in Romeo and Juliet. As a widow, Lady Anne has lost her security in the court and is vulnerable to the audacious marriage

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proposal of Richard, her husband’s killer. In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo can purchase illegal poison from the Apothecary, who lives in poverty. In Romeo’s response to the Apothecary, Shakespeare, in five lines of verse, accurately and comprehensively depicts the economically determined relations of one’s life: There is thy gold, worse poison to men’s souls, Doing more murder in this loathsome world Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell. I sell thee poison; thou hast sold me none. Farewell, buy food, and get thyself in flesh. (5.1.80–4) By the summer of 1843, the development of Marx’s thought – set in the crucible of his engagement with world literature – arrived at the position of revolutionary communism. Along with his friend Friedrich Engels and his wife Jenny, Karl Marx wrote texts and delivered speeches that called for revolution. The most famous, of course, is the Communist Manifesto of 1848, where Marx writes: ‘All fixed, rusted-up relations, with their train of ancient and venerable ideas and views, are dissolved, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is corporative and standing evaporates’ (Marx and Engels 1999: 23).4 This is an allusion to Hamlet’s first soliloquy: ‘O that this too too solid flesh would melt, / Thaw and resolve itself into a dew’ (1.2.129–30). Marx uses the line to register the savage progress of capitalism. This sets up a key notion in Marxism; as capitalism rips up old social relations and replaces them with the alienating oppression of a commodified, profit-driven world system, it also produces the very group that will overthrow it, the revolutionary proletariat. To register this process, Marx reaches again for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In his 1852 pamphlet, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Marx writes about the formative development of the revolution through the political history of Europe. He says that once the revolution has achieved its preliminary development, Europe will leap from its seat and cheer, ‘Brav gewühlt Maulwurf!’ (‘Well burrowed mole!’) (2007: 116). Marx is more explicit about who the mole is and where he found the image in an 1856 speech at the anniversary of the People’s Paper. He speaks about the contradictions between industry and science and between productive powers and social relations. He says that some people are upset by it and call for a regression of modern industry. Communists, on the other hand, know that these new forces have created new people – the workers – and that the workers recognize the shrewd spirit that marks the contradictions: ‘our brave friend, Robin Goodfellow, the old mole that can work in the earth so fast, the worthy pioneer – the Revolution’ (1969: 500). In the play, the mole burrows quickly underground during the first scenes of the development of Hamlet’s awareness of his uncle’s crime. As an allegory of revolutionary consciousness, the mole is burrowing underground in 1844 during the opening moves of the revolution that will erupt above ground in 1848. Marx and Engels founded the First International to organize the European and American working class and prepare them for a socialist revolution. This organization was not

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successful at its task, for the historical moment was not right, but an uprising in Paris in 1871 produced the Paris Commune, one of the first successful – if only for a few months – working-class rebellions. Marx analysed this event in his address to the First International, The Civil War in France, published in June 1871, where he once again employs Shylock to stand for the Prussian counter-revolution. A key task of Marxist Shakespeare criticism is to read the imperative for revolution in its literary criticism. The motor of the revolution is the inevitable progress of capitalism to produce its own destruction, which forms a gear working with the developing class consciousness of the proletariat. In Marx’s Shakespearean conceit, Hamlet is the revolutionary subject, whose solid flesh dissolves in the torrent of capitalist progress and whose class consciousness burrows under the stage, carried by the ghost of his murdered father, and then erupts into action. And yet what about Marx’s strange elision of Hamlet’s ghost with Robin Goodfellow, Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream? To understand this, one must remember that Marx’s theory of revolution is dialectical and that Robin Goodfellow is the dialectical change agent, the one who makes the metamorphoses, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Marx uses the Hamlet question (die Hamletfrage) and the transformative potentiality of Puck to interrogate the historical progress of revolution in his present time.

CRITICAL THEORY In 1953, the German theatre director and theorist Bertolt Brecht, along with his colleagues in the Berliner Ensemble, conducted a study group of the first scene of Coriolanus with the intention to develop an adaptation. Brecht focused on Shakespeare’s depiction of the class struggle between the plebeians and the patricians. This focus was in line with the socialist project to organize workers against capitalism and to make them immune to the lure of fascism. Brecht said to his colleagues that it would be tragic if the plebeians were taken in by Menenius’s speech – the fable of the belly. Brecht explains: ‘I don’t think you realize how hard it is for the oppressed to become united. Their misery unites them – once they recognize who has caused it … But otherwise their misery is liable to cut them off from each other’s mouths’ (1964: 252). He does a close reading of the scene, looking for the central contradictions. He says: ‘The contradiction between the plebeians and the patricians, the class struggle, has been put into cold storage by the emergence of the new contradiction, the national war against the Volscians. It hasn’t disappeared though’ (1964: 262). Brecht wants his adaptation – formed from the contradictions presented by Shakespeare – to serve for his audience as a ‘first-hand experience of dialectics’ (1964: 265). The rationale for Brecht’s study of the class struggle in Coriolanus can be understood using Walter Benjamin’s notion of Jetztzeit. Benjamin writes: ‘To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognise it the way it really was. It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger … History is the subject of a structure whose site is not homogeneous, empty time, but time

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filled by the presence of the now’ (1968: 255, 261). The past is a constellation – fragmented in the form of a now-time, ‘Jetztzeit’. The danger that sparked Brecht’s Jetztzeit in 1953 East Berlin can be understood to be the twin struggles against fascism and capitalism. He read and adapted Shakespeare as a praxis that confronted these dangers. The result, in Brecht’s hands, was a new form of theatre, called Epic Theatre, which was built around gestures that caused the audience to stop and think about the contradictions being depicted. Marxists, from Karl onwards, have used Shakespeare’s aesthetic to critique oppressive reality and develop class consciousness among the victims of capitalism. Marxist Shakespeareans use their criticism to interpret reality and to change that reality. Benjamin’s and Brecht’s work can be understood through a Western Marxist tradition known as Frankfurt School Critical Theory. Writers of the Frankfurt School did not carry out much critical work with Shakespeare, but their methods can be used by Marxist Shakespeareans. According to Frankfurt School founder Theodor Adorno, art is historically relevant when the contradictions of its time are registered in its form. This form confronts the subject – the reader or audience – as an other that breaks the spell of ideology and reification. Adorno was critical of Sartre’s call for committed, political art. Instead of making art that is political in content but remains illusory in its form, Brecht developed a new dramaturgy, which, according to Adorno, ‘overthrew the moribund theatre of philosophy and intrigue’ (1997: 321). Regarding form, Adorno writes about Romeo and Juliet that ‘the presence of the two [lovers] lost in one another would not have the sweetness – the wordless, imageless utopia – over which, to this day, the centuries have been powerless’ without being set in the patriarchal order that mutilates and condemns their love. ‘Praxis is not the effect of works; rather, it is encapsulated in their truth content’ (1997: 322). That is to say, one does not need to tell the audience how the world should be different; instead one confronts the audience with the historical contradictions – composed in the form of the artwork – that provoke dialectical change. Following the Frankfurt School, Marxist Shakespeareans can read the contradictions of capitalist modernity encapsulated in the form of the plays.5

BRITISH AND US MARXISM To attempt a complete list of the names of Marxist or Marxist-influenced scholars in Shakespeare studies is folly. All but the most conservative have been influenced by the Marxist approach to literary criticism. Certainly, three of the most recent trends in methodology – new historicism, cultural materialism and presentism – are informed by Marxist literary practice. Stephen Greenblatt, Jonathan Dollimore and Hugh Grady all read Shakespeare in ways that find their roots in Marx. Then there are critical theorists, such as Frederic Jameson and Mladen Dolar, who do not work primarily in Shakespeare studies but whose readings of Shakespeare can be understood within the rubric of Marxism. The last section of this chapter will briefly focus on three presentist and Marxist Shakespeare scholars: David Hawkes, Hugh Grady and Jean E. Howard.6

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Marx begins Capital with a logic-based dialectical treatment of commodity (1977a). He shows how the social relations that created exchange-value impart a mystical and monstrous power to the commodity which inverts the world on its head. This analysis of the spectacular and phantom-like objectivity of commodities, which alienates and conceals the labour power embodied in them, is the starting point of Marxism. It is also the starting point for the work of Welsh Shakespeare scholar David Hawkes. Beginning from the critique of exchange-value, Hawkes has developed an extensive set of writings on money, commodity fetishism, usury, performative representation and ideology. Hawkes close reads Shakespeare’s and his contemporaries’ registration of the problems with money, usury and fetishism. Hawkes finds that people in the early modern period were greatly troubled about the unnatural qualities of usury – money created from money – and they were shocked by the new economy that was beginning to take hold in their world. Regarding the present, he writes: ‘one good reason for studying usury in its germinal stages is the fact that the same ruses, tricks, and techniques, even the character traits, that early modern texts represent in the persons of individual usurers are now manifested in the machinations of neocolonial geopolitics’ (2010: 6). Hawkes sees the roots of false consciousness and ideology arising from the structural contradictions of the commodity. He writes: the market economy produces a systematically false consciousness: an ideology … our postmodern society is historically unique in elevating the mercantile principle to a position of complete dominance over the economy and … over every area of public and private experience. When it attains this degree of power, the market ceases to fulfil its necessary but subordinate function as a means towards the end of civilized life. It becomes, rather, an end in itself, and in consequence it takes on the aspect of a tyrannous, destructive force, whose impact is felt within each of our minds as well as in our material lives. The market becomes an ideology. (2003: 1) A key feature of Hawkes’s research that is exemplary of Marxist Shakespeare scholarship is the dialectical unity of literary close reading with critical theory that discovers the source of false consciousness and ideology in commodity relations. The US Shakespeare scholar Hugh Grady would not call himself a ‘Marxist’ because he practices a form of postmodernism in his criticism. However, his work can be considered within Marxist Shakespeare criticism; Marxists can work on both sides of the poststructural and postmodern divide. Grady writes: Rather than being, as some critics have it, the end of long-period modernity, Postmodernism seems to me to represent in an important sense a continuation of modernity into a new, open-ended phase. It can be seen, in fact, as a reflex of the triumph of modernization – the process of economic development inherent in capitalism – over cultural Modernism – the earliest twentieth-century critical reaction in the sphere of culture to this process – necessitating an entirely new set of strategies on the part of what Gramscians have called the ‘forces of culture’ in a continuing battle against the modernizing ‘forces of production’, as we careen pell-mell into the twenty-first century. (1996: 3)

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For Grady, postmodernism is an anti-hierarchical, relativizing and deconstructing approach to the text, which allows critics to ‘pose uncomfortable political questions and anti-hierarchical analyses to so revered a figure as Shakespeare’ (1996: 4). Grady’s scholarship is presentist,7 posited using Walter Benjamin’s notion of Jetztzeit. Grady writes: ‘Walter Benjamin insisted that the past only takes on meaning, is always already constructed by us, as an enterprise of the present moment, the Jetztzeit which is our unique historical moment’ (1996: 3). One of the chief concerns of Grady’s criticism is reification. He takes up Ulysses’ lines in Troilus and Cressida, where, towards the end of the famous speech to the generals about the dangers of departing from the command chain of hierarchy and order, Ulysses warns about what will occur if people do not follow established order: Then everything includes itself in power, Power into will, will into appetite; And appetite, an universal wolf, So doubly seceded with will and power, Must make perforce an universal prey And last eat himself up. (1.3.119–24) This play was written during the final years of Elizabeth I’s reign and registers the issues facing this rapidly changing realm. It reveals the anxiety about what comes after feudalism, with its dependency on obedience to ‘degree, priority and place’. Shakespeare has Ulysses warn that the next system springs from power, which is driven by the appetite of will. This system – capitalism – is driven by the appetite of a fetishized commodity which needs to valourize itself constantly. Working under this imperative, the capitalist seeks to commodify absolutely everything. Shakespeare captures this need in the image of the ‘universal wolf’. The capitalist sees the entire world – the planet and its inhabitants – as its prey. With the next line, Shakespeare can be seen to be prescient about the future of capitalism. After the wolf eats everything up – ‘universal prey’ – then he looks around for what is left to eat and finds only himself. With that final act, capitalism destroys itself. This process was discovered in the critique of political economics by Marx, and, having quoted from Troilus and Cressida at least six times in his writing, Marx knew the play well and may have been influenced by the image of the universal wolf. Grady follows this logic into the plot of Troilus and Cressida and discovers two circulations that depict the appetite of the universal wolf: the love story of Troilus and Cressida and the power politics of the Greeks. He writes: The pointless circulation of war and lechery has the structure of the mercantile economy – a process in which life, love, and death are exchanged in a system of equivalencies revealed as the outcome of the idolatrous activities of societies engaged in arbitrarily creating and setting up reified systems whose autonomous operations then become powers over themselves. And the same system-dynamic operates in both the absolutes of (Trojan) ideologies and the uncontrolled brutal logic of (Greek) power politics. (1996: 93)

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And then: Two reified systems are thus indicated-and indicted-two chief signifieds of the signifier the ‘universal wolf’ – one based on objectivist reason, the second on subjectivist desire, both united in a common structure of endless exchange and circulation constituting self-perpetuating, autonomous systems operating against the grain of an ethical rationality and human control of human operations whose apparent impossibility is the true source of Thersites’ memorable and hopeless rage. (1996: 94) Key to these two points that Grady makes is his insistence that the circulations of love and war operate autonomously because they are structured and driven in a similar way to a money economy. Capital’s desire – the universal wolf – obeys a logic that is not only divorced from human ethics but which also, in fact, alienates and subsumes human ethics to its appetite. Troilus and Cressida can serve as a case study for Marxist Shakespeare criticism. The first Shakespeare lines that Karl Marx quotes are from this play. In 1837, nineteen-year-old Marx, a student of Hegelian philosophy in Berlin, attempted to write a novel. He abandoned the project, but not before experimenting with using dialectical inversions that he found in Shakespeare’s play. Marx quotes Thersites’ line that Ajax ‘wears his wit in his belly and his guts in his head’ (2.1.70–1). Inversion is the central mechanism of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, a satirical problem play in which lovers circulate as war booty and the great war is impeded by a personal squabble between generals. The lowest character, the scurrilous clown Thersites, is the chief truth-sayer. The prime inverter is the universal wolf, whose imperative sourced from its own appetite can be used in modern criticism to register the appetite of capital. As a problem play, Troilus and Cressida offers no way out of its tragic plot; neither heroism nor love survives this play. In the end, the pander, dying of syphilis, bequeathes the audience his diseases. Similarly, the universal appetite of capital for profit commodifies and devours everything, including itself, bequeathing history only its ruins. What hope might Marxist Shakespeare criticism unearth? This chapter began with the statement that, like feminist, race and queer Shakespeare criticism, Marxist criticism uses its reading of Shakespeare to critique the problems of its time. The US Marxist-feminist critic Jean E. Howard works in class, gender, race and queer criticism. Howard’s reach into each of these areas springs methodologically from her Marxism. In all of her texts, she utilizes one of the central tools of Marxism – historicizing. Howard sets all the texts that she works with in a close reading of their historical period and of the historical forces and contradictions at play. In her book Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy, Howard excavates the material conditions of early modern London theatres. This historical materialist study is foundational for Howard’s discussion of Shakespeare’s registration of early modern social relations. Howard holds that, unlike many of his contemporaries who wrote city comedies that focus on the material problems of money and commodities in London city life, Shakespeare registers the changes in ‘social relations and mentalities’ that attended the early modern transition to capitalism. He does this

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through ‘formal features and recurring motifs’ in his plays (2014: 31). Howard’s position is similar to Adorno’s aesthetic theory, which holds that art registers the contradictions of its time in its form and content. The well-formed art piece – a performance of a Shakespeare play, in this case – confronts the subject as an other, which forces the subject to snap out of its reified somnambulism. Howard’s materialist history of early modern stage and textual practices is also the source of her gender, race and queer theory. Shakespeare’s dramatic art registers the condition of women and people of colour and queer sexualities. This allows Howard to set her gender, race and sexual orientation work in a materialist critique. There is none of the usual tension between the economic question and the woman/ race/x question in Howard’s Shakespeare criticism because her historical materialist method uncovers the fundamental interactions of all of these problematics, and she shows how these interactions are already registered in Shakespeare’s plays. Howard writes in her historical study of Marxist Shakespeare criticism: An important factor distinguishing one form of political criticism from another is how each theorizes history’s relationship to the present and to the future … Marxism is a dialectical historicism that situates the past in a relationship both to the present and to the future. I would argue that there can be no purely antiquarian Marxist criticism, nor a Marxist criticism that is not in part oriented toward a horizon of a more just future. (2014: 31) This statement by Howard is not only Marxist and presentist but also utopic, and it serves to suggest the final key feature of Marxist criticism. Howard writes that the tone of Shakespeare’s plays in their registration of modernity is mourning. This feeling is the source of the desire for a better future. Marxists source a utopic urge from their mourning of the present crisis. Ultimately, Marxist Shakespeareans follow this utopic yearning and write their criticism … for a better place. Sir, fare you well, Hereafter in a better world than this I shall desire more love and knowledge of you. (Le Beau, AYL, 1.2.272–4).

NOTES 1. All text translated from the German has been corrected by the author and may appear somewhat different from the English text cited here. 2. Evidence about Marx’s intellectual development as a child can be found in many biographical sources, including McLellan (1973) and Gabriel (2011). 3. For an excellent discussion of Marx’s use of The Merchant of Venice in his economic writings, see Dolar (2014). 4. This passage has been mistranslated in English by many. The mistranslation misses the extent of Marx’s and Engel’s intertextual debt to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. 5. Missing from this section is the extensive history of Shakespeare criticism in the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic. Significant contributions to the field were made in the socialist states, but there is not enough room in this chapter to

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explore them. See the fourth section of Jansohn (2006) for a discussion of Shakespeare scholarship in the German Democratic Republic. 6. There are many scholars I could have chosen; I am choosing these three scholars partly for the quality and relevance of their work and partly because specific aspects of their work are exemplary of Marxist Shakespeare criticism. 7. He is widely understood to be one of the founders of presentism in Shakespeare studies.

REFERENCES Adorno, T. (1967), Prisms, Cambridge: MIT. Adorno, T. (1997), Aesthetic Theory, trans. R. Hullot-Kentor, London: Continuum. Bartolovich, C., D. Hillman and J. E. Howard, eds (2012), Marx and Freud: Great Shakespeareans, vol. 10, London: Continuum. Benjamin, W. (1968), ‘Theses on the Philosophy of History’, in H. Arendt (ed.), Illuminations, trans. H. Zohn, 253–64, New York: Schocken. Brecht, B. (1964), Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic, ed. and trans. John Willett, New York: Hill and Wang. Dolar, M. (2014), ‘The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strained’, The Yearbook of Comparative Literature, 60: 9–26. Gabriel, M. (2011), Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution, New York: Back Bay. Grady, H. (1996), Shakespeare’s Universal Wolf: Studies in Early Modern Reification, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hawkes, D. (2003), Ideology, 2nd edn, London: Routledge. Hawkes, D. (2010), The Culture of Usury in Renaissance England, New York: Palgrave. Höfele, A. (2016), No Hamlets: German Shakespeare from Nietzsche to Carl Schmitt, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Holmes, R. (2014), Eleanor Marx: A Life, London: Bloomsbury. Howard, J. E. (2014), ‘Shakespeare and the Consequences of Early Capitalism’, Shakespeare Jahrbuch, 150: 30–5. Jansohn, C. (2006), German Shakespeare Studies at the Turn of the Century, Newark: University of Delaware Press. Kamps, I. (2003), ‘Series Editor’s Foreword’, in L. Woodbridge (ed.), Money and the Age of Shakespeare: Essays in New Economic Criticism, vii–viii, New York: Palgrave. Kapp, Y. (2018), Eleanor Marx: A Biography, London: Verso. Marx, K. (1941), ‘Theses on Feuerbach’, in Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy, 82–3, New York: International. Marx, K. (1963), The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, New York: International. Marx, K. (1969), ‘Speech at the Anniversary of the People’s Paper, 14 April 1856’, in Marx/Engels Selected Works, vol. 1, 500, Moscow: Progress. Marx, K. (1975a), ‘Debates on Freedom of the Press’, in Marx/Engels Collected Works, vol. 1, 132–82, London: Lawrence and Wishart. Marx, K. (1975b), ‘Leading Article in No. 179 of Kölnische Zeitung’, in Marx/Engels Collected Works, vol. 1, 184–202, London: Lawrence and Wishart.

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Marx, K. (1977a), Capital, vol. 1, trans. B. Fowkes, New York: Vintage. Marx, K. (1977b), Contribution to Critique of Political Economy, Moscow: Progress. Available online: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1859/critique-pol-economy/ preface.htm (accessed 15 June 2019). Marx, K. (2007), Der achtzehnte Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Marx, K. and F. Engels (1999), Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei, Stuttgart: Reclam. McLellan, D. (1973), Karl Marx; His Life and Thought, New York: Harper and Row. Prawer, S. S. (1978), Karl Marx and World Literature, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ryan, K. (2001), ‘Marxism before Marx’, in J. E. Howard and S. C. Shershow (eds), Marxist Shakespeares, 227–44, London: Routledge. Shakespeare, W. (1998), Troilus and Cressida, ed. D. Bevington, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. (2006a), Hamlet, ed. A. Thompson and N. Taylor, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. (2006b), As You Like It, ed. J. Dusinberre, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. (2008), Timon of Athens, ed. A. B. Dawson and G. E. Minton, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. (2017), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ed. S. Chaudhuri, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare.

CHAPTER 2.2

New historicist studies HUGH GRADY

New historicism, constituted by a group of US scholar-critics in the late 1970s and the 1980s, is a method of reading texts which calls for situating them in their original social and cultural contexts, seeing them as part of a larger social system rather than as isolated products of a single author’s imagination. Unlike the old historical criticism that was a leading part of literary studies from the 1930s through the 1960s and beyond, however, the new historicists draw from an array of social, cultural and interdisciplinary theories that emphasize the role of power, inequality and social struggle, thus bringing our cultural present into the equation as well. And they often give as close attention to the non-literary documents on which they drew for evidence of the past as they do on the literary documents which were formerly the main object of study. While at first it was a method developed by a relatively small network of scholars, new historicism grew in influence until it become the defining critical methodology of an entire generation, from the mid-1980s until well into the first decade of the twenty-first century. It has since ramified and produced successor methodologies that are still prominent in the field, and its influences are still important in contemporary literary studies. In what follows, I will focus on what we could call the ‘classic phase’ of new historicism – its early period of self-definition and development occurring in the 1980s and the 1990s. In this essay’s conclusion, I will briefly discuss how the method continued to evolve and ramify as it became more widespread and influential. More than in the case of most other contemporary critical methods, new historicism is especially associated with one theorist seen as its founder: Stephen Greenblatt, who coined the term and who is the method’s most influential and best-known practitioner. However, it is also clear, as we will see, that Greenblatt drew critical ideas from many existing sources, and other critics preceded him in practising some of the methodology. At the time of the first new historical writings, many others were going in similar directions (as I will discuss below), and the method clearly had important connections with such established theoretical practices as Marxism, feminism and postcolonialism, which it both drew from and influenced.

ORIGINS OF NEW HISTORICISM New historicism emerged from a particular set of developments and trends that had developed in the field of literary studies earlier, and a brief consideration of

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these can help throw light on the peculiar combination of synthesis and innovation that marked new historicism  – and greatly contributed to its ensuing widespread popularity. Most significantly, it was part of a larger trend across English studies that, starting in the 1960s and continuing into the 1970s, had rejected the previous generation’s leading critical methods for a variety of reasons. That earlier period of critical history had seen the field divided essentially between two competing methods: the older historicism mentioned above and a formalist method called New Criticism that championed the idea of reading texts outside of any specific cultural context in order to concentrate on language and form. Both of these methods were politically quiescent – either explicitly conservative or Cold War liberal – and/or devoted to a ‘professionalism’ that held that political concerns had no place in academia. In the turmoil of civil rights, Black Liberation and anti-Vietnam War activism in the 1960s, these qualities began to seem far less appealing to many young academics and students, and some openly desired more explicitly political dimensions in literary studies. In addition to this, the repetition of the same principles of interpretation over many years began to seem stultifying and boring to others. But there were also strong professional reasons for questioning a continued reliance on New Criticism and the old historicism: a crisis of depletion. In practice, the number of ways to read the canonical works of English studies using the tools of either method was limited, and the canon seemed to be pretty well exhausted. A professional restlessness was in the air. Consequently, the 1970s saw a rise of interest in a number of European or older critical methods: feminism, structuralism, phenomenology, Marxism, psychoanalysis and, near the end of this period, deconstruction and poststructuralism. It was a complex period of competing interests and an often-perplexed professoriate. But one of the larger trends in evidence was a desire for a more socially oriented, political critical practice, and this desire manifested in many ways. There were years in which attendance at the MLA Marxist Caucus Cash Bar at the Annual Convention was in the hundreds. The influence of the larger women’s movement of the 1970s began to be felt in the profession as many women searched to forge new approaches to feminist theory. From continental Europe (often via comparative literature programmes and French, German and Spanish departments) came a new interest in structuralism and phenomenology, as well as versions of Marxism little known in the United States, such as that of the Frankfurt School or structuralist Marxism in France. A revival of psychoanalytic theory was also in evidence. Finally – at least in the chronology of when the methods came to prominence in the United States – came poststructuralism and deconstruction, especially as developed by French philosopher Jacques Derrida. This rise of deconstruction seemed, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, to be the breakthrough development that could become a hegemonic methodology for a changing profession – although of course there was also fierce opposition to it from an old generation and a good number of the new as well. As things developed from this point, however, the moment of deconstruction as a possible unifying method for the profession fizzled out. One problem was its famous obscurity and its philosophical critique of a number of ‘common-sense’

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propositions, like the existence of a unique inner self or the idea that clear, unambiguous communication in language is always possible and always the right choice. Another problem was that Jacques Derrida was a philosopher, not a literary critic, and his positions emerged out of critiques of other philosophers – whether Plato, Hegel or Heidegger. Members of English departments were just not equipped to master these details without extensive private study. Finally, the best-known proponents of deconstruction in the United States were four prominent members of the Yale Comparative Literature and/or English Departments – Paul de Man, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman and Harold Bloom – and, speaking generally, they turned deconstruction into a formalism that resembled in many ways the old New Criticism, despite its much more theorized and philosophical premises. Left-wing and politically active scholars like Gayatri Spivak proposed an alternate, more political agenda for deconstruction, but its other problems remained. As a result, there arose in the 1980s a few highly influential books arguing against making Jacques Derrida and his philosophy the guiding light of literary studies. Alternatives began to be searched for, and out of that search emerged two critics who helped define the context in which new historicism arose: Frank Lentricchia and Edward Said.

THE THEORETICAL CONTEXT FOR NEW HISTORICISM Frank Lentricchia, particularly in his 1983 After the New Criticism, is one representative critic of this particular moment. His title identifies a period in the history of criticism that until fairly recently had been labelled simply as ‘contemporary’. Lentricchia made the post–New Critical cultural moment itself a period in the history of criticism – and one, as the book makes clear, that had been under cogent if not widespread critique since the late 1950s. The book surveys these anti-New Critical positions, finds them promising in different ways, but argues that any real solution to the dead ends of the New Critical problematic must involve a deep engagement with ‘the difficult term “history”’, which therefore ‘plays a decisive role in my argument’ (1983: xiii). While giving major attention to the thenestablished opponents of New Criticism – Murray Krieger, E. D. Hirsch, Paul de Man and Harold Bloom – Lentricchia clearly establishes that some combination of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida constitutes the most promising road forward (1983: 188–210). He also mentions Fredric Jameson and Edward Said as two critics to watch but excludes them from the study on the grounds that their influence is only being recognized now (1983: xii). Lentricchia, however, did not stay in this conjunctural moment very long. His After the New Criticism had seemed retrospectively to many of its readers to be an argument that led logically to something like the new historicism. However, in 1989 Lentricchia published what was in effect a frontal critique of the new historicism as it had already developed, seeing it as caught in insoluble contradictions as a result of its ‘strong and problematic relations to Michel Foucault’ (1989: 232). Subsequently

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he revolted against the political criticism he had helped develop, defended more traditional ideas of literature as art and became a prolific novelist (Tinari 2002). A more consistent representative of the years just before the development of the new historicism is Edward Said, the author of Orientalism and an early advocate for the theory of Michel Foucault (who, we will see, became a central theorist for new historicism). Said is best known as a pioneering developer of postcolonial criticism, but his work also helped set up the situation where it became possible to produce a historicizing, theoretically sophisticated critical method that drew specifically on theorists like Foucault – something he acknowledges explicitly: I have found it useful here to employ Michel Foucault’s notion of a discourse, as described by him in The Archaeology of Knowledge and in Discipline and Punish, to identify Orientalism. My contention is that without examining Orientalism as a discourse one cannot possibly understand the enormously systematic discipline by which European culture was able to manage – and even produce – the Orient politically, sociologically, militarily, ideologically, scientifically, and imaginatively during the post-Enlightenment period. (Said 1979: 3) This use of theory as a means to get at larger political and cultural issues would become a central practice in the new historicism to follow, although Said is not always given credit for his contribution to it. It is clear from other writings of his, however, that he saw his critical practice in large part as a turn away from the textbased criticism of Derrida and Yale School deconstruction and towards a criticism more oriented to cultural and political context, like that of Michel Foucault: Derrida is concerned only with reading a text, and that text, is nothing more than what is in it for the reader … For Foucault the text is important because it inhabits an element of power (pouvoir) with a decisive claim on actuality, even though that power is invisible or implied. Derrida’s criticism moves us into the text, Foucault’s in and out. (Said 1983: 183) Certainly, Said goes on to raise a number of criticisms of Foucault’s work and methods (see, for example, Said 1983: 184–8, 212–25), but on the whole he was an important proponent of many of the trends leading up to the rapid dissemination of new historicism that soon took place. Other critics played similar roles, though none with as much force and eloquence as Said.

SOURCES OF NEW HISTORICISM There were, however, more direct theoretical influences on the formation of new historicism. The theorist most frequently linked with early new historicism particularly  is Michel Foucault. Also playing an important role, especially in the work of Stephen Greenblatt, is US anthropologist Clifford Geertz and other anthropologists. Finally, it is clear that all the early new historicists have taken elements from different Marxist theorists, especially French poststructuralist Marxist Louis Althusser and, perhaps to a lesser degree, British Marxist theorist Raymond

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Williams. There are certainly many other sources of ideas for what is a complex and eclectic critical methodology, including ideas from Sigmund Freud,1 but a strong case can be made that Foucault and Geertz are the most important. New historicism generally posits a system of power at work in the social organizations and networks in which works of literature are produced – albeit the term literature became somewhat problematic because the method depends on an intertextuality that does not privilege literariness. The theorist of power as a system was clearly Foucault, who, in works like The Archaeology of Power, The Order of Things, The History of Sexuality and, above all, Discipline and Punish, worked out an original social theory of what was called a ‘productive’ theory of power. The basic premise was that, to accomplish anything, human beings needed to organize themselves into systems of power, and society depends on these to function. In a series of interviews, but less so in his major book publications, Foucault stressed that he didn’t exclude the possibility of egalitarian and democratic power systems. But in the books the emphasis focused on coercive, authoritarian power systems, which he thought had been the rule rather than the exception in human societies, at least of a certain complexity. Two of such systems were relevant in Shakespeare studies. In Shakespeare’s time, social power was wielded largely through a disciplinary regime which Foucault termed punishment as a public spectacle. This system varied in details somewhat from country to country, and Foucault concerns himself largely with France, but early modern England had its version of the practice. Public spectacle and harsh punishments were prevalent in this period in part because law enforcement and prisons operated quite differently from those of modern times. There were no national police, no coordinated system of prisons, no centralized national army. The techniques which govern our own systems of discipline were not invented until the Enlightenment, when what Foucault calls the ‘disciplinary society’ was established. The new disciplinary society – a product of Enlightenment and industrialization – depended on a series of highly organized and regulated institutions which all used variations of the same disciplinary system: the prison (with its highly organized scheduling and active supervision), the professional military, the factory, the school and the hospital (Foucault 1979: 233). They all depended, among other things, on active and minute regulations of behaviour, extensive record-keeping and constant surveillance. The purpose of all this machinery, Foucault theorized throughout the whole of Discipline and Punish, was to remake the sense of self of those subjected to it. He described a technology of the self in which individuality is remade into a form that allows power and discipline to work their ends. Although Foucault made clear that this was a phenomenon of the Enlightenment and beyond, he did find elements of the system in the classical past, the medieval period and the early modern. It was the theory of power and its sway over subjectivity itself that most fascinated the new historicists of the early modern period. This theory played, as will be shown below, a central role in Stephen Greenblatt’s most influential work, Renaissance SelfFashioning, and was important for other critics as well.2 Another important influence on new historicism was cultural anthropology, and prominent US anthropologist Clifford Geertz in particular. Among other things,

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Geertz is famous for his idea of ‘thick description’, which holds that to interpret human actions like a wink, it is necessary to understand the available meanings of the act and, crucially, to understand the context in which it takes place. Human behaviour occurs in cultures, which are, among other things, systems of power and of communication. Understanding culture is all about informed interpretation, and the scientific method that works so well with other aspects of knowledge fails here. One paradox in new historicism’s application of Geertz to literary studies is that it is a method which Geertz explicitly says draws from literary studies as a partial model. But clearly it brings more than that back as an influence on criticism. It brings with it a theory of anthropological culture as a kind of system of meaning in which it is possible to study and make sense of human actions through which systems of power can be enacted.3 Finally, new historicism clearly draws some of its concepts from a variegated Marxist tradition, which, because of all the different interpretations of Marx that have circulated, can no longer be considered a unified system with an orthodoxy as it was in earlier decades. In fact, perhaps because of a Marxist tradition of polemics, the issue of new historicism’s connections to Marxism has been one of its most contentious issues (see Gallagher 1989). Greenblatt has never made a secret of his indebtedness to Marxist ideas for important features of new historicism, but he has also consistently maintained a certain separation from it as well, at least since his early Berkeley days where a faceto-face encounter with Marxist polemics caused him to shy away from it (Greenblatt 1989: 1–2). Louis Montrose also draws from aspects of Marxism, as do many of the other new historicist critics, and Greenblatt has written about his complex relation to Marxism more than once (e.g. 1989: 1–5). But the fullest account, perhaps, has been given by Greenblatt’s colleague at Berkeley, Catherine Gallagher – one of the co-founders of new historicism. Describing herself as one who ‘arrived at new historicist positions via continental Marxist theory and 1960s radical politics’ (1989: 38), Gallagher traces a number of different approaches to art among US Marxist critics with particular emphasis on how the New Left and the women’s movement moved away from notions of a universal class struggle towards a power system seen as decentred. Such developments influenced her and new historicism in a way that led away from classic Marxist formulations. In her conclusion, however, she notes that many of her critiques can also be found in ‘Marxism’s own edgiest, uneasiest voice’ (1989: 47). The distance between the two schools, she states, may not be as great as sometimes appears.

STEPHEN GREENBLATT I have been emphasizing the ways in which in the 1980s the times were right for the production of a new literary critical method that was political, open to theory and less opaque than deconstruction proved to be. New historicism fit those criteria – an important reason for the positive response and subsequent widespread adoption it experienced. However, it also owed much to the talents and creativity of the critic who has been most consistently associated with the method, Stephen Greenblatt. His

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1980 Renaissance Self-Fashioning served as the take-off point for the promulgation of the movement, and his subsequent works, particularly Shakespearean Negotiations, reinforced, solidified and continued its success. This is not the occasion to try to chart Greenblatt’s long and varied career nor to assess the continuities and changes that took place over its course. I want to focus instead on his role in developing the highly influential critical method we call new historicism. Louis Montrose, who became a well-known new historicist in his own right, wrote a remarkable review of Renaissance Self-Fashioning in 1981, shortly after the book’s publication. It is a prescient account that defines many of the qualities that made Greenblatt’s book so impactful. Montrose praises Greenblatt in the first place for his ability to embody the widely felt desire for new critical approaches to the Renaissance described above, seeing the book as in effect inaugurating a new era in Renaissance studies: ‘Discarding naïve and nostalgic notions of the Renaissance, Greenblatt formulates a paradigm of sixteenth-century self-fashioning that is fit for an iron age’ (Montrose 1981: 349). Montrose praises the book for its strategy of situating the writers studied in cultural, social and political ‘converging lines of force’ (1981: 350). Beyond that, Greenblatt’s writing possesses unique qualities of style, insight and depth that announce a major critical intervention. The book consists of six chapters, a brief introduction and a brief epilogue. Each chapter centres on a central literary figure whose works and biography (and their cultural context) form the centre of attention of analysis. The first three – Thomas More, William Tyndale and Thomas Wyatt – are figures from the reign of King Henry VIII. Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare in the second half are all subjects of Queen Elizabeth. They are all analysed in terms of how they (or the characters in their works) achieved their complex identities in dangerous and often oppressive political and religious cultures. In the book’s epilogue, Greenblatt explains that, When I first conceived this book several years ago, I intended to explore the ways in which major English writers of the sixteenth century created their own performances … to understand the role of human autonomy in the construction of identity … But as the work progressed, I perceived that fashioning oneself and being fashioned by cultural institutions – family, religion, state – were inseparably intertwined. In all my texts and documents, there were, so far as I could tell, no moments of pure unfettered subjectivity; indeed, the human subject itself began to seem remarkably unfree, the ideological product of the relations of power in a particular society … I found not an epiphany of identity freely chosen but a cultural artifact. (1980: 256) What had happened in the interval between the first conception of the book and its final realization, of course, was Greenblatt’s encounter at Berkeley with Michel Foucault. In an email interview Greenblatt gave in preparation for my writing of this article, he wrote about his first impressions of and subsequent friendship with Foucault: Sometime in 1975 or ’76, Foucault was listed to give a seminar on Zola – in whom I had no interest – but I went anyway. I was utterly astonished by what

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I heard – nothing at all about Zola (whose name was not mentioned, as far as I recall) but about the rise of the medieval confessional system and the fashioning of a discourse of sexuality. Foucault was largely unknown in the US at the time, and it was a very small seminar – perhaps 8 to 10 people – and I quickly got to know him personally. It was our many conversations together that had a powerful influence upon me, far more than this or that text of his, though I was deeply struck by the power of Madness and Civilization, Discipline and Punish and The Order of Things. Somewhere in his acknowledgements Foucault kindly gestures toward our exchange of ideas, though I am sure that I got far more from him than he from me. His visionary power has left significant traces in much of what I have written over the years, but less in the way of specific debts of the kind one notes in citations than of an immense gravitational field. (Greenblatt 2019) Renaissance Self-Fashioning also clearly reflects the influence of Clifford Geertz and explains that what he was undertaking was a kind of ‘cultural or anthropological criticism’ (Greenblatt 1980: 4). And he adds, ‘A literary criticism that has affinities to this practice must be conscious of its own status as interpretation and intent upon understanding literature as a part of the system of signs that constitutes a given culture; its proper goal, however difficult to realize, is a pattern of culture’ (1980: 3–4; italics Greenblatt’s). References to Marx and others in the broad Marxist tradition – Louis Althusser, Mikhail Bakhtin, Walter Benjamin, Jürgen Habermas, Herbert Marcuse and Raymond Williams – are sprinkled throughout the book. Greenblatt also reports that he relied on colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley and on the journal Representations in developing his ideas, especially Catherine Gallagher (a Victorianist), with whom he collaborated in writing Practicing New Historicism, a still-useful discussion of several of the method’s specific critical characteristics (Gallagher and Greenblatt 2000). He also mentions Tom Laqueur, Joel Fineman, Steve Knapp, Walter Michaels, Bernard Williams, Robert Post, Svetlana Alpers, Martin Jay, Leo Lowenthal and Leo Bersani, and he added, ‘I realize in making this list – to which I could add many other names – that I am not always describing people who would have ever called themselves “new historicists”, but that is precisely the point’ (Greenblatt 2019). There followed a long series of articles and books by Greenblatt in pursuit of this goal that cannot be summarized here but which have been seminal in the field of literary studies ever since.

NEW HISTORICISM’S DEVELOPMENT AND CONNECTIONS Greenblatt’s book found an appreciative audience and many fellow travellers were moving in similar directions. For example, H. Aram Veeser names Stephen Orgel, Roy Strong and D. J. Gordon as critics ‘doing New Historicism before anyone thought to give it a name’ (1989: xiii). In the wake of Greenblatt’s writing, a whole new generation began to affiliate with new historicism – writers like Louis Montrose, Jonathan Goldberg, Leonard Tennenhouse, Arthur Marotti, Stephen Mullaney and many others.

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Feminism had preceded new historicism in early modern studies by a few years, but as the influence of new historicism grew in the 1980s and 1990s, a shift occurred in its methods that showed the influence of the movement. It became more historical and more open to theoretical issues in works by feminists like Carol Neely, Katherine Maus, Jean Howard, Margaret Ferguson, Karen Newman, Natalie Zemon Davis, Stephanie Jed, Nancy Vickers, Patricia Parker, Sharon Achinstein and others. Feminism kept a separate identity, but clearly it was influenced by new historicism in the ‘historical turn’ it took. In Britain a method very close to new historicism and its values and premises had grown up independently, led by Alan Sinfield and Jonathan Dollimore and calling itself ‘cultural materialism’.4 It was more centrally Marxist than the US school, but there was meaningful cross-fertilization between the two movements. Greenblatt described the connection between the two this way in the interview: I became friendly quite early on with Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield and, through them, with Lisa Jardine, Kate Belsey and others who shared my interest in rethinking Renaissance studies and, more generally, in trying to let some fresh air into our enterprise. They had, of course, a different relationship than I to the politics of literary scholarship, and especially of Shakespeare scholarship – for the British he is, after all, the national bard. So there is often a different tone, but I never regarded the difference as all that significant – in part because we all shared at the time a strong, if rather incoherent, theoretical debt at once to Raymond Williams and to Louis Althusser. (Greenblatt 2019)

NEW HISTORICISM IN PRACTICE The new historicism that developed after the formation of the ‘classic phase’ I have been describing became even more variegated in its practices than was the case in the older, formative essays. Someone seeking to participate in this still-alluring critical method has numerous models to study and follow, including but not limited to founding figures like Greenblatt, Montrose or Gallagher. However, it is the overall spirit rather than the specific, sometimes idiosyncratic, personal ‘moves’ of critics that should be attended to. For example, Greenblatt’s fondness for the ‘anecdote’ – both those that can be gleaned from early modern texts like diaries, letters or other personal and historical documents and those from the critic’s own personal experience – can enliven critical writing,5 but they are not essential to the method. What is essential is the confrontation the method stages between (what we call) literary texts and the ‘non-literary’ documents and historical narratives that produce the spark of creativity essential to the method. Studying examples from Greenblatt or Montrose and others will provide a number of different possibilities for strategies to follow. Archival work is one important source for this, but it is not always practical for those of limited resources. But there are ways around this. One very practical procedure is to make use of some of the published anthologies of texts and

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contexts for Shakespeare’s plays, like the Bedford Shakespeare Series under the general editorship of Jean Howard. Each volume supplies a text of the play edited by a competent contemporary Shakespeare scholar and a varied selection of contemporaneous documents that can illuminate possible meaningful contexts for aspects of the play, from homilies, pamphlets, woodcuts, travel narratives and so on. The volume for Macbeth, for example, edited by William C. Carroll (1999), presents documents including Shakespeare’s sources for the play, discussions of the politics of sovereignty in the period, discussions of Scotland as seen from within and from England, and documents relating to witchcraft and to the ways people in Shakespeare’s period thought and wrote about sexual and gender differences. An introduction surveys all this material as well as the play itself, and there is a generous bibliography listing further scholarly resources. Another possibility is to make use of editions of what scholars have determined are the likely sources Shakespeare consulted in writing the plays.6 Stephen Greenblatt gives an excellent example of how to use source material in new creative ways in his essay on King Lear in Shakespearean Negotiations, ‘Shakespeare and the Exorcists’, which studied a work that had long been considered a minor source for the play, Samuel Harsnett’s A Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures. As the title might suggest, it was an anti-Catholic polemic that focused on the Catholic practice of exorcism – a series of which had been performed by Catholic priests in 1585–6, notwithstanding the illegality of their carrying out the rituals. Scholars as early as the eighteenth century had discovered that numerous details in the ‘mad talk’ of Edgar in his disguise as Poor Tom were taken from Harsnett’s accounts of the exorcisms: the names of the demons poor Tom says are haunting him, some features of hell and so on. All this had been duly noted and then more or less ignored. But Greenblatt sees other potential in the connection of the two texts, and it is a major theme of his book Shakespearean Negotiations: a chance ‘to glimpse with unusual clarity and precision the institutional negotiations and exchange of social energy’ (Greenblatt 1988: 94). Harsnett’s work in his pamphlet is to expose fraud – the fraud of the Jesuits who had performed a series of well-publicized exorcisms in 1585 and 1586 in a private home in Buckinghamshire. Greenblatt sees both the rituals and the polemic against them in the context of a fundamental struggle over social and religious power in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. In this case a defeated Catholic Church was attempting to regain some of its lost power in the exorcisms, while Harsnett attacked the Catholics and sought to uphold and develop values of the English Reformation. Crucially for the essay, the main thrust of Harsnett’s attack on the exorcisms was to depict them as theatrical: stage make-believe passing itself off as reality. Greenblatt goes on to analyse the different types of theatricality – ranging, say, from self-conscious fraud to self-deceiving performances, with examples drawn from cases discussed in Harsnett and from contemporary anthropologists. There is, in fact, a considerably longer discussion of exorcism itself than there is of any work by Shakespeare. Crucially, however, in the last section of the chapter, Greenblatt does return to King Lear, after a brief survey of earlier works by Shakespeare alluding

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to exorcism. But his focus is on how Harsnett’s diagnosis of the theatricality of exorcisms is reproduced in King Lear, first in Edgar’s pretence that he is the mad beggar Tom o’Bedlam, and second in his attempt to cure his father’s suicidal urges by falsely (and theatrically) convincing him that he has indeed jumped off the Dover cliff, survived the fall and caused a demon within him to depart from him. In short, Edgar has exorcized his father using the theatrical, fanciful methods Harsnett exposes as the practice behind Catholic exorcisms. This is a prime example of the ‘exchanges’ or ‘negotiations’ that Greenblatt sees in the interactions of the theatre and the larger society of which it is a part: ‘The official church dismantles and cedes to the players the powerful mechanisms of an unwanted and dangerous charisma; in return the players confirm the charge that those mechanisms are theatrical and hence illusory’ (1988: 120). The theatre – and King Lear itself – both participate in a central, power-serving institutional transaction and, at a more subtle level, seek to undermine it. Its strategy of showing how scrutiny of fraud liberates us from deceit also ‘empties out’ the forms of religion which Harsnett had held on to in a ‘drastic swerve from the sacred to the secular – in the theater’ (1988: 126). This is a powerful reading, at once revelatory of the slow transition from the medieval to the modern which is the deep background of all the culture of Shakespeare’s day and of the ways the play both affirms and critiques the society it depicts. There is much more in the essay I have not touched on, but it is an excellent example of new historicism at its best.

NEW HISTORICISM TODAY The pressures and demands of academic professional life mean, among other things, that critical methods get exhausted through use by multiple critics and give way to newer methodologies as a matter of course, and this in a sense has already happened to new historicism. But in this case, the method was the leading one in the field for over twenty-five years and had inaugurated major changes in critical reading and research. Most of these did not simply disappear. New historicism was, in the terms of philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn, paradigm changing – not another new tool in the box but one that challenged and overthrew previously unassailable assumptions and practices. As such, although ‘classical’ examples of the method (such as I have been describing) are hard to find nowadays, its influence goes on and has been further developed in such new critical methods as presentism, ecocriticism, the new materialism, race studies, gay and lesbian studies, postcolonialism, objects criticism and more. All of these methods study literature in social and cultural contexts, and they all venture into subject areas that were once considered ‘extrinsic’ to literary studies – much like the new historicism from which they descend. The moment of the new historicism has not ended, but rather it has been extended through ramification and development. As Stephen Greenblatt stated in his interview with me, ‘Like all intellectual currents that are successful, new historicism runs the risk of the routinization of charisma. The challenge is to keep it new’ (2019).

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NOTES 1. Freud otherwise has not been a major theorist for subsequent new historicists. But see Greenblatt’s attempt to rescue Freud for new historicism by psychoanalysis’ ‘historicizing its own procedures’ (Greenblatt 1990: 131–45, 142). 2. It should be noted that there were two other contemporary theories similar to Foucault’s idea of a self shaped by power that were sometimes evoked by new historicists: French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s theory of the self and the Symbolic Order and French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser’s theory of ‘interpellation by ideology’. Space does not permit discussion of them here. 3. Greenblatt writes on Geertz in an essay cited here as Greenblatt 1999. 4. It is treated as a separate movement in this volume  – see the essay by Christopher Marlow, ‘Cultural Materialist Studies’. 5. For Greenblatt’s own account and justification of his fondness for anecdotes, see Greenblatt 1990: 5–9. 6. A venerable but still useful source is Bullough 1957–75.

REFERENCES Bullough, G., ed. (1957–75), Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, 8 vols, London: Routledge. Carroll, W. C., ed. (1999), Macbeth: Texts and Contexts, Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s. Foucault, M. (1979), Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. A. Sheridan, New York: Vintage. Gallagher, C. (1989), ‘Marxism and the New Historicism’, in H. A. Veeser (ed.), The New Historicism, 37–48, New York: Routledge. Gallagher, C. and S. Greenblatt (2000), Practicing New Historicism, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Greenblatt, S. (1980), Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Greenblatt, S. (1988), Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England, Berkeley: University of California Press. Greenblatt, S. (1989), ‘Towards a Poetics of Culture’, in H. A. Veeser (ed.), The New Historicism, 1–14, New York: Routledge. Greenblatt, S. (1990), Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture, New York: Routledge. Greenblatt, S. (1999), ‘The Touch of the Real’, in S. Ortner (ed.), The Fate of Culture: Geertz and Beyond, 14–28, Berkeley: University of California Press. Greenblatt, S. (2019), personal interview, email, 13–14 May. Lentricchia, F. (1983), After the New Criticism, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Lentricchia, F. (1989), ‘Foucault’s Legacy: A New Historicism?’, in H. A. Veeser (ed.), The New Historicism, 231–42, New York: Routledge. Montrose, L. (1981), ‘A Poetics of Renaissance Culture’, review of Renaissance SelfFashioning: From More to Shakespeare by S. Greenblatt, Criticism, 23: 349–59. Said, E. (1979), Orientalism, New York: Vintage.

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Said, E. (1983), The World, the Text, and the Critic, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Tinari, P. (2002), ‘Being Frank’, Duke Magazine, 88. Available online: www. dukemagazine.duke.edu/dukemag/issues/070802/frank.html (accessed 18 June 2019). Veeser, H. A., ed. (1989), The New Historicism, New York: Routledge.

CHAPTER 2.3

Cultural materialist studies CHRISTOPHER MARLOW

Looking backwards can be dangerous, politically speaking – and cultural materialism is nothing if not a way of speaking politically about Shakespeare. As Jonathan Dollimore, one of the originators of cultural materialism, notes, ‘the politically committed person looks forward – is committed to a better future. In other words he or she is progressive whereas nostalgia is regressive’ (2016: 1035). Nonetheless, for cultural materialists the past does have value, and it has often been shown by them to offer a radical corrective to the simplistic celebration of previous eras – and our own – peddled by reactionary thinkers. But to write in a cultural materialist mode is to do more than take a particular angle on the past; rather, it is to be temporally multifaceted: to engage with the past, be informed by the present, but committed to the future. Cultural materialists generate new interpretations of all sorts of texts, and they pay especial attention to the plays and poems of Shakespeare as a way of bringing some politically radical ideas to the pre-eminent representative of so-called ‘high culture’. But if nostalgia is regressive, what value can there be in returning to the theoretical ‘big bang’ of the 1980s in yet another attempt to ‘Make Cultural Materialism Great Again’? One answer lies in the subtitle of the final book written by Alan Sinfield, the other originator of the approach: there is ‘unfinished business in cultural materialism’. So while in this chapter I will discuss the central tenets of cultural materialism, I will also show why it is not, in fact, something that needs to be revived. For cultural materialism is ongoing – it has always been an ‘evolving project’ that will remain valuable as long as it preserves its commitment to the present and future as well as the past (Dollimore and Bayot 2013: 20).

BIG BANG From the early 1980s onwards, UK academics began to find it impossible to ignore the political changes that were taking place not only in their country at large but also in their workplaces. As well as involving themselves in various marches and other forms of organized opposition, many literary scholars used their work as a locus of resistance. ‘Shakespeare criticism in the 1980s,’ in particular, ‘was not only radical in method, but, politically, explicitly oppositional at a time when the Conservative government was taking a hostile stance towards universities, and by extension, to intellectuals generally’ (Blocksidge 2003: 11). The radical methods that Martin Blocksidge alludes to form one element of this story, which I called

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earlier the theoretical ‘big bang’: the availability in English translation of work by continental thinkers such as Pierre Macherey, Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva and others. John Drakakis outlines this context as one in which ‘forms of revisionary Marxism, feminism, poststructuralism and psychoanalysis all came together in a series of productive tensions’ (2001: 47). Cultural materialism was just one of the avenues opened up by these tensions, and it is worth emphasizing that it has never sought to sever itself from allied theoretical approaches. It shares much with feminist, queer and postcolonial modes of critical analysis, and its Marxist roots are particularly strong. But if this is the case, what is so distinctive about cultural materialism? Helpfully, Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield offer a concise definition in their foreword to Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism, the collection that put cultural materialist analysis on the academic map. There they set out and justify the cultural materialist approach: our belief is that a combination of historical context, theoretical method, political commitment and textual analysis offers the strongest challenge [to traditional critical practice] … Historical context undermines the transcendent significance traditionally accorded to the literary text and allows us to recover its histories; theoretical method detaches the text from immanent criticism which seeks only to reproduce it in its own terms; socialist and feminist commitment confronts the conservative categories in which most criticism has hitherto been conducted; textual analysis locates the critique of traditional approaches where it cannot be ignored. We call this ‘cultural materialism’. (1994: vii) In the first sentence, Dollimore and Sinfield detail a methodology rather than a theory; indeed, Dollimore has been very clear on this. ‘Cultural materialism was never,’ he notes, ‘an abstract theory fixed at the moment of its inception’; instead, it is better thought of as a critical practice (Dollimore and Bayot 2013: 20). However, no critical practice is ever innocent, and like all the others this one comes with its own presuppositions. The first is that by analysing the contexts within which Shakespeare’s works were produced and the contexts within which they have been received (e.g. by teachers, politicians, actors and directors, and literary critics themselves) the commonly held notion that Shakespeare had access to supposedly eternal values such as ‘human nature’ will be challenged. Shakespeare’s work will thus be historicized and contextualized in order to reveal its relationship to ideology. Part of this process will be accomplished by the application of theory, a collection of perspectives through which ‘history and philosophy could be retrieved from their “background” status’ in order to disrupt conservative critical assumptions about imaginative texts that tended to privilege form, character and liberal humanist values (Dollimore 1994: 2). Similar kinds of approaches have of course been attempted by other critical methodologies – most famously new historicism, which, like cultural materialism, adds close textual analysis to its toolbox, as most literary criticism might be expected to do. However, where cultural materialism can be seen most clearly to differ from its sister methodologies, and new historicism most particularly, is in the element listed third by Dollimore and Sinfield in their foreword: political

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commitment. Alan Sinfield summarizes this attitude: ‘Cultural materialists, basically, wanted to resist the co-option of literature for reactionary tendencies … we believed that the political dimensions of our work had to be paramount’ (2005: viii).

POLITICS Political commitment is both the key to cultural materialism and its most controversial aspect. One reason for this is that some scholars refuse to accept that critical judgements might in any way be influenced by the writer’s ‘subjective’ political concerns. The idea that critical analysis must be a dispassionate, neutral and apolitical task is a hard one to shake off, and admittedly there are some good reasons for this in an academic context. There is certainly a world of difference between two friends discussing a book over coffee and a student writing an essay on the same work – an essay needs to make an argument and take a critical field into account, for example – but the notion that literary critics of all stripes never express political opinions in their work is laughable. When any critic opens a text they inevitably bring their own quirks and prejudices with them. Their task will be to produce a reading of the text that can be shown to be accurate or inaccurate, but also one that is original – and thus to a certain extent influenced by subjective feelings or opinions that will inevitably have a political dimension. Whether they recognize it or not, all critics bring their politics to their work. So why not say so? Surely among the many billions of words written about Shakespeare there is room for a critical practice that isn’t embarrassed about its politics, doesn’t pretend to take a neutral perspective on the work and instead confesses what it is up to loudly and clearly? Since no reading of a text can ever be comprehensive (witness the number of books and articles that have been written on any Shakespeare play), every reading is always partial, and all cultural materialists do is acknowledge this. One of the most striking ways in which this political commitment manifests itself in some cultural materialist criticism is through what Sinfield calls ‘reading against the grain’ (2006: 15). This is the practice of reading the text in a way that seems to clash with its generally accepted interpretations in order to draw out the radical potential that has been previously overlooked or suppressed. Examples of this include an account of King Lear by Dollimore that argues that the play is a critique of the social structure of Lear’s world rather than a testimony to the Christian, humanist or nihilist world view, and Sinfield’s take on Macbeth that suggests that, despite being performed for King James I and perhaps even written expressly for him, the play actually functions as an indictment of the monarchical system and everything it represents (Dollimore 2010: 189–203; Sinfield 1992: 95–108). This kind of radical potential is usually referred to as ‘dissidence’, a form of protest against or resistance to a set of norms authorized by the most powerful members of society. The identification of forms of dissidence in an imaginative textual record of the past will often then be connected by cultural materialists to an analogous instance of oppression in the present, with the aim of drawing attention to such injustices and perhaps correcting them in the future. As Dollimore and Sinfield suggest, these

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interventions regularly take place on the territory of gender and sexuality or through the lens of class struggle, although a wide range of other progressive political concerns have been considered. The prominence afforded to politics by the cultural materialist approach remains difficult for some to accept, and the usual objection raised is that ‘the text becomes nothing more than a hook on which to hang things’ (Parvini 2012: 46). But for Sinfield that is beside the point, since ‘the ultimate allegiance of the cultural materialist is not to the text as such – not to literature – but to the political project’ (2006: 198). In a market-driven era in which university academics are enjoined by their employers to have allegiance to nothing except their own institutions, and indeed when some academics are disciplined or even dismissed for speaking publicly about the failures of those institutions, Sinfield’s approach remains not only refreshing but also urgently relevant.

CULTURE Underlying this provocative approach is a serious analysis of the relationship between history, politics and culture drawn from a sincere engagement with twentiethcentury theory and philosophy. Here, a number of thinkers whose ideas have been taken up by other critical approaches come back into focus. They all share a desire to demystify longstanding ideas about what it means to be human by abandoning metaphysics and looking to actual circumstances. We might call this a move from idealism to materialism. Chief among these thinkers is Marx, whose account of the relationship between historical events and human subjects acts as a cornerstone in the cultural materialist position on individual agency. Marx’s key phrase, used in various forms throughout the work of Dollimore and Sinfield, is this: Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past. (1934: 10) In other words, sometimes it may be possible for people to create the means for political change, especially as part of a group, but at other times it may not – and both of these possibilities are beyond the total control of the individual. This is an important idea because it offers cultural materialists a working model of the scope for dissidence that might be found at any particular moment or in any particular text. For, despite accusations to the contrary, the best work by cultural materialists does not make unrealistic claims about the amount and the effect of radical potential in Shakespeare’s works or Shakespeare’s era. In every case, the material circumstances must be taken into account in order to avoid what Dollimore has called ‘wishful theory’: an unrealistic estimation of radical potential (2001: 38). This very complex task is made a little easier with reference to Raymond Williams’s work on the application of Marxism to literature. Among other critical innovations, and by borrowing Antonio Gramsci’s idea of cultural hegemony (the idea that society is dominated by the ruling classes through their manipulation of ideology), Williams formulated a model of culture that sought to clarify how dissidence might emerge

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and evaluate what effect it might have upon culture at large. Williams identified three cultural forms: the dominant, the residual and the emergent. The first is selfexplanatory; the second is culture that ‘has been formed in the past, but is still active in the cultural process … as an effective element of the present’ (1977: 122). The third, emergent culture, is defined as ‘new meanings and values, new practices, new relationships and kinds of relationship’ (1977: 123). It might seem obvious that emergent culture would pose a challenge to the dominant culture, and sometimes it does. However, Williams notes that this is not always the case and warns that the dissident elements present in some forms of residual culture should not be dismissed either. He offers two further categories that help to illustrate this: the ‘oppositional’ and the ‘alternative’. Some elements of residual culture – say, Christianity for the majority of people in the UK – are in fact quite oppositional. For instance, Christ’s injunction for his followers to sell everything they have and give the money to the poor (Mt. 19.21) is not a course of action generally approved of by today’s capitalist states. And emergent cultural forms, even those that are genuinely new, often prove to be merely an alternative to the dominant without posing any active threat to it. Williams’s categories gave cultural materialists a vocabulary that they could use to analyse culture, and while this has proven indispensable it has also revealed just how complex culture actually is. There are many instances when it is very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to tell for certain whether a particular passage in a Shakespearean text, or any text, offers evidence of genuine opposition or whether it is residual, emergent, alternative or dominant. Often this is because it was not always clear which forms were which within the host culture itself. Think about our own early twenty-first-century context. Is the horror film, as is sometimes claimed, an emergent, oppositional form? Or is it simply the most recent incarnation of a residual form of human culture that has forever warned us to beware of that which we don’t understand? Are some horror films oppositional but not others, and if so, why? These are not simple questions, and their answers can be debated. However, what can be said with more confidence is that complex cultural artefacts, be they films, plays or simply passages within them, often bear witness to moments of ideological struggle.

FAULTLINES Let’s assume for a moment that most of the behaviour in Shakespeare’s plays is broadly aligned with the interests of the ruling classes as represented by dominant culture. There are some sensible reasons for thinking that this was true, not least because every play that was to be publicly performed needed to be approved by an official censor known as the Master of the Revels who was appointed by the Crown. Shakespeare’s connection with aristocratic patrons such as the Earl of Pembroke, the Earl of Southampton and, of course, Elizabeth I and James I themselves might also suggest that his work needed to be on its best behaviour, so to speak. Given this hypothesis, what are readers to do with moments in Shakespeare’s plays that seem to go against the dominant culture? For example, how should we interpret the famous moment in The Merchant of Venice when Shylock, the Jewish money-lender, makes

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a powerful speech in defence of what we would today call human rights: ‘Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions’ (3.1.53–4)? In the context of a deeply anti-Semitic England from which practising Jews had been officially banned since 1290, how were these words heard? Because of the complex model of culture that they work with, cultural materialists would probably say that there is no certain answer to this but that it is possible to see scope for dissidence here due to what Sinfield calls ‘faultlines’. A faultline is an ideological disjunction – a crack in the dominant culture brought about by the contradictions inherent within it. In this particular play, dominant anti-Semitic ideas clash with what might broadly be called a cosmopolitanism that was beginning, very tentatively, to be felt in some intellectual and social circles and which was to become national policy with the resettlement of Jews in the country in the 1650s. Sinfield’s explanation of the faultline is crucial for an understanding of cultural materialist practice: Revolutionary change is rare and usually dependent upon a prior buildup of small breaks; often there are great personal costs. The point of principle is that scope for dissident understanding and action occurs not because … Shakespeare, and [theoretically savvy] readers have a privileged vantage point outside the dominant, but because the social order cannot but produce faultlines through which its own criteria of plausibility fall into contest and disarray. (1992: 45; italics in original) Sinfield argues here that it is simply impossible, even for the most monolithic and repressive dominant culture, to extinguish all dissident thought. This is because the greater the scale of social experience the dominant order wants to account for, the harder it has to work – and the harder anything works, the more likely it is to break down. Two brief twentieth-century examples help to illustrate this. In 1976, Erich Honecker, Head of State of the communist German Democratic Republic, opened the Palace of the Republic in the country’s capital, East Berlin. It was a spectacular venue, its interior lit by thousands of ornate lamps, that housed the parliament chamber in addition to various bars and cafes. The building was intended to impress upon the East German people the glory and power of the regime they were living under. Instead, it quickly became known as ‘Erich’s lamp shop’, a name that shows how the fundamental notion of fairness represented by the communist ideal was punctured by the ostentatiously unequal distribution of resources represented by Honecker’s grand architectural folly. Whether this example of small-scale dissidence had anything to do with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 is difficult to say, but it might have been one of the ‘buildup of small breaks’ that Sinfield mentions. To take a more recent example, the term ‘Schrödinger’s immigrant’ was coined by a satirical website in 2014 to highlight the contradictions inherent in right-wing antiimmigration rhetoric that warns against migrants who ‘exist in a state of both lazing around on benefits whilst simultaneously … stealing British jobs’ (Adler 2014). Here the dominant ideology is clearly revealed to be in disarray; however, as it subsequently proved, this memorable piece of satire did nothing to prevent the turn to nativism represented in the UK by the Brexit vote and in the US by the election of Donald Trump.

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AGENCY The concept of the faultline has often been misunderstood. If scope for dissidence arises due to the contradictions and inconsistencies of the dominant ideology, does this mean that human beings have no role in such dissidence? If neither Shakespeare nor the reader has a ‘privileged vantage point outside the dominant’, does that mean there’s no room in cultural materialism for human agency? Quite the contrary. As Sinfield has argued, ‘cultural materialists were preoccupied with how to construct a model of cultural production that did not fall into the determinism that had influenced earlier Marxist theories’ (1994: 259; italics in original). Sinfield alludes to a philosophical debate that is too lengthy to go into here; suffice it to say that those theorists who have been read as supporting determinism, chiefly Louis Althusser and Michel Foucault, do no such thing. While it is true that these thinkers are far more sceptical about the independence and effectiveness of human agency than many, they accept that there is always room for resistance to the dominant culture to occur.1 Keep in mind Marx’s assertion that humans ‘make their own history, but not in conditions of their own choosing’. That being the case, although faultlines emerge for ideological reasons, they are put under pressure by human agents. Ideologies may collapse under their own weight, but people have to play their role too. As Dollimore asserts: ‘dissidence occurs through individuals acting in scenarios made possible by ideological contradictions’ (2013: 733; italics in original). Cultural materialists, as befits their Marxist inheritance, tend to stress that collective action is the most effective way of making meaningful changes, and Sinfield pays particular attention to the role that subcultures play to ‘legitimate such dissidence’ (1994: 267). In the field of literature, it is clear that drama is an especially fruitful vehicle for dissidence due to its social aspect, which is one of the reasons why the authorities of Shakespeare’s London ensured that no public playhouse could be situated within the city itself. And although Shakespeare was not able to detach himself from his culture to take up some God-like view over it, he did have a good eye for the box office. Consequently, his plays ask questions that his fellow citizens found interesting – questions for which there were no simple answers. As Dollimore and Sinfield suggest, it is ‘likely that the topics that engaged writers and audiences alike were those where ideology was under strain’ (Sinfield 1992: 114).2 These topics, in other words, were chosen by human agents – playwrights – and seem to have proven of interest to other human agents – audiences. We might say then that while Shakespeare chose his own stories, he did not do so under conditions of his own choosing.

THE WINTER’S TALE In this final section, I will offer an interpretation of Shakespeare’s 1610 play The Winter’s Tale, drawing out the key tenets of cultural materialism that I have discussed above. By working with a concept of culture that cultural materialists drew from Marx, Gramsci, Williams and others, I will read the play in a political manner by drawing attention to faultlines and moments of dissidence, historicize its meanings

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by referring to context, and read against the grain to tease out contemporary political parallels. The Winter’s Tale demands such a reading because, amongst other things, it is clearly interested in the behaviour of tyrants. Its first three acts are set in Sicilia and dramatize the consequences of King Leontes’ irrational suspicion that his wife Hermione is having an affair with his oldest friend Polixenes. Leontes plots to murder Polixenes, imprisons Hermione and threatens to kill the child she bears during her incarceration, causing Paulina, a Lady of the court, to accuse him – albeit indirectly – of tyranny: I’ll not call you tyrant; But this most cruel usage of your queen, Not able to produce more accusation Than your own weak-hinged fancy, something savours Of tyranny. (2.3.114–18) This is a very obvious moment of dissidence and Leontes clearly deserves the rebuke, as he comes to recognize later in the play – but it is worth starting with it because a great deal of dominant culture in early modern England was devoted to suppressing the idea that the will of legitimate monarchs (which is what Leontes is) could be resisted at all. For example, in 1570, churchmen throughout the country were instructed to preach a ‘Homily against Disobedience and Wilful Rebellion’ that contained passages like the following: it is most evident that kinges, queenes, and other princes … are ordayned of God, are to be obeyed and honoured of their subjectes; that such subjectes as are disobedient or rebellious against their princes disobey God and procure their own damnation. (Bond 1987: 211) As Dollimore points out, this kind of didacticism needed to be repeated again and again because it formed part of ‘a strategy of ideological struggle’ (1994: 5). It was, in other words, part of ongoing attempts by the elite to ensure that the dominant view of obedience went unchallenged. Some critical approaches view Shakespeare’s work as taking part in this ideological struggle on the side of the powerful; however, cultural materialists would argue that what I’ve identified here is a faultline. The dominant culture insists that disobeying a ruler is wrong, but with Leontes’ behaviour so dangerously erratic that he threatens infanticide, the audience is invited to at the very least empathize with Paulina’s attempts to shame her king into getting control of himself. So the dominant cultural ideal of absolute loyalty to a monarch is destabilized by the actual behaviour of that monarch.3 Like the other courtiers who protest against their king’s behaviour, including her husband Antigonus, Paulina is confronted by this faultline and actively responds to it. However, she exercises individual agency by going further than any other character in challenging Leontes’ actions. Moreover, Paulina’s reference to Leontes’ ‘weak-hinged fancy’ aligns this episode even more closely with the cultural materialist model of ideological struggle. One of the most striking things about the play is the difficulty of the language spoken by Leontes in its first three acts. This linguistic complexity reveals how Leontes’

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fears and insecurities have overcome him to such an extent that he genuinely finds it difficult to distinguish fantasy from fact. In the following speech, he wonders whether his suspicions are simply delusions caused by his mental state (his ‘affection’) before ultimately ruling this out: May’t be Affection? – Thy intention stabs the centre, Thou dost make possible things not so held, Communicat’st with dreams – how can this be? – With what’s unreal thou coactive art, And fellow’st nothing. Then ’tis very credent Thou mayst co-join with something, and thou dost. (1.2.137–43) In this complex passage, Leontes addresses his own mental state directly. He seems to be saying that if imagination can join with the world of dreams to make something seem real when it is in fact purely fantastical (‘nothing’), then it is just as likely that imagination has access to the real world (‘something’) and can thus lead him to the truth. This deranged reasoning convinces Leontes that if he can imagine something that isn’t real, he can also imagine something that is real, and his wife’s supposed infidelity falls into the latter category. When the facts of the matter are revealed through the intervention of Apollo’s oracle (the play is set in a world where oracles speak the unambiguous truth), Leontes’ initial reaction is to dismiss this as ‘mere falsehood’ (3.2.138). The point here is that the workings of Leontes’ imagination match the cultural materialist model of the relationship between the dominant culture and the social sphere. Both proceed by ideology, and Leontes’ imaginary account of Hermione’s affair is ideology in its purest form: false, illogical and impervious to facts, but backed up with symbolic and actual power. It is not difficult to connect this reading of Shakespeare’s play to an observation about the political culture of the early twenty-first century as well as the seventeenth. The most striking thing that Leontes does with the actual power at his command is to banish his daughter Perdita. After being talked out of executing the infant, Leontes commands Antigonus to abandon her in some ‘remote and desert place, quite out / Of our dominions’ (2.3.174–5), her survival entirely left to fate. After leaving Perdita in Polixenes’ kingdom of Bohemia, Antigonus is immediately killed by a bear, and the ship on which he and Perdita have travelled sinks, leaving the baby and a record of her identity to be found by a passing shepherd. This discovery facilitates the second movement of the play, in which a now teenage Perdita, adopted by the shepherd, comes to marry the son of Polixenes and returns to Sicilia to reconcile the major characters with each other. Acts 4 and 5 of the play thus broadly draw the characters out of the tragic mode and into the comic. A similar transition from sorrow to reconciliation can be found in three other plays written towards the end of Shakespeare’s career, namely The Tempest, Pericles and Cymbeline, and critics have repeatedly sought to account for this in formal terms. The concepts of ‘romance’ and ‘tragicomedy’ have, quite rightly, offered explanations, as has the appeal of these forms to more upmarket audiences made accessible to Shakespeare’s play

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company the King’s Men by their 1608 purchase of the indoor Blackfriars theatre (Pitcher 2010: 10–24, 90). Yet these formal questions have tended to obscure the political position of Perdita, which is further obscured by the passage of sixteen years between the end of Act 3 and the start of Act 4. When we encounter her in Act 4, Perdita is a sixteen-year-old adoptee, settled in her new life if never quite at ease with the mystery of her parentage, which has not been revealed to her. But when she arrives in Bohemia in Act 3, her situation is more perilous. Banished under pain of death from her native land, Perdita’s status is that of a refugee. Critics interested in reading The Winter’s Tale politically have been able to sidestep the formal questions the play raises by paying attention to the real historical situation of the country in which Perdita finds herself. As James Ellison points out, ‘by the early seventeenth century, approximately 90 per cent of the population of Bohemia counted as Protestant, of one kind or another’ (2003: 176). Consequently, Ellison reads Bohemia as an analogue of Protestant England and considers how the ecumenical policies of James I’s government aligned with those of Rudolf II, the Holy Roman Emperor under whose ultimate control Bohemia fell (2003: 176–9). Yet Ellison is interested in the way that the play functions as a critique of James I’s rule – he suggests it offers a ‘mixed report’ (2003: 196) – rather than the plight of refugees who might find themselves there. For Alfred Thomas, when the position of English Catholics is taken into account this ‘mixed report’ becomes rather more damning. Thomas sees the Sicilian scenes of the play as emphasizing ‘the oppressive nature of Jacobean London’, capital of a country made Protestant ‘through coercion and persecution’ (2019: 196). Leaving aside the relative merits of these two opposing views of James’s religious policy, Thomas comes closest to seeing Perdita as a refugee when he suggests that her role may be an allusion to the ‘fate of English recusants who found refuge from religious persecution in … Bohemia, including Elizabeth Jane Weston and … Edmund Campion’ (2019: 199). Thomas offers a broadly cultural materialist reading of the play that sees Bohemia as ‘a synonym for religious toleration’ (2019: 201) and makes connections between that period and our own, but the relation between Perdita’s situation and the current worldwide migrant crisis is not pursued. Consequently, the reading of Perdita as a refugee seems to be ‘against the grain’. Yet pressing it can help us see the play, and perhaps ourselves, more clearly. Far from the utopia Thomas suggests, Shakespeare’s version of Bohemia is ruled by its own tyrant in the person of Polixenes. When he discovers that his son Florizel has vowed to marry Perdita, who at this point is understood to be a lowly shepherd’s daughter, he directs a stream of vitriol towards her rarely matched in all Shakespeare: And thou, fresh piece Of excellent witchcraft … I’ll have thy beauty scratched with briars and made More homely than thy state. … if ever henceforth thou

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These rural latches to his entrance open, Or hoop his body more with thy embraces, I will devise a death as cruel for thee As thou art tender to’t. (4.4.427–46) Ellison reads this as a negative comment on the strategic marriages James was pursuing for his children, and that may be the case (2003: 194). And, of course, the play requires Perdita and Florizel to travel to Sicilia, with Polixenes in hot pursuit, for the wrongs of the first three acts to be righted. But in terms of Perdita’s citizenship, as it were, here we see her being forced for the second time in her sixteen years to abandon the country she calls home and entrust her life yet again to the sea. Once more threatened by a tyrant with execution if she remains where she is, Perdita is made doubly stateless, becoming a refugee twice over. Only her father’s dramatic change of heart, facilitated by Paulina during the intervening sixteen years, ensures that Perdita does not suffer the fate with which she has been threatened. Would that everyone in a similar position to Perdita were so lucky. The UK has for years been running what is known as a ‘hostile environment’ for migrants, aimed at making it difficult and expensive for non-UK nationals to stay in the country regardless of their personal circumstances and deporting as many people as quickly as possible (Hill 2017). British citizens who have lived in the country for half a century – the Windrush generation – have been removed or threatened with removal to lands that they barely know (Grierson 2018). Those journeying to Europe to find a better life in one of the richest countries in the world have been condemned in terms that are reminiscent of those used by Leontes and Polixenes about Perdita (Jones 2015). Many migrants never even reach British shores, having drowned after boarding overcrowded vessels run by criminal gangs. In the United States, concentration camps are being run at the Mexican/US border, and children separated from their parents have died in captivity; once again, the rhetoric is tyrannous (Blow 2019). Shakespeare’s work can be seen as an escape from all this – as a means of turning away from the horror. Or it can be used, alongside historical context, theory and close reading, as a way to challenge naïve assumptions about human nature and the superiority of the present over the past. Criticism will not be enough, but it might be one way to legitimate dissidence. However, unless the political is brought to the aesthetic, as it is in cultural materialism, progressive causes will struggle. I’d like to end with an allegory. In early February 2016, at the refugee camp known as ‘the Jungle’ in Calais, actors from Shakespeare’s Globe gathered on a makeshift openair stage to perform Hamlet. The play was popular with the audience of about 300 people who saw it. One spectator, Hector, a young Eritrean nurse who fled his country after he was forced to become a soldier, said, ‘It is good to enjoy something. Life here is very bad … We are human beings – would you live here?’ Unfortunately, the play was abandoned before the end of Act 3 because the weather was simply too cold to continue (Brown 2016). The camp was cleared in October 2016, and many former residents found themselves living rough on the streets of Paris (Nossiter 2016). How’s that for a winter’s tale?

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NOTES 1. See Marlow (2017: 83–93) for a fuller discussion. 2. This chapter of Sinfield’s book is co-authored by Dollimore. 3. Strier (1995: 200–1) makes a similar point.

REFERENCES Adler, N. (2014), ‘UKIP Warns of Schrödinger’s Immigrant Who “Lazes Around on Benefits Whilst Simultaneously Stealing Your Job”’, News Thump, 28 November. Available online: https://newsthump.com/2014/11/28/ukip-warns-of-schrodingersimmigrant-who-lazes-around-on-benefits-whilst-simultaneously-stealing-your-job/ (accessed 25 June 2019). Blocksidge, M., ed. (2003), ‘Shakespeare: Iconic or Relevant?’, in Shakespeare in Education, 1–19, London: Bloomsbury. Blow, C. M. (2019), ‘Trump’s Concentration Camps’, New York Times, 23 June. Available online: www.nytimes.com/2019/06/23/opinion/trump-migrants-camps.html (accessed 25 June 2019). Bond, R. B., ed. (1987), ‘Certain Sermons or Homilies’ (1547) and ‘A Homily against Disobedience and Wilful Rebellion’ (1570): A Critical Edition, Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Brown, M. (2016), ‘All the World’s a Stage: Shakespeare’s Globe takes Hamlet to Calais’, Guardian, 3 February. Available online: www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/03/ shakespeares-globe-takes-hamlet-calais-jungle-camp (accessed 25 June 2019). Collini, S. (2012), What Are Universities For?, London: Penguin. Dollimore, J. (1994), ‘Introduction: Shakespeare, Cultural Materialism and the New Historicism’, in J. Dollimore and A. Sinfield (eds), Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism, 2nd edn, 2–17, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Dollimore, J. (2001), Sex, Literature and Censorship, Cambridge: Polity. Dollimore, J. (2010), Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology and Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, rev. 3rd edn, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Dollimore, J. (2013), ‘A Response to Neema Parvini’, Textual Practice, 27: 733–5. Dollimore, J. (2016), ‘Alan Sinfield: Mentor and Lover’, Textual Practice, 30: 1031–8. Dollimore, J. and J. Y. Bayot (2013), Jonathan Dollimore in Conversation, Manila: De La Salle University Publishing House. Dollimore, J. and A. Sinfield, eds (1994), ‘Foreword to the First Edition: Cultural Materialism’, in Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism, 2nd edn, vii–viii, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Drakakis, J. (2001), ‘Cultural Materialism’, in C. Knellwolf and C. Norris (eds), The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, Vol IX: Twentieth-Century Historical, Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives, 43–58, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ellison, J. (2003), ‘The Winter’s Tale and the Religious Politics of Europe’, in A. Thorne (ed.), Shakespeare’s Romances: Contemporary Critical Essays, 171–204, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Grierson, J. (2018), ‘Hostile Environment: Anatomy of a Political Disaster’, Guardian, 27 August. Available online: www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/aug/27/hostileenvironment-anatomy-of-a-policy-disaster (accessed 25 June 2019). Hill, A. (2017), ‘“Hostile Environment”: The Hardline Home Office Policy Tearing Families Apart’, Guardian, 28 November. Available online: www.theguardian.com/ uk-news/2017/nov/28/hostile-environment-the-hardline-home-office-policy-tearingfamilies-apart (accessed 25 June 2019). Jones, S. (2015), ‘UN Human Rights Chief Denounces Sun Over Katie Hopkins “Cockroach” Column’, Guardian, 24 April. Available online: www.theguardian.com/ global-development/2015/apr/24/katie-hopkins-cockroach-migrants-denounced-unitednations-human-rights-commissioner (accessed 25 June 2019). Marlow, C. (2017), Shakespeare and Cultural Materialist Theory, London: Arden Shakespeare. Marx, K. (1934), The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Moscow: Progress. Nossiter, A. (2016), ‘Paris Is the New Calais, with Scores of Migrants Arriving Daily’, New York Times, 3 November. Available online: www.nytimes.com/2016/11/04/world/ europe/paris-migrants-refugees.html (accessed 25 June 2019). Parvini, N. (2012), Shakespeare’s History Plays: Rethinking Historicism, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Pitcher, J. (2010), ‘Introduction’, in The Winter’s Tale, ed. J. Pitcher, Arden Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. (2010), The Winter’s Tale, ed. J. Pitcher, Arden Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. (2011), The Merchant of Venice, ed. J. Drakakis, Arden Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Sinfield, A. (1992), Faultlines: Cultural Materialism and the Politics of Dissident Reading, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sinfield, A. (1994), ‘Heritage and the Market, Regulation and Desublimation’, in J. Dollimore and A. Sinfield (eds), Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism, 2nd edn, 255–79, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Sinfield, A. (2005), Cultural Politics – Queer Reading, 2nd edn, London: Routledge. Sinfield, A. (2006), Shakespeare, Authority, Sexuality: Unfinished Business in Cultural Materialism, London: Routledge. Strier, R. (1995), Resistant Structures: Particularity, Radicalism, and Renaissance Texts, Berkeley: University of California Press. Thomas, A. (2019), ‘Shakespeare’s Bohemia: Terror and Toleration in Early Modern Europe’, Brno Studies in English, 45: 191–209. Williams, R. (1977), Marxism and Literature, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

CHAPTER 2.4

Feminist studies JESSICA MCCALL

Every feminist critic has encountered the archly disingenuous question ‘What exactly is feminist criticism?’ The only effective response is ‘I’ll send you a booklist,’ for feminist criticism can only be defined by the multiplicity of critical practices engaged in by feminists. Kathleen McLuskie, ‘The Patriarchal Bard’ I am doomed to failure. I know this, yet still I wrestle with words as if I might find a way to communicate the complicated, contradictory, intersectional theory of feminism as it informs and is informed by every other theory of power relations, economic oppression, cultural construction and social marginalization.1 It’s just like Han Solo said, everybody gets delusions of grandeur. But feminism is about how we think as much as it’s about what we think. Scholarly discourse trains the writer to make linear and precise explanations, but linear precision is an illusion. For example, the perspective of history as progress is linear, but it also coincidentally connects the European Renaissances to a whitewashed narrative of ancient Greece and ensures that white supremacist colonial powers remain the natural, ‘civilizing’ forces in a savage, chaotic world. That’s a narrative to resist, because without resistance, this history of ‘human progress’ centres the origins of feminist thought around twentieth-century upper-class educated white women of France, Britain and the United States. As Sara Ahmed states, It might be assumed that feminism travels from West to East. It might be assumed that feminism is what the West gives to the East. That assumption is a traveling assumption, one that tells a feminist story in a certain way, a story that is much repeated; a history of how feminism acquired utility as an imperial gift. This is not my story. (2017: 4) Instead, we might begin with second-wave feminists like Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldúa or bell hooks, whose work paved the way for intersectionality bridging second- and third-wave feminisms. But the history of literary feminist criticism must also include Virginia Woolf and, before her, Mary Wollstonecraft. And there are the early modern women writers like Elizabeth Carey and Margaret Cavendish – does recognizing the importance of women writers mean we should go all the way back to the Akkadian poet Enheduanna (2285–2250 BCE), the first author known by name and high priestess of Sumer? But, so far as we know, the word ‘feminism’ didn’t

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exist in the twenty-third century BCE; thus the next question presents itself: does the history of feminist studies include the history of women or merely happen in response to it (Kelly-Gadol 1977)? Jonathan Gil Harris asserts that ‘Feminism … is broadly concerned with female resistance’ and asks, ‘But what, exactly, does feminism resist?’ (2010: 107). Along with the patriarchal, colonial narrative just mentioned, feminist studies also resists itself, as stated by bell hooks, who asserts that we must resist ‘hegemonic dominance of feminist thought by insisting that it is a theory in the making’ and that we ‘must necessarily criticize, question, re-examine, and explore new possibilities’ (2000: 10–11). One way feminists engage in this ongoing questioning and exploration is by resisting ideas of real knowledge as only equating to ‘facts’ – information that is discrete, precise, memorized and easily repeated (Poovey 1998; Carter 2019). What is the fact of love? Or grief? And yet these things are real and we can study them through multiple disciplines. Feminism is not precise and it is not a single methodology, but scholarly discourse is homogenizing and authoritative by nature.2 To avoid repeating the same mistakes, feminist studies must resist this homogenization by learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. It must remain unapologetically political and studied in unapologetically personal ways. To engage in feminist work is to resist doing what you’re told – to engage in feminist work is to do what you can. Within feminist studies there is criticism and theory. Criticism studies the effects of sexisms, but theory answers what sexism is and why it exists. Both are necessary because a feminist approach asks questions.3 The nature of the question shapes the nature of the engagement. Explorations of gender like Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble (1990) theorize what gender could be, but a critique of a text – literary, cultural or critical – asks questions like, ‘Why do so many students still call Lady Macbeth a bitch?’ That answer isn’t found in Shakespeare’s text but in the history of sexist criticism, adaptations and cultural attitudes towards women who yell at their husbands, and we must study that in order to study our responses to Shakespeare’s text. We cannot answer questions about Lady Macbeth without the theory, but the theory is useless without connecting it to lived experience. The particularities of our lived experiences – our subject positions – are a big deal. While there are shared experiences and shared truths among those who suffer from inequities specifically perpetrated by patriarchy, the truth is that everyone suffers from gender norms4 but not everyone suffers from sexist oppression. And while all sexist oppression is tied to a heterosexist patriarchy, only some of it intersects with white supremacy (Crenshaw et al. 1996). And while all women suffer for failing to ‘perform’ femininity properly, trans women are significantly more likely to be murdered for it (Dvorak 2019). Whatever kind of woman I am (and we’ll get to the word ‘woman’) is tied to my race and my class and whether I am trans or cis. Those answers directly shape my personal experiences and thus, since my answers are different from your answers, any presumption of one theory, one approach to understanding feminism, will always fail. Feminist studies has failed to acknowledge these differences in the past because there is political expediency in focusing on only

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some women.5 Also, essentializing ideas of ‘sisterhood’ offer the comforting illusion of unity.6 A feminist approach resists the comfortable and asks what was ignored and overlooked in order to make that comfort possible. The following chapter, then, should not be understood as a prescriptive authority (this is what feminism is, this is how feminist studies is done) but as a descriptive overview. Here are some starting points. Here are some approaches. Here are some places to begin asking ‘why?’ And, hopefully, here are some things to resist.

WHAT IS FEMINISM? What do you hear when you hear the word feminism? (Sara Ahmed, Living a Feminist Life (2017)) There are as many metaphors to define and explain feminism as there are feminisms in the world. These metaphors and definitions include describing feminism as ripples in the water,7 a lived political ethos,8 a commitment to equity,9 or thinking transhistorically.10 Most of these are variations on a theme – patriarchy privileges that which is signified masculine and discriminates, even oppresses, that which is signified feminine. Simultaneously, patriarchy maintains a conceptual gender binary where everything must be either masculine or feminine. If a physicist observes data in order to understand, predict and better interact with forms of energy, a feminist critic observes textual data11 to understand, predict and better interact with society. A cultural studies approach to feminism reads patterns whereas a psychoanalytic feminist considers the psychology of sexism. Most feminist criticism is a combination of theoretical approaches, but all must maintain the dual awareness of a world outside the self which is always interpreted through the self.12 Denial of this dual awareness maintains the status quo13 – if personal experience isn’t allowed to serve as evidence, then narratives from marginalized communities, narratives which reveal the power imbalances and injustices perpetuated through ideological, legislative and economic structures, are silenced. This silencing was named by the second-wave feminist motto ‘the personal is political’.14 The theories of Hélène Cixous15 and Elaine Showalter16 represent two attempts to directly address the structural issues of scholarship by retheorizing what it means to write and critique based on subject position. How is the act of thinking shaped by sexisms and how do we resist them in order to think more critically? The answer starts with the self. No theory can wholly encompass the lived experiences and complex oppressions that affect us individually – yes, sexism, but also racism, classism, ableism, cis-sexism and heterosexism.17 Every individual’s entry into feminist awareness is shaped by lived experience. We all remember the first time we realized there was something rotten in the state of Denmark and it was how Hamlet treated women. Mistaking how subjectivity shapes knowledge production is not a commitment to objectivity but the perpetuation of one kind of experience as all kinds of experience. ‘Everyman.’18 ‘Mankind.’ ‘All men are created equal.’19 Feminism demands more than a repression and dismissal of the subjective – feminism demands we do the hard work of understanding ourselves so that we do not continue to misunderstand others.

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Feminism is as simple as a single atom and as complicated as the quantum particles that allow that atom to be … or not to be.

SHAKESPEAREAN FEMINIST CRITICISM [S]tudies of early modern literature, history, and culture can contribute to a rethinking of feminist aims … even as it can push us to think more carefully about what ‘feminism’ means. In doing so, it also shows why studies of race, sexuality, religious and national identities, material history, and social class are essential parts of … any feminist endeavor. Ania Loomba and Melissa Sanchez, Rethinking Feminism in Early Modern Studies: Gender, Race, and Sexuality Feminist studies has been shaped by debates over the term ‘woman’.20 Critiques of second-wave feminists as elitist, racist and overly optimistic (Gubar 1998; Wiegman 1999) culminated in theories of intersectionality (Crenshaw 1991). And while intersectionality is a requirement of any early twenty-first-century feminism (Dzodan 2011), critics continue to retheorize the term and consider the usefulness of alternative conceptions.21 In terms of methodology, Marianne Novy captures the unique aspects of feminist criticism: ‘This contrast between emphasizing women’s agency and emphasizing women’s containment – a contrast that does not consistently map onto other theoretical differences – has been central in the development of feminist Shakespeare criticism’ (2017: 6). However, specific attention to gender and women is no guarantee of a truly feminist methodology.22 Loomba and Sanchez state, ‘anything we may think of as a feminist methodology has also been transformed by … a shift in feminist objects of analysis, as well as by feminist attention to editorial practice and textual transmission’ (2016: 7). Thus methodologies of Shakespeare feminist criticism are a tapestry interwoven with queer studies (Traub 2015), critical race studies (Hall 1995; McDonald 2002), postcolonialism (Loomba 2002), cultural materialism (Schwarz 2000), historiography (Finn 2012; Howard and Rackin 1997) and presentism (Gajowski 2009). As Valerie Traub states, ‘Even if fields, like the ideas that animate them, do not inevitably settle into strictly delineated paradigms or bounded camps, we necessarily rely on such conceptual rubrics as pragmatic tools’ (2016: 230), and thus feminist criticism is often more than one thing, but is always, first and foremost, feminist (Alfar 2003; Rackin 2005; Callaghan 2000). Kathryn Schwarz states that ‘Given the long arc that passes through Margaret Cavendish, Elizabeth Montague, and Virginia Woolf, one could scarcely say that Shakespearean feminism exploded onto the scene’ (2016: 218), but the publication of the first feminist monograph, Shakespeare and the Nature of Women, in 1975,23 followed by the first edited collection, The Woman’s Part, in 1980,24 is a generally accepted starting point in Shakespearean feminist criticism.25 Evelyn Gajowski states, ‘the origins of feminist studies is in the women’s liberation movement of the late twentieth century’ (2009: 2), and this constitutive

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relationship animated early Shakespearean feminist critics. However, despite early debates that ‘reflected the diversity of feminist thought’ and the essays which ‘expressed strikingly diverse critical allegiances and equally diverse beliefs about their subject’, as Phyllis Rackin puts it (2009: 52), feminism was, and sometimes still is, maligned.26 Exhausted by sexism and still, somehow, dismissed as criticism, feminist studies precariously balances between working to end sexist oppression and a pessimism that such work is futile. As Rackin states: During the 1980s and 1990s … this diversity gave way to a growing consensus in support of the most pessimistic views of women’s lives in Shakespeare’s world and of the roles of female character in his plays. Rejecting the more optimistic feminist readings of the 1970s as unhistorical, scholars cited prescriptive texts that advocated women’s subordination and demonstrated the ubiquity of patriarchal dominance. The resulting paradigm was easily – and repeatedly – summarized. (2009: 52–3) Sadly, by the end of the twentieth century, ‘feminist Shakespeare criticism, like the feminist political project itself, seemed to have reached a dead end’, as Rackin points out, ‘and scholars – even women scholars – increasingly turned in other directions’ (2009: 58). The radical possibilities of writing style, academic form and knowledge production were homogenized by the very institution early feminist critics fought to enter. But, as Valerie Traub insists, ‘With the 1970s and 1980s fading from consciousness, we need more … histories … Such histories not only remind us where we have been, but encourage us to revisit concepts and methods that may have been passed over too quickly in the drive toward new paradigms’ (2016: 231–2). Part of what maintains the relevance of feminist theory and scholarship from twenty, thirty or one hundred years ago is the continued presence of sexism, marginalization and oppressive constructions within current criticism of Shakespeare, national and global politics, and the products of various ‘pop cultures’. Much of more recent feminist criticism is hopeful even as it carries the weary tone of someone who has been here before and knows that unless we wrestle with the impossible – our unexamined allegiances to comforting, orderly ‘truths’ – here we will remain. The history of Shakespeare feminist criticism is marked by surges and retreats, impressive successes and failures wrought from within, popularity and marginalization. Nevertheless, feminist studies has persisted.

‘COLD’ ISABELLA: A PRESENTIST-FEMINIST CRITIQUE What should we make of Isabella’s doctrinal fetishization of her chastity, which she values over her brother’s life? Is this Catholic novice too cold or is she right to refuse to jeopardize her immortal soul? Ivo Kamps and Karen Raber, Measure for Measure: Texts and Contexts Sara Ahmed describes ‘snapping’ as a ‘gateway to cognitive awakening’ (2017: 187). As the hearings for then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh played

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out in 2018, there was a lot of snapping, and scholars of Shakespeare saw an eerie similarity, as if life could not help but imitate art. Laura Kolb theorized the moment, stating, ‘For me, Shakespeare’s portrayals of women’s anger, in particular, have clicked into focus: they render entire structures of power and exchange visible, even as they expose the effects of those structures on individual people (or characters)’ (2019). In the wake of #MeToo and with the spectre of Anita Hill looming, the reaction to Dr Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony that Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a high school party in 1982 was the snap heard around the world. Or, as Erin Keane tweeted: ‘Every woman I know has been storing up anger for years in her body and it’s starting to feel like bees are going to pour out of all our mouths at the same time’ (2018). Ford’s testimony was not legal proof of Kavanaugh’s guilt, but it was evidence of a man who was incapable of withstanding the stress of being critiqued, of being accused, without becoming hysterical. Since law is, in many ways, the analysis of accusation, Kavanaugh’s inability to demonstrate awareness of multiple perspectives, especially when those issues are emotionally charged, is a concern in ethically fulfilling the duties of a Supreme Court Justice, and that is what the nomination process is designed to discover. What does it mean if the act of accusing – the act of speaking – is too terrible to be tolerated? Ahmed states that ‘To snap can mean to make a brisk, sharp, cracking sound; to break suddenly; to give way abruptly under pressure or tension’ (2017: 188). But the snap is only the effect. As Ahmed explains, When a twig snaps, we hear the sound of it breaking … We might assume, on the basis of what we hear, that the snap is the starting point … But a snap would only be the beginning insofar as we did not notice the pressure on the twig. If pressure is an action, snap is a reaction. Pressure is hard to notice unless you are under that pressure. (2017: 188–9) If the bees flying out of our mouths are the snap, how might we use Shakespeare to better understand the pressure which caused it? Most recently, I experienced a snap while reading the ‘Introduction’ and ancillary materials written by editors Ivo Kamps and Karen Raber in the 2004 Bedford/St Martin’s edition of Measure for Measure. Despite employing terms such as ‘sexual coercion’ (2004: 6, 148) and descriptions like ‘forcibly has sex’ (2004: 9) the word ‘rape’ is used only once: ‘Isabella would, paradoxically, have to consent to her own rape if she were to sleep with Angelo’ (2004: 198). That this is neither a paradox nor consent – Isabella would be raped by Angelo, full stop – seems to be irrelevant. Framing her physical assault as a form of consent lessens the severity of Angelo’s ‘deal’ and implies that what Angelo proposes isn’t really rape because Isabella has a ‘choice’. Snap. More frustrating is the presumption of a universal response to the play: ‘Isabella’s reaction to Angelo’s proposition that she exchange her virginity for her brother’s life does not help us sympathize with her and has been a stumbling block for generations of the play’s readers and viewers’ (2004: 196, emphasis mine). Raber and Kamps’s use of ‘us’ assumes scholarly authority can impose an interpretation. Furthermore,

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their argument rests on denial of Isabella’s subject position. As they state, ‘Latetwentieth-century critics have had less interest in defending or criticizing Isabella as if she were a real person, which of course she isn’t’ (2004: 183). Because she’s not a real person, we can’t sympathize with her. Her concern is her chastity – an ideal, an abstraction, a made-up thing – rather than her brother’s life. But what about Isabella’s life? What about her body through which the ideal of chastity is experienced and, possibly, violated? Analysis of subject position is easily dismissed through claims of mistaking fictional characters for real people. Jonathan Gil Harris states, ‘American feminist literary critics have often attempted to advocate for female characters as if the latter were real people’ (2010: 118), and the implication here is that feminist critics are too close to the text, too emotional – we have lost our critical distance. But while feminist Shakespeareans are ‘interested in how the plays may reflect real women’, it is because those plays ‘help produce and reproduce ideas about women that then shape, perpetuate, or even disturb prevailing conditions of femininity’ (Callaghan 2000: 2). Our sympathy for Isabella, our sympathy for Dr Christine Blasey Ford, our sympathy for Anita Hill – there is a pattern here and that pattern is not having sympathy. Shakespeare gives us a woman we can see, explicitly, suffer at the hands of men and we – to use Kamps and Raber’s pronoun – think she overreacts. What hope do real women have, then, when their only proof is words? Snap. My response to Kamps and Raber’s interpretation is undeniably rooted in the present moment. Their choice to actively dismiss Isabella’s subject position seems particularly dangerous because ‘it is through the preconceptions of editors that early modern texts are presented to schoolchildren and students’ (Dusinberre 2003: xviii). Measure for Measure, a play where the audience is taunted by the painful truth of Angelo’s words, ‘Who will believe thee, Isabel?’ (2.4.155), could be a vehicle for discussing the complexity of unequal sexual power dynamics or the frustrating unknowability of words and the ways that our understandings – our interpretations – directly affect how we believe … everything. A feminist criticism considering how the trauma and fear of rape might drive Isabella’s choices is rooted in the unpleasant lived experience of what Isabella fictionally portrays. ‘Modern women can be radically moved by the transgressive aspects of Shakespeare’s plays … this process may also have been at work amongst women in the Globe audience’ (Dusinberre 2003: xxv).27 Angelo is right – no one believes women. Even if they aren’t lying, they’re too sensitive, they demand too much. For example, US judges consistently offer leniency to young men convicted of rape who are deemed as having a ‘bright future’ (Swaine 2019; Gagnon and Grinberg 2016). Why is the future of these young men more important than the reality and consequences of being raped? Why is Isabella’s rage at being asked to choose between grief over her rape and grief over her brother’s death unsympathetic? In response to the Kavanaugh hearings, media commentators accused Dr Blasey Ford of being a ‘lying skank’ and stated, ‘tell me what boy hasn’t done this in high

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school’ (Davis 2018). Women face an uphill battle because, after all, we ‘all turn to monsters’ (KL 4.1.101). Women can be accused but cannot accuse. Women can be acted upon but cannot act. It is Isabella’s duty to save Claudio; that’s what a good sister – a good woman – would do. Hence Isabella should just close her eyes and think of England. Snap. Cristina Leon Alfar states that ‘we need to view [Isabella’s] ethics within the larger dilemma the play wrestles with … the exploitation of the female body by men, and that includes her brother’ (2019: 2). What Alfar explicitly recognizes is that ‘Isabella fails to succumb to her brother’s plea, she fails to feel compassion for him or his plight, and therefore, she fails as “a woman”’ (2019: 3). Isabella has not disappointed ‘generations of readers and viewers’ because she is ‘too cold’ or because of her ‘doctrinal fetish’ but because she fails as a woman. The decision to frame her motivation as her failure to understand chastity disembodies her character and historicizes ‘chastity’ from a specifically patriarchal perspective of dismissiveness. Historical context is an important aspect of literary interpretation, but when Kamps and Raber claim Isabella makes a ‘weak defense’, their logic is based on ‘the literary record and even the religious tradition’ which ‘do not seem to support her outrage’ (2004: 197). The literary record and religious tradition to which Kamps and Raber refer is written overwhelmingly by men like Augustine who write about ‘a related case in which a wife, with her husband’s consent, allows herself to be ravished to save his life’. Because Augustine ‘clearly feels such a case does not deserve the same level of blame that ordinary fornication does’ (2004: 197), we, the readers of Shakespeare, should understand Isabella’s resistance to rape as unreasonable. The use of ‘ravished’ and ‘ordinary fornication’ allow scholars to gloss over the trauma of rape, in the same way that referring to Isabella’s ‘chastity’ as opposed to her body, to her being metaphysically upset as opposed to her being physically traumatized, simplifies the play. No, Isabella is not real, but the pathos of her character rests on the ability to empathize with what her situation would really feel like. Critics have managed such empathy with Lear, Hamlet, even Leontes. Why is Isabella’s interiority less complex? The presumption that women aren’t as complex as men exists, in part, because of our literary record. How we read fictional women written in the past directly affects how we read real women living in the present. If Isabella’s concerns are abstracted, ‘valuing her chastity and salvation’ with Claudio’s embodied reality ‘over her brother’s neck’ (Kamps and Raber 2004: 4), then she has no body – and thus no consequence – until ‘The knees that Isabella refused to bend for her brother in act 2 must here become supple in defense of the man she probably hates most in the world’ (2004: 12). To make Isabella ‘supple’ is to make her malleable, easy; describing her knees as becoming supple rather than forced, bent or broken frames Isabella’s kneeling within a sexist irony. First she was an irrational being committed to abstract ideals and then she was a woman put in her place – supple and on her knees. What snaps in Isabella when her body breaks?

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Snap. The psychological consequences of rape are a viable motivation for Isabella’s decisions, and denying those consequences through a misogynistic literary record actively silences the play’s feminist possibilities. Arguing that readers of Shakespeare should only consider Angelo’s proposed assault of Isabella from the perspective of Augustine and not from a bodily centred, consequential subject position perpetuates a historical understanding of women’s humanity as defined solely by patriarchy. It also reduces the ambiguity of Shakespeare; instead of texts that activate our emotions in order to interrogate our logic, they become texts that merely reify what we think we already know. When Angelo asserts, ‘Then must your brother die’ (2.4.105), Isabella responds, ‘And ’twere the cheaper way. / Better it were a brother died at once / Than that a sister, by redeeming him, / Should die forever’ (2.4.106–9). Kamps and Raber gloss Isabella’s line as ‘should die once for all, rather than die forever (line 109) in the death of the soul through sin’ (2004: 57). But this line can also be read as speaking to the mental stress experienced by many victims of sexual assault. While Shakespeare didn’t have access to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, he clearly understood the depths of depression and malaise. Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy is regularly regarded as a philosophically complex meditation on existence, and his pain is an abstract metaphysical struggle. By contrast, Isabella wrestles with the lived consequences of a body violated, and the ideology through which that struggle is mediated – chastity – is used to lessen the severity of her concern rather than to better understand it. There are many ways to ‘die forever’, and Isabella seems aware of them. Kolb states, ‘Shakespeare’s plays stay still, but we move, and they move with us – and our shifting reactions (critical, theatrical, journalistic, pedagogical) are worth attending to. The plays have facets, and when the lighting changes, so do they. But what that lighting reveals is also what was always there’ (2019). Historically, women, like the fictional Isabella, have been forced to carry the trauma inflicted on them by men, and we justify that burden by consistently arguing that the woman’s burden is lesser. Failure to reflect on how we read sexual assault or who we believe and why ensures that ‘powerful men remain powerful, even when accused, as Isabella puts it, “with outstretched throat”’ (Kolb 2019). If it remains Isabella’s job to accept her rape because it was never Claudio’s job to consider the consequences of his actions, then it remains a woman’s job to be sacrificed to men’s desires. And how can we discover other possibilities, other solutions, if, like Claudio, we simply say, ‘Guess women need to take one for the team, then’? Snap.

NOTES 1. ‘The lack of a theoretical model sufficiently complex to do justice to women’s sexual experience and oppression is particularly problematic for discussions of early modern racial and colonial histories. If there is insufficient conversation between feminism and queer studies, there is even less between race and colonial studies and sexuality studies’ (Loomba

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and Sanchez 2016: 6). ‘One of the exciting aspects of Callaghan’s [Companion] consists in the wide range of discourses … relating not just to gender and sexuality, but to race, economics, religion, theatrical performance text, and editing’ (Dusinberre 2003: xvii). 2. ‘They [white women] believe they are providing black women with “the” analysis and “the” program for liberation. They do not understand, cannot even imagine, that black women, as well as other groups of women who live in daily oppressive situations, often acquire an awareness of patriarchal politics’ (hooks 2000: 11). 3. ‘To live a feminist life is to make everything into something that is questionable’ (Ahmed 2017: 2); ‘the thought experiment [is] a vital force in feminist thought’ (Schwarz 2016: 15); ‘the nature of literary theory is that the questions constantly reinvent themselves’ (Dusinberre 2003: xi). 4. The highest rates of suicide are found in middle-aged white men and there is a clear connection to issues of masculinity. 5. White US suffragettes sacrificed African-American women in order to secure the right to vote in 1920, and women of colour have specifically critiqued second-wave white feminists for ignoring issues such as forced sterilization in the 1970s while fighting for the right to abortion. 6. ‘White second-wave feminist tended to see women as a coherent group united by their shared experience of patriarchal oppression … The work of black, lesbian, Third World, and postcolonial feminists countered, however, that in prioritizing gender over other identities and forms of oppression, scholars and activists failed to recognize how feminism, despite its longing for universal sisterhood, itself had reproduced racist, heterosexist, and imperialist hierarchies of knowledge and power’ (Loomba and Sanchez 2016: 2). 7. ‘I think of feminist action as like ripples in water, a small wave  … here, there, each movement making another possible  … Feminism: the dynamism of making connections’ (Ahmed 2017: 3). 8. ‘Feminism is the struggle to end sexist oppression … it is necessarily a struggle to eradicate the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels, as well as a commitment to reorganizing society so that self-development of people can take precedence over imperialism, economic expansion, and material desires’ (hooks 2000: 26). 9. ‘Feminism is simply about equity and making sure women have the same opportunities as men … People act like they don’t know what feminism is because they don’t want to admit it’s that simple and we’re still so far from achieving it’ (Zublin 2018 quoting Gay); feminism is the fight for ‘social, political, and economic equality of the sexes’ (Adichie 2012). 10. ‘Feminism is about creating the future differently by looking at history differently’ (Callaghan 2016: 5). 11. Yes, I mean Derridean text. 12. ‘It would be difficult to find any form of … academic inquiry … that is not “trendy” – not, that is, shaped by the political and professional pressures that influence the beliefs and preferences of the scholars who produce and consume it. The recurrent dream of a scholarship that will ascend (or escape) to the empyrean realm of timeless, transcendent truths becomes most attractive at particular historical moments’ (Rackin 2009: 59).

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13. ‘To reproduce existing meanings exactly is also to reaffirm the knowledges our culture takes for granted, and the values that precede us – the norms, that is, of the previous generation’ (Belsey 2002: 3–4). 14. This phrase became popular in the 1960s and 1970s, explicitly naming the power and violence perpetrated by ‘depoliticizing’ the feminine and all that’s been connected to it – the domestic, the body, subjectivity – even while passing laws that restrict and control these things. 15. ‘I maintain unequivocally that there is such a thing as marked writing; that, until now, far more extensively and repressively than is ever suspected or admitted, writing has been run by a libidinal and cultural – hence political, typically masculine – economy’ (Cixous 1976: 879). 16. ‘The emphasis in each country falls somewhat differently … All, however, have become gynocentric. All are struggling to find a terminology that can rescue the feminine from its stereotypical associations with inferiority’ (Showalter 1981: 186). 17. This list is not exhaustive. 18. Late fifteenth-century morality play, first performed in 1510. 19. US Constitution. This example also encapsulates the incapability of separating sexism from other forms of oppression like racism, as evidenced through the three-fifths compromise. 20. ‘For “woman” is never an already accomplished, cold, hard, self-evident fact or category, but always a malleable cultural idea as well as a lived reality’ (Callaghan 2000: 2). See also De Beauvoir (1989), Wittig (1992) and Bornstein (1995). 21. ‘Rethinking Feminism demonstrates that there is still much to be gained from a comparative and “intersectional” approach, even as this approach looks markedly different today than it did, say, a decade ago … perhaps a comparative, rather than intersectional, analytic may better allow us to conceptualize the multiplicity … [of] categories’ (Loomba and Sanchez 2016: 7). 22. ‘Feminist studies were adopted as a conceptual tool by women and men without a serious political commitment to feminist political agendas, and scholarship designated as “feminist” provided arguments that could just as easily be used to validate women’s oppression as to oppose it’ (Rackin 2009: 54–5). 23. ‘My work on Shakespeare and his period grew out of my own negotiations between [my] way of life and my fascination with the literary, theological, historical, and theatrical world of the early modern period’ (Dusinberre 2003: xxxvii). 24. ‘Feminist criticism is more a matter of perspective than of subject matter or gender … Feminist critics are profoundly concerned with understanding the parts women have played, do play, and might play in literature as well as culture’ (Lenz, Greene and Neely 1980: 3). 25. For a thorough history of Shakespeare feminist criticism, see Novy (2017) and Loomba and Sanchez (2016). 26. ‘Feminist Shakespeare criticism has often been marginalized as a belated and unseemly intrusion into a venerable discourse that is properly concerned with more important (more universal, more serious, more elevated) concerns than the parochial interests of women’ (Rackin 2009: 49). 27. Note that Dusinberre is also referencing the work of Penny Gay (1994) here.

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REFERENCES Adichie, C. N. (2012), ‘We Should All Be Feminists’, Ted Talk. Available online: www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_we_should_all_be_feminists? language=en (accessed 4 July 2019). Ahmed, S. (2017), Living a Feminist Life, London: Duke University Press. Alfar, C. L. (2003), Fantasies of Female Evil: The Dynamics of Gender and Power in Shakespearean Tragedy, Newark: University of Delaware Press. Alfar, C. L. (2019), ‘Isabella’s Feminist Ethics in Measure for Measure’, paper presented at Renaissance Society of America, Toronto, March. Belsey, C. (2002), Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bornstein, K. (1995), Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us, New York: Vintage. Butler, J. (1990), Gender Trouble, New York: Routledge. Callaghan, D. (2000), Shakespeare Without Women: Representing Gender and Race on the Renaissance Stage, New York: Routledge. Callaghan, D., ed. (2016), ‘Introduction’, in A Feminist Companion to Shakespeare, 2nd edn, 1–18, West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell. Carter, A. (2019), ‘Facts Won’t Solve the Sexual Assault Crisis on College Campuses. But Shakespeare Might,’ paper presented at Shakespeare Association of America, Washington, DC, April. Cixous, H. (1976), ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’, trans. K. Cohen and P. Cohen, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 1: 875–93. Crenshaw, K. (1991), ‘Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color’, Stanford Law Review, 43: 1241–99. Crenshaw, K., N. Gotanda, G. Peller and K. Thomas, eds (1996), Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed a Movement, New York: The New Press. Davis, Z. (2018), ‘The Worst Defenses for Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Ford’, Reason, 28 September. Available online: https://reason.com/2018/09/28/brett-kavanaughchristine-ford-defenses/ (accessed 4 July 2019). De Beauvoir, S. (1989), The Second Sex, trans. H. M. Parshley, New York: Vintage. Dusinberre, J. (2003), Shakespeare and the Nature of Women, 3rd edn, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Dvorak, P. (2019), ‘The Murder of Black Transgender Women Is Becoming a Crisis’, Washington Post, 17 June. Available online: www.washingtonpost.com/local/themurder-of-black-transgender-women-is-becoming-a-crisis/2019/06/17/28f8dba6-912b11e9-b570-6416efdc0803_story.html (accessed 4 July 2019). Dzodan, F. (2011), ‘My Feminism Will Be Intersectional or It Will Be Bullshit!’, Tiger Beatdown, 10 October. Available online: http://tigerbeatdown.com/2011/10/10/myfeminism-will-be-intersectional-or-it-will-be-bullshit/ (accessed 4 July 2019). Finn, K. M. (2012), The Last Plantagenet Consorts: Gender, Genre, and Historiography, 1440–1627, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Gagnon, J. and E. Grinberg (2016), ‘Mad about Brock Turner’s Sentence? It’s Not Uncommon’, CNN, 4 September. Available online: www.cnn.com/2016/09/02/us/ brock-turner-college-athletes-sentence/index.html (accessed 4 July 2019).

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Gajowski, E. (2009), ‘The Presence of the Past’, in Presentism, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare, 1–22, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Gay, P. (1994), As She Likes It: Shakespeare’s Unruly Women, New York: Routledge. Gubar, S. (1998), ‘What Ails Feminist Criticism?’, Critical Inquiry, 24: 878–902. Hall, K. F. (1995), Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Harris, J. G. (2010), Shakespeare and Literary Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press. hooks, b. (2000), Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, 2nd edn, Cambridge: Pluto. Howard, J. and P. Rackin (1997), Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories, London: Pyschology. Kamps, I. and K. Raber, eds (2004), Measure for Measure, New York: Bedford/St Martin’s. Keane, E. (2018), tweet, 27 June. Available online: https://twitter.com/eekshecried/ status/1012179318456414208 (accessed 4 July 2019). Kelly-Gadol, J. (1977), ‘Did Women Have a Renaissance?’, in R. Bridenthal and C. Koonz (eds), Becoming Visible: Women in European History, 175–201, New York: Houghton Mifflin. Kolb, L. (2019), ‘The Very Modern Anger of Shakespeare’s Women: What Measure for Measure Means to Us in 2019’, Electric Lit, 6 February. Available online: https:// electricliterature.com/the-very-modern-anger-of-shakespeares-women/ (accessed 4 July 2019). Lenz, C. R. S., G. Greene and C. T. Neely, eds (1980), The Woman’s Part: Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare, Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Loomba, A. (2002), Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Loomba, A. and M. E. Sanchez, eds (2016), Rethinking Feminism in Early Modern Studies: Gender, Race, and Sexuality, New York: Routledge. MacDonald, J. G. (2002), Women and Race in Early Modern Texts, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McLuskie, K. (1994), ‘The Patriarchal Bard: Feminist Criticism and Shakespeare: King Lear and Measure for Measure’, in J. Dollimore and A. Sinfield (eds), Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism, 2nd edn, 88–108, London: Cornell University Press. Novy, M. (2017), Shakespeare and Feminist Theory, London: Arden Shakespeare. Poovey, M. (1998), A History of the Modern Fact, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Rackin, P. (2005), Shakespeare & Women, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Rackin, P. (2009), ‘Dated and Outdated: The Present Tense of Feminist Shakespeare Criticism,’ in E. Gajowski (ed.), Presentism, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare, 49–62, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Schwarz, K. (2000), Tough Love: Amazon Encounters in the English Renaissance, London: Duke University Press. Schwarz, K. (2016), ‘Just Imagine’, in D. Callaghan and S. Gossett (eds), Shakespeare in Our Time, 14–18, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. (1997), King Lear, ed. R. A. Foakes, Arden Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare.

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Shakespeare, W. (1967), Measure for Measure, ed. J. W. Lever, Arden Shakespeare Second Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Showalter, E. (1981), ‘Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness’, Critical Inquiry, 8: 179–205. Swaine, J. (2019), ‘Teen Accused of Rape Deserves Leniency because of His “Good Family”, Judge Says’, Guardian, 3 July. Available online: www.theguardian.com/usnews/2019/jul/03/new-jersey-teen-judge-court-good-family (accessed 4 July 2019). Traub, V. (2015), Thinking Sex With the Early Moderns, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Traub, V. (2016), ‘Afterword: Early Modern (Feminist) Methods’, in A. Loomba and M. E. Sanchez (eds), Rethinking Feminism in Early Modern Studies: Gender, Race, and Sexuality, 229–45, New York: Routledge. Wiegman, R. (1999), ‘What Ails Feminist Criticism? A Second Opinion’, Critical Inquiry, 25: 362–79. Wittig, M. (1992), ‘One Is Not Born a Woman’, in The Straight Mind and Other Essays, 9–20, New York: Beacon. Zublin, F. (2018), ‘Roxanne Gay: White Feminists, Do the Work Yourselves’, Ozy, 10 August. Available online: www.ozy.com/opinion/roxane-gay-white-feminists-dothe-work-yourselves/88361 (accessed 4 July 2019).

CHAPTER 2.5

Psychoanalytic studies CAROLYN E. BROWN

Shakespeare lived in an age when originality was not as valued as it is today, and, consequently, he relied heavily on sources for such important elements as plot line. Yet his plays, still read, critically studied and performed, are popular over 400 years later, while his sources lie hidden in obscurity. Although his creative command of the English language stands out from that of his contemporaries, it is largely the verisimilitude of his characterization that makes his plays endure – his unique understanding of what makes us tick as humans, our innermost emotions, insecurities, self-deceptions and conflicts. From his own time to today, people have observed the obvious: he is a genius on many fronts but most potently in his understanding of the human psyche. His ability to create characters who mirror our own fears, desires and vulnerabilities draws us to his plays, and their psychological complexities intrigue us. His contemporaries, such as Ben Jonson, praised him for his acute probing of the human mind, with people of later times continuing the accolades, such as John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Samuel Johnson, who claimed his ‘excellence is not the fiction of a tale, but the representation of life; and his reputation is, therefore, safe, till human nature shall be changed’ (1825: 434). Appreciation of his knowledge of the human psyche has continued into the twenty-first century, with literary scholars and psychoanalysts being aided in their assessments by the development of psychoanalytic theories. This chapter highlights in chronological order only the most noteworthy and ground-breaking scholarship that applies this theoretical approach to Shakespeare and is followed by a case study of As You Like It to exemplify its usefulness in understanding the psychological depth of Shakespeare’s characters.

FREUD AND EARLY PSYCHOANALYTIC READINGS The development of psychoanalytic theory in the early 1900s cements Shakespeare’s standing as a master of psychology, for Sigmund Freud relies heavily on Shakespeare’s writings to give authenticity to his ideas. The cornerstone of Freud’s theory is the Oedipus complex, which occurs in the phallic stage of his concept of psychosexual development during the five stages of childhood. As the name of the complex suggests, Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex proves to be a seminal text for Freud, but Hamlet is equally as important, since he believes that Shakespeare’s play is about the same subject but its obscurity derives from the ‘secular advance[ment] of repression’ (1953–74a:

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192). Freud’s male-oriented theory focuses on a male child’s desire to have his mother all to himself and, consequently, his perception of his father as a rival for her affections. He contends that Hamlet is suffering from his unresolved feelings for his mother and resentment of his father’s relationship with her. He uses this construct to explain why Shakespeare’s protagonist cannot take revenge on Claudius, with whom he identifies as the perpetrator of his own unconscious childhood fantasies of achieving intimacy with his mother and murdering his father. Bolstering his new theory of psychology, he boasts that it provides him with a means to unlock the mystery of one of the greatest literary enigmas – why Hamlet repeatedly hesitates in killing his father’s murderer – and it promises to be instrumental in understanding great works of literature in general. Freud’s theories also place much emphasis on the unconscious and repressed impulses, with him dividing the personality into the id (which correlates with the unconscious), the ego (which tries to contain the id’s impulses by means of repression) and the superego (the moral authority, formed from figures of authority such as the father, that directs the ego along a path of societal propriety). When conflicts between these elements arise and the repressed threatens to surface, Freud argues that defence mechanisms help to maintain the balance between the three by keeping the impulses of the id at bay. These concepts prove productive to a study of Shakespeare, since his characters often seem at odds with themselves; that is, they profess motivations for their actions that do not adequately explain the complexity of their behaviour. Freud often validates his theories by applying them to literature, but he refers more often to Shakespeare’s works than to those of any other author. Thus Shakespeare is involved in the genesis of psychoanalytic theory and has maintained a fairly steady and dominant place in it, with it being one of the oldest and most prolific critical approaches to Shakespeare. The first lengthy psychoanalytic studies of Shakespeare are highly influenced by Freud’s theories and thoughts about Shakespeare’s works and are authored primarily by psychoanalysts, since psychological studies did not find credence with literary scholars in the early stages. In the early 1900s, Otto Rank, a colleague of Freud and a traditional Freudian for many years, writes about incest in literature and legend, with a focus on the ambivalent relationship between fathers and sons and the oedipal situation in Hamlet as well as in other plays. In 1949, Ernest Jones, one of Freud’s students, fleshes out his professor’s ideas about Hamlet in a book-length study, now acknowledged as one of the outstanding contributions to psychoanalytic studies of Shakespeare. The first anthology of purely psychoanalytic readings of Shakespeare, edited by M. D. Faber, was published in 1970, although most of the essays appeared first in psychoanalytic journals between the 1940s and the 1960s. Heavily indebted to Freud and Otto Rank, these essays look at the unconscious, doubling and alter-egos, oedipal conflicts between fathers and sons and parricidal fantasies in plays other than Hamlet, paranoia, sadomasochism, incest, matricide, megalomania, and anal and oral obsession. Two other psychoanalysts – Carl Jung and Jacques Lacan – relied on seminal Freudian concepts to develop their own theories, which have been applied to Shakespeare, although the former’s theory was enlisted primarily for only about two

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decades, starting around the 1930s. However, Lacan has had and continues to have substantial impact on Shakespearean scholarship. He started speaking and writing about his theories in the 1950s, delivering lectures in 1959 on his own interpretation of Hamlet. Veering from Freud’s five stages of psychosexual development, he proposes three stages – the Imaginary (or mirror stage), the Symbolic and the Real. Like Freud, his theories are male centred, but he places more emphasis on early identification with the mother, whom the child sees himself as mirroring, especially with regard to his desires. Lacan’s reading of Hamlet identifies his dilemma as centring on his entrapment in the Imaginary stage, enmeshed in his mother’s desires and those of others with whom he identifies and unable to advance to the next stage and realize his own desires. Since it took some time for Lacan’s theories to gain prominence, Freudian readings dominated throughout the 1970s. Norman Holland wrote an expansive study of all that had been written up to 1964 from a psychoanalytic perspective about Shakespeare himself and his works; his approach was to summarize and analyse these readings of all of his works in alphabetical order. The lengthiness of the study highlights the burgeoning of the theory’s application to Shakespeare. Two prominent psychoanalytic critics of the 1970s who have written numerous essays on Shakespeare’s plays are Stephen Reid and Murray Schwartz, both of whom focus on the Freudian matrix of oedipal anxieties.

POST-FREUDIAN THEORISTS AND THE MOTHER: THE 1980s In 1980, Schwartz and Coppelia Kahn edited an anthology of psychoanalytic essays on Shakespeare. The work is important for several reasons. It consists of essays by thirteen literary scholars, not psychoanalysts, who previously were the primary contributors to the theoretical approach, a shift that signals its status as an academically sanctioned approach to Shakespeare. It contains a long bibliography of Shakespearean psychoanalytic publications that highlights the growing popularity of such studies. Some of the essays in the anthology are parts of monographs on Shakespeare, indicating that scholars of this period are applying psychoanalytic theory on a larger scale to his works. And Freud is no longer the primary theorist on whom scholars base their readings; rather, the theories of post-Freudians, such as Erik Erikson, Melanie Klein, David Winnicott, R. D. Laing, Harry Stack Sullivan and Margaret Mahler, gain prominence in studies of Shakespeare. The essays in the anthology are less concerned with the Oedipus complex and the primacy of father-son bonds and more with pre-oedipal relations and early mother-infant bonds, mother-son interactions, male anxieties about maternal and female figures in general, and stages of and complexities in male identity. Object relations theory takes precedence over Freudian theory, with the primary interests being social roles, identity formation and feminist issues, such as the attitudes of Shakespeare and his male characters towards women. In the 1980s, psychoanalytic approaches to Shakespeare became so prominent that a number of book-length works appeared. While Richard Wheeler’s study establishes

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a foundation in Freudian topics, such as incestuous desires and resolutions of the oedipal dilemma, it branches out to object relations theorists, especially Winnicott, and infantile development theories to explore the important role mothers play in fostering separateness and independence in their children to help them form autonomy and trust. In another monograph, written by C. L. Barber and finished by Wheeler after the former’s death, the emphasis is on the pre-oedipal stage to explore early infantile conflicts and the difficulties of transitioning from earlier to later stages of development – which become dominant concerns in later studies. Scholars also began to enlist Lacanian theory more fully, two of the most prominent being Joel Fineman and Harry Berger Jr, who direct attention to the psychological significance of language. Fineman is one of the first to write a lengthy study enlisting Lacan’s theories, specifically those addressing the formation of subjectivity, to explore the difference of poetic stance between the sonnets to the young man and those to the dark lady. In several articles, Harry Berger Jr finds Lacan helpful in exploring the latencies in conversations between characters. His concentration on language games allows him to uncover hidden resentment and covert motivations, unclear to even the characters themselves. While feminists first shun psychoanalytic theory because it is primarily Freudian and thus male focused, they embrace some of the post-Freudian ego psychologists. Coppelia Kahn writes one of the first extended psychoanalytic feminist readings of Shakespeare’s plays, enlisting primarily Erik Erikson’s psychosexual stages of maturation with support from object relations theorists Mahler, Edith Jacobson and Winnicott, Peter Blos’s studies on adolescence, and feminists Dorothy Dinnerstein and Nancy Chodorow. Ego psychologists focus on the importance of the mother to a child’s formation of identity, with the female child developing a sense of self in conjunction with her relationship to her mother and, conversely, the male child early in life needing to differentiate himself from his mother to develop masculinity and achieve individuation. Kahn looks at male characters’ attitudes toward maternal figures, with some fearing them and viewing them as devouring, emasculating figures and some, like Lear, regressing into a childlike state and wanting to re-establish the pre-oedipal union with the mother. She explores the impact of a male hegemony on male identity, as it validates manhood through violence and repudiation of the feminine.

THE EXPANSION OF PSYCHOANALYTIC READINGS: THE 1990s Just as psychoanalytic studies of Shakespeare were flourishing in the 1980s, a setback for these approaches was initiated by Stephen Greenblatt, who argues in a 1986 essay that the Renaissance conception of identity differs from that of psychoanalytic theory and, consequently, applying such a theory distorts the text. He contends that, while the concept of the psyche was in its early stages in this period, it had not developed substantially enough to render a psychoanalytic reading as valid. Ultimately, he recommends that psychoanalysis needs to historicize its theory. This

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criticism from such an esteemed Shakespearean scholar sent shockwaves through the early modern psychoanalytic world of criticism, but scholars continued to enlist the discipline, and, in fact, in the 1990s they branched out by applying a multiplicity of psychoanalytic theories to their individual analyses. While still pertinent, Freud is often overshadowed by developmental and object relations theorists, such as Lacan, Winnicott and Klein. Moreover, such studies are often proffered in tandem with other disciplines, such as deconstructionism, cultural materialism and historicism – the latter resulting from Greenblatt’s advice to historicize psychoanalysis. Some of the most noteworthy studies are feminist in orientation. One is by Janet Adelman, who concentrates on male anxieties, especially as they relate to infantile maternal fantasies of a contaminating, malevolent mother, whom male characters find embodied in every woman. Enlisting primarily object relations theorists, especially Winnicott, she explores how these fantasies mar male characters’ interactions with female characters and their formulations of male identity. Another study is offered by Valerie Traub, who applies Lacanian theory to explore primarily representations of sexuality from a psychoanalytic, feminist and historicist perspective. Like Adelman, she examines male anxiety about female sexuality to show that it causes male characters to view women as whores who can infect men with syphilitic contagion and cannot be trusted. But she focuses primarily on female homoerotics and subjectivity. Last, Barbara Freedman applies object relations, deconstructive theory and Lacanian concepts of the gaze and the symbolic order to her readings of Shakespeare. For example, she views The Taming of the Shrew as representing the entry into the symbolic order of a repressive patriarchal culture that requires people deny their true identities and, conversely, assume societal masks. In 1993, B. J. Sokol edited an anthology that contains essays written by psychotherapists as well as academics from different disciplines, not just literary scholars. Although the essays often offer readings that earlier critics reached, they enlist more varied psychoanalytic theories to arrive at them, not just those of Freud but also of Klein and Winnicott, with an emphasis on object relations and preoedipal fantasies. Several of them reflect the interest in feminist psychoanalytic interpretations, looking, for example, at scholars’ and male characters’ unease with strong female characters, who trigger feelings of abandonment, as when a mother introduces children to separateness and loss; Hamlet’s desire to re-establish the symbiotic bond with his mother yet simultaneously his fear of her engulfment; Hamlet’s dependency on his mother, who is viewed as an overly protective and seductive figure, for whom Hamlet has desires that he replaces with a yearning for death; and daughters’ resentment toward father figures.

HISTORICIZING PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY: THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY Psychoanalysis and feminism continue to have prominence in the twentyfirst century, and Lacanian studies are becoming more prevalent. But the new development is historical in nature, as psychoanalytic critics begin to incorporate historical slants into their analyses, probably in response to Greenblatt’s earlier

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advice to historicize their approaches. As a result, studies tend to be more expansive, often placing Shakespeare within a psychological context in which other authors, often Shakespeare’s contemporaries, also fit. One such study is by James Stone, who combines psychoanalysis, feminism and new historicism to closely explore language in Shakespeare and, in turn, to examine the crossing of the boundaries between the sexes. He posits that violations of these boundaries, such as when female characters resort to transvestism or male characters display androgynous qualities, create impediments for them. When the genders are merged, the problems accelerate, with Hamlet’s feminization and Gertrude’s contrary masculinization, for example, indicating the erasure of differences between the sexes and of taboos, such as incest, adultery and murder. Philip Armstrong, another twenty-first-century scholar, illustrates the continuing influence and currency of Lacanian approaches. Combining historical and psychoanalytic methods, he examines the issue of sight by relating Lacanian theories about mirrors and gazes to classical and medieval optical theory and Shakespeare’s plays. An anthology with a historical context, edited by Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor, was published in 2000, with half of the essays centring on Shakespeare. Some of the essays historicize psychological concepts to prove a compatibility between early modern literature and psychological approaches, while others reject the connection. Another work with a historical foundation is by Carol Thomas Neely, who describes early modern views of madness and treatment of mental illness as enlightened, compassionate and similar to our own, an argument that ultimately provides more evidence that psychological approaches to the literature of this period are not anachronistic. Cynthia Marshall takes a historical perspective as well, looking at violence in early modern works, such as Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, and drawing parallels between early modern concepts of lovesickness, ‘martyrological jouissance’ (2002: 36) or heartbreak and what Freud described as sadomasochism – yet another instance of similarities between modern and early modern psychoanalytic concepts. Last, David Lee Miller, likewise, illustrates the compatibility of historical and psychoanalytic approaches. Focusing on a topic that has always had a place in psychoanalytic studies, Miller explores the relationship of fathers and sons but from a historical perspective, based on the work of anthropologist Nancy Jay, who examines how the ritual sacrifice of sons validates patrilineal descent. He also applies a Lacanian and Freudian approach that concentrates on desire and the unconscious. Although psychoanalytic approaches to Shakespeare experience a setback when Greenblatt questions their authenticity, the historicizing of these readings revives their credibility and substantiates the long-held belief that reading Shakespeare through a psychoanalytic lens helps to unravel some of the most perplexing characters and subjects in his works. Psychoanalysis has become such a prevalent and influential discipline in Shakespeare studies that it has migrated into other theoretical approaches, such as gender studies, philosophy, theology, deconstructionism, cultural materialism, feminism and historicism. As the master of human psychology, Shakespeare will continue through the coming ages to attract attention from those who study the complexity of the human mind and to amaze them with the expansiveness of his knowledge.

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SADOMASOCHISM IN AS YOU LIKE IT Cynthia Marshall has highlighted the prevalence of sadomasochism – the pleasure of receiving and administering ‘any form of humiliation or subjection’ in terms of ‘physical or mental pain’ (Freud 1953–74d: 157, 158) – in early modern literature and has looked in particular at the violence of Titus Andronicus, in which she claims Shakespeare ‘push[es] the erotics of pain, suffering, and dominance to new limits’ (Marshall 2002: 11). This dark aspect of the psyche appears in both Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies, with some instances being of sexually charged physical violence and others of emotional assaults or ‘psychic suffering’ (Stekel 1929a: 201), involving, for example, humiliation and degradation. A sadist derives satisfaction from another’s suffering, ‘in the mildest case’ making the victim ‘feel helpless or powerless’, ‘ridiculous and small’, and ‘in the most extreme case’ ‘destroy[ing] his self-respect, break[ing] his will, mak[ing] him give in’ (Shapiro 1981: 103). A masochist relishes the subjugation and can even invite it. This short study will look at sadomasochism in As You Like It, specifically exploring Rosalind as primarily sadistic and secondarily masochistic and analysing her assaults on Phebe, Silvius, Celia and Orlando, who all show masochistic proclivities. Scholars often romanticize her, but there are clear indications that she, like most sadists, thrives on power, control and domination and relishes subjugating others to her will. Sadomasochism is most succinctly embodied in As You Like It in the relationship between Phebe and Silvius and Ganymede’s intervention in it. Although Phebe openly ‘scorn[s]’ (3.5.1) and mocks Silvius and has evidently done so for some time, he still pursues her. Observing that Phebe ‘exult[s]’ (3.5.37) in the misery she evokes in her devotee, Rosalind is so attracted to watching the sadomasochistic exchange that she cannot resist joining in the abuse as Ganymede, giving Phebe ‘a taste of her own medicine’ by insulting her over her physical appearance and undesirability – ‘I must tell you friendly in your ear; / Sell when you can, you are not for all markets’ (3.5.60–1) – and continuing the berating of Silvius, whom she calls ‘fool[ish]’ (3.5.50). Shakespeare surprises us by having the sadistic Phebe enjoy the derision, claiming she ‘had rather hear [Ganymede] chide than this man [Silvius] woo’ (3.5.66). Shakespeare has Rosalind clarify the masochism when she proclaims Silvius has ‘fallen in love with [Phebe’s] foulness’, while Phebe is ‘fall[ing] in love with [Ganymede’s] anger’ (3.5.67–8). Psychoanalysts have long noted that sadism and masochism are not mutually exclusive and one necessarily accompanies the other; that, in other words, there is a ‘bipolarity’ (Stekel 1929a: 138) between them. Freud explains, ‘a sadist is always at the same time a masochist, although the active or the passive aspect of the perversion may be the more strongly developed in him and may represent his predominant sexual activity’ (1953–74b: 159). Shakespeare seems to recognize this as well in his portrayal of Phebe. That Rosalind is displaying her own attraction to administering verbal abuse is attested by her avowal to continue to ‘sauce her with bitter words’ and her volunteering the location of her house in the forest, information that guarantees the masochistic Phebe will pursue her. As a masochist, Phebe writes a love letter to Ganymede and pursues him to be further disparaged and demeaned; as a sadist, she

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enlists Silvius in her amorous pursuit of another man. Once Silvius in 4.3 delivers Phebe’s letter to her, Rosalind takes her shot at tormenting the shepherd by forcing him to hear her read the letter in which Phebe praises her as a ‘god’ (40) and offers her love and herself to Ganymede. Her last act of cruelty is to mislead Phebe into believing that there is a possibility she will marry her, when, in fact, she intends to trick her into marrying Silvius, whom she does not love and who enjoys rejection rather than acceptance. This sadomasochistic storyline is a microcosm of the larger, more complicated dynamics among Rosalind, Celia and Orlando. The relationship between the two women is not reciprocal, with Celia telling Rosalind that she can ‘see [she] lov’st [her] not with the full weight that [she] love[s] [her]’ and claiming ‘the truth of [Rosalind’s] love to [her is not] so righteously tempered as [hers] is to [Rosalind]’ (1.2.8–9, 12–14). Celia’s attachment to her cousin is so extreme and conspicuous that even a subsidiary character, such as Charles, the court fighter, attests that she ‘so loves her, being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have followed her exile or have died to stay behind her’ (1.1.102–5). This situation of one partner being more invested in the relationship than the other, feeling ‘an extraordinary degree of love’ and being desperate to maintain a closeness, sets up the unequal dynamics of a sadomasochistic situation, in which the subordinate person ‘lives in fear of losing the companion and [has] the desire to keep him always content [and] amiable’ by any means possible, including self-harm (von Krafft-Ebing 1947: 203). From their first appearance together in the play in 1.2, Celia assumes a subservient position to Rosalind, who behaves petulantly and sullenly, refusing to be convivial. While Rosalind has reason to be upset, she accentuates her misfortune and assumes a masochistic position, using her unhappiness as a means to control and vex her cousin. Celia tries repeatedly to cheer her up, promising to give Rosalind her own inheritance to replace what her father has taken from her and pleading, ‘my sweet Rose, my dear Rose, be merry’ (1.2.22–3). To all of her appeals and self-abnegations, Rosalind responds tepidly at best, showing no appreciation for the sacrifice and, instead, making backhanded jabs about Celia’s ‘estate’ (1.2.15) being better than hers and implying Duke Frederick’s usurping the throne benefited his daughter, who now occupies Rosalind’s former position at court. To Celia’s professions of undying love, Rosalind does not reciprocate with her own avowals of devotion but rather flippantly proposes that they engage in the ‘sport’ of ‘falling in love’ (1.2.25), a proverbial ‘slap in the face’, since Celia has been proving that she has already ‘fall[en] in love’ – with her. The proposition pains Celia, as she pleads with her beloved not to turn her affections from her to a ‘man in good earnest’ (1.2.27). Rosalind’s ‘doting upon rib-breaking’, as she calls the wrestling match that Le Beau soon announces, reinforces the idea that she enjoys watching others in pain, such as Celia displays. Although Touchstone claims ‘it is the first time that ever [he] heard breaking of ribs was sport for ladies’ (1.2.130–2), Shakespeare allows for the sadistic impulse to not be exclusive to males, as some early psychoanalytic theorists propose (von Krafft-Ebing 1947: 201). Rosalind embodies ‘covert masochistic behavior [that] has a covertly sadistic goal’, with her suffering being ‘vengeful’ (Schad-Somers 1982: 18, 14). A person

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can be ‘miserable, complaining, reproachful, and often silent’ (Brenner 1959: 213) with the intention of satisfying sadistic wishes. This seems to be Rosalind’s intent, in which she is successful. While Celia has a passive disposition, Rosalind intensifies it by triggering her guilt for her father’s usurpation of Duke Senior’s throne and ill treatment of both her and her father. Freud describes three forms of masochism, one of which he labels ‘moral’ and defines as a sense of guilt, sometimes unconscious (1953–74c: 161). Celia’s behaviour in her first interchange with Rosalind suggests that she embodies moral masochism and feels guilty. Her offers of self-sacrifice derive from a need to make amends, to try to undo the injustice her father has shown to a cousin whom she deeply loves and to expiate for the sins by self-abasement – acts that bear a masochistic tenor and that Rosalind provokes. Once Frederick banishes Rosalind, Celia banishes herself as well, claiming she ‘cannot live out of [Rosalind’s] company’ (1.3.83). In fact, she sacrifices everything for Rosalind – her identity, her title as princess, her comfortable home life and her relationship with her father – to go into disguise and live a nomadic existence. Although her father tells her twice that she is a ‘fool’ (1.3.77, 84) to feel devotion to a cousin who is not as dedicated to her, and Celia seems to recognize herself that ‘Rosalind lacks then the love / Which teacheth [her] that [she] and [Celia are] one’ (1.3.93–4), she still pursues Rosalind to her own detriment. To all of this self-denial Rosalind replies with cold indifference, curtly arguing that she has ‘more cause’ (1.3.89) to be upset. She seems to derive sadistic satisfaction from having her ‘plead and beg’ and watching her ‘divest’ herself of ‘any shred of internal integrity’ (SchadSomers 1982: 57). After Frederick’s sentencing of Rosalind to banishment, Celia begs to be included in the misery, demands that her cousin not ‘leave [her] out’ of her ‘griefs’ (1.3.100), and ‘charge[s]’ her not to be ‘more griev’d than’ she (1.3.88). Celia savours the pain and misfortunes and almost seems to engage in a competition to be the most aggrieved. She adopts a pitiful disguise to underscore her misery by wearing ‘poor and mean attire’, ‘[be]smirch[ing] [her] face’ and naming herself ‘Aliena’, ‘a reference to [her] state’ (1.3.108, 109, 125, 126) of estrangement from her father, home and self, as she gives herself in totality to a woman who does not reciprocate the depth of her feelings. Richard von Krafft-Ebing’s description of the masochist’s situation, which he compares to ‘bondage’, resembles that of Celia: one individual becomes dependent on another … in a very extraordinary and remarkable manner – even to the loss of all independent will power; a dependence which forces the party in subjection to acts and suffering which greatly prejudice personal interest, and often enough lead to offences against both morality and law …. The will of the ruling individual dominates that of the person in subjection, just as the master’s does that of bondsmen. (1947: 202–3) Rosalind also makes Celia endure her inflated expressions of love for Orlando and experience the ‘wooing’ scenes between them, just as she later has her witness her sadistic wooing of Phebe – a kind of parody of her relationship with her cousin – both of which must be painful, although the former poses the greater torment for her. But the most excruciating part has to be when Rosalind proposes marriage to

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Orlando and instructs Celia to ‘be the priest and marry’ them (4.1.114). Although Celia expresses her misery in her complaint that she ‘cannot say the words’ (4.1.118), Rosalind continues her cold instructions, cavalierly telling her the exact words to say: ‘You must begin: “Will you Orlando – ”’ (4.1.119), an order that Celia submissively obeys. Since a ‘declaration of an intent to marry by two people before a third constituted a binding contract’ at that time (Brissenden 1994: 192n), Rosalind’s forcing her to be the witness who validates the union is particularly coldhearted. Celia accepts Rosalind’s mistreatment of her and voices objection only to her ‘misuse’ (4.1.189) of her gender in her satirical comments about women, not her ‘misuse’ of her. Like a masochist, she displays a marked ‘inhibition of initiative, self-assurance, and self-assertiveness’ and an ‘incapacity for the active role’ (Kendrick 1933: 71, 70). Von Krafft-Ebing claims that ‘a kind of mechanical obedience’ develops in the masochist through ‘the habit of submission’, which causes ‘the dominant individual’ to treat the subject like ‘an inanimate instrument’ (1947: 203n) – a description that fits the dynamics between the two characters. Rosalind subjects Celia to the ultimate pain by rejecting her and taking a rival as a preferred mate. Although in early scenes Celia is vocal and expresses herself freely, as the play progresses, her verbal participation gradually diminishes, until she says nothing after 4.3. It is as if Rosalind engulfs her very being. This is most obvious in 5.2 when Oliver informs Orlando to his surprise that he and Celia have fallen in love. Although acknowledging the unlikelihood of the union, Oliver instructs his brother to ‘say with [him], [he] love[s] Aliena. Say with her that she loves’ him (5.2.7–8). The major problem is that Celia is not present and never expresses her love. The only other character who knows of the offstage ‘wooing’ is Rosalind, who enters after the incredulous Orlando agrees to stop asking questions and greets Oliver with ‘God save you, brother’, to which Oliver responds, ‘And you, fair sister’ (5.2.17–18). Their cosy greeting, in which he seems to betray that he knows her true gender and they acknowledge that they will be related soon as ‘brother’ and ‘sister’, perhaps a reference to them becoming in-laws through marriage, suggests collusive behaviour. In describing Oliver and Celia’s sudden falling in love, she refers to ‘the fight of two rams’; ‘Caesar’s thrasonical brag of “I came, saw, and overcame”’; and ‘the very wrath of love’ (5.2.29–31, 38–40). These are descriptions of violence and domination, not love, and allow for the offstage action to consist of her controlling a miserable cousin by forcing her to follow her orders against her will, just as she earlier forced her to ‘say the words’ and conduct an ad hoc marriage ceremony, and just as she later forces Phebe to marry Silvius. That this is the first scene in which Celia does not appear alongside her cousin can indicate that something traumatic has happened to her. For Rosalind to be instrumental in arranging for her to be paired with an insidious man is the height of cruelty, but for Celia to go along with it, as the ending of the play seems to suggest, is indicative of extreme masochistic behaviour. As a figure of domination, Rosalind becomes like a paternal figure who exercises unconditional control, power and authority over her cousin, who becomes more passive and infantilized as the play progresses. The ultimate goal of a sadist is to

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achieve ‘total annihilation’ of a person (Stekel 1929b: 407), to dominate ‘to the point where the other person is swallowed’ (Kelman 1959: 27), an objective Rosalind achieves. Shakespeare has Celia exhibit typical masochistic personality traits – ‘a longing to obliterate the self’, ‘submission, to the point of self-extinction’ (Panken 1973: 533, 538) and ‘unlimited subjection to the will of a person’ who acts as a ‘master’ by humiliating and abusing her (von Krafft-Ebing 1947: 200, 203). Freud associates masochism with the death drive because it is based on self-destructive behaviour (1953–74b: 54), which characterizes Celia’s sacrifice of every aspect of her life to abide by Rosalind’s desires. When near the play’s end Duke Senior welcomes Celia, she does not respond. Since we have not heard a word from her since the end of 4.3, it is as if she has died – at least in a figurative sense. Rosalind exercises the same domination and control in her relationship with Orlando. In fact, her attraction to him may in part derive from his recessive, selfdeprecating nature. While physically powerful, he has a poor self-image and describes himself in unfavourable terms: ‘Only in the world I fill up a place which may be better supplied when I have made it empty’ (1.2.183–4). As the youngest son who has been treated deplorably by his oldest brother and who receives nothing from his father’s inheritance, he has become accustomed to being subjected to the whims of a sadist and being mistreated. From her first meeting with him, she effortlessly overpowers and intimidates him when she boldly makes the gesture of giving him a chain as a love token. She renders him speechless and ‘a mere lifeless block’ who cannot garner enough courage to thank her, as he admits that she ‘masters’ him (1.2. 240, 249). He rightly senses the power dynamics in the relationship that will develop. Once she meets him in the forest, she claims she ‘will speak to him like a saucy lackey and under that habit play the knave with him’ (3.2.287–8). As she is with both Celia and Phebe, she will be disdainful, unpleasant and disagreeable. She does not drop her male disguise but rather maintains her persona as Ganymede, allowing her to circumvent gender proscriptions on female behaviour and to be more aggressive and dominating. She promises to drive him ‘from his mad humour of love to a living humour of madness’, which will lead him to ‘forswear the full stream of the world and to live in a nook merely monastic’ (3.2.400–3). Although professing that he ‘would not be cured’, he agrees ‘with all [his] heart’ to follow Ganymede to his ‘cote’ (3.2.407, 415, 409) and willingly subject himself to grueling treatment. Even if he knows Rosalind is actually Ganymede in disguise and, therefore, sees a personal advantage in submitting to a maddening process, a situation that Shakespeare does not definitively settle, his behaviour still savours of masochism. In their next meeting, because he is late, she asserts her domination, claiming he is not to ‘break but a part of the thousand part of a minute in the affairs of love’ (4.1.41–3); he must obey her every command down to the most specific demands. She wants him ‘heart-whole’ (4.1.44), to enthral him completely until he has nothing of himself to call his own – just as she does to Celia. She goes so far as to declare she will marry him on the spot without asking him and instructs him what he must say. He defers to her every command, as she controls the spontaneous wedding ceremony down to the last word. She describes his future with her in frightening

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detail, presenting herself as a domestic tyrant. Emasculating him by comparing herself to a ‘Barbary cock-pigeon’ (4.1.140), she claims that she will watch his every move. She describes herself in animalistic terms and threatens that she will be ‘more clamorous than a parrot against rain, more new-fangled than an ape, more giddy in [her] desires than a monkey’ (4.1.141–3). She continues to describe the torment with more particularity, outlining a life without a moment’s peace or contentment for her spouse: ‘I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain, and I will do that when you are disposed to be merry. I will laugh like a hyena, and that when thou art inclined to sleep’ (4.1.143–6). Her assault is unrelenting and frightening, and Orlando suddenly declares he has to ‘leave’ her for ‘two hours’ (4.1.165, 168) to have dinner with Duke Senior. Orlando’s words sound like an excuse, as if he cannot endure the psychological pummeling any longer, and it may very well be that she so terrorizes him that he needs to escape her aggression. It would be completely understandable and reasonable for him to hightail it out of there and never return. But while he may need some breathing room, he keeps his promise: when he is unable to return because of a physical impairment, he sends his brother to assure Rosalind he is a man of his word. His submission to a stranger who has just threatened, insulted and browbeaten him shows his complete surrender to a sadist. That he comes back for more highlights his masochistic nature. While Rosalind’s sadistic tendencies cause her to subject those who come in contact with her to callous psychic assaults, Shakespeare also presents them as advantageous to a woman in a male hegemony, as he indicates that meanspiritedness may help a woman to combat a hostile culture. It certainly helps Rosalind to choose a future husband to her own liking, set the parameters of a marriage that will empower her, and overthrow male prerogatives, such as literally getting the last word in the play, even though, as she admits, ‘it is not the fashion to see the lady the Epilogue’ (Epilogue, 1–2). Shakespeare makes us feel there is little doubt that such a dominating woman will control both her husband and the ‘potent dukedom’ (5.4.168) that he will receive in marrying her.

REFERENCES Adelman, J. (1992), Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeare’s Plays, ‘Hamlet’ to ‘The Tempest’, New York: Routledge. Armstrong, P. (2000), Shakespeare’s Visual Regime: Tragedy, Psychoanalysis, and the Gaze, New York: Palgrave. Barber, C. L. and R. P. Wheeler (1986), The Whole Journey: Shakespeare’s Power of Development, Berkeley: University of California Press. Berger, H., Jr (1979), ‘King Lear: The Lear Family Romance’, Centennial Review, 23: 348–76. Berger, H., Jr (1985), ‘Psychoanalyzing the Shakespeare Text: The First Three Scenes of the Henriad’, in P. Parker and G. H. Hartman (eds), Shakespeare and the Question of Theory, 210–29, New York: Methuen.

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Brenner, C. (1959), ‘The Masochistic Character: Genesis and Treatment’, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 7: 197–225. Brissenden, A., ed. (1994), As You Like It, New York: Oxford University Press. Faber, M. D. (1970), The Design Within: Psychoanalytic Approaches to Shakespeare, New York: Science House. Fineman, J. (1986), Shakespeare’s Perjured Eye: The Invention of Poetic Subjectivity in the Sonnets, Berkeley: University of California Press. Freedman, B. (1991), Staging the Gaze: Postmodernism, Psychoanalysis and Shakespearian Comedy, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Freud, S. (1953–74a), ‘An Outline of Psycho-analysis’, in J. Strachey (trans. and ed.), The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. 23, 138–207, London: Hogarth and Institute of Psychoanalysis. Freud, S. (1953–74b), Beyond the Pleasure Principle, in J. Strachey (trans. and ed.), The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. 18, 1–71, London: Hogarth and Institute of Psychoanalysis. Freud, S. (1953–74c), ‘Economic Problem of Masochism’, in J. Strachey (trans. and ed.), The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. 19, 157–70, London: Hogarth and Institute of Psychoanalysis. Freud, S. (1953–74d), Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, ‘I: The Sexual Aberrations’, in J. Strachey (trans. and ed.), The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. 7, 135–72, London: Hogarth and Institute of Psychoanalysis. Greenblatt, S. (1986), ‘Psychoanalysis and Renaissance Culture’, in P. Parker and D. Quint (eds), Literary Theory/Renaissance Texts, 210–24, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Holland, N. N. (1966), Psychoanalysis and Shakespeare, New York: McGraw-Hill. Johnson, S. (1825), The Works of Samuel Johnson, L.L.D., ed. F. P. Walesby, vol. 5, London: W. Pickering. Jones, E. (1976), Hamlet and Oedipus, New York: Norton. Jung, C. G. (1959), The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, trans. R. F. C. Hull, London: Pantheon. Kahn, C. (1981), Man’s Estate: Masculine Identity in Shakespeare, Berkeley: University of California Press. Kelman, H. (1959), ‘Masochism and Self Realization’, in J. H. Masserman (ed.), Individual and Familial Dynamics, 21–30, New York: Grune and Stratton. Kendrick, I. (1933), ‘Pregenital Anxiety in a Passive Feminine Character’, Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 2: 68–93. Lacan, J. (1982), ‘Desire and Interpretation of Desire in Hamlet’, in S. Felman (ed.), Literature and Psychoanalysis: The Question of Reading, Otherwise, 11–52, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Marshall, C. (2002), The Shattering of the Self: Violence, Subjectivity, and Early Modern Text, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Mazzio, C. and D. Trevor, eds (2000), Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture, New York: Routledge.

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Miller, D. L. (2003), Dreams of the Burning Child: Sacrificial Sons and the Father’s Witness, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Neely, C. T. (2004), Distracted Subjects: Madness and Gender in Shakespeare and Early Modern Culture, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Panken, S. (1973), The Joy of Suffering, New York: Jason Aronson. Rank, O. (1992), The Incest Theme in Literature and Legend: Fundamentals of a Psychology of Literary Creation, trans. G. C. Richter, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Reid, S. (1970), ‘Desdemona’s Guilt’, American Imago, 27: 245–62. Schad-Somers, S. P. (1982), Sadomasochism, New York: Human Sciences. Schwartz, M. M. (1973), ‘Leontes’ Jealousy in The Winter’s Tale’, American Imago, 30: 250–73. Schwartz, M. M. and C. Kahn, eds (1980), Representing Shakespeare: New Psychoanalytic Essays, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Shakespeare, W. ([2006] 2019), As You Like It, ed. J. Dusinberre, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shapiro, D. (1981), Autonomy and Rigid Character, New York: Basic. Sokol, B. J., ed. (1993), The Undiscover’d Country: New Essays on Psychoanalysis and Shakespeare, London: Free Association. Stekel, W. (1929a), Sadism and Masochism, vol. 1, New York: Liveright. Stekel, W. (1929b), Sadism and Masochism, vol. 2, New York: Liveright. Stone, J. W. (2010), Crossing Gender in Shakespeare: Feminist Psychoanalysis and the Difference Within, New York: Routledge. Traub, V. (1992), Desire and Anxiety: Circulations of Sexuality in Shakespearean Drama, London: Routledge. von Krafft-Ebing, R. ([1939] 1947), Psychopathia Sexualis: A Medico Forensic Study, New York: Pioneer. Wheeler, R. (1981), Shakespeare’s Development and the Problem Comedies: Turn and Counter-Turn, Berkeley: University of California Press.

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PART THREE

Matters of difference

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CHAPTER 3.1

Critical race studies ARTHUR L. LITTLE, JR

Not surprisingly, a Shakespeare and early modern critical race scholar would argue at this moment that there are few fields within Shakespeare and early modern studies more important and consequential than critical race studies: at its humanist sharpest, at its most insistent, it argues that, indeed, black lives matter, yes, in the United States but also globally, and at its broadest disciplinary reach it’s fighting for the soul of the humanities itself and, yes, for the progressive (or troubled) soul of Shakespeare. These are grand words, to be sure, but they are also apropos, given the beginning of Shakespeare critical race studies in the broader world of those fighting for social and racial justice, particularly as responses to the terrorism being systematically heaped upon black persons and black bodies. Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies works with three important affirmative arguments. One, race (as an assemblage of racialized processes) is very much founded on endlessly mutable acts of social and political violence. Two, Western modernity is intimately bound to early modern race formations that come long before post-Enlightenment and scientific iterations of race, which transformed these earlier iterations by fitting them into discourses that suited the phenomenological and epistemological needs giving them purchase and authenticity in particular cultural moments and locations. And, three, it is important to study all of this not only to deepen our understanding of race as a subject in and of itself but for us to better grasp the role race played and plays in shaping the sense of discovery and enthusiasm that gave birth to the Renaissance and made possible the kinetic energies that gave us the early modern stage. As Iago promises his eager audience: ‘I have’t, it is engendered! Hell and night / Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light’ (Oth 1.3.401–2).1 Some of the grounding questions asked by Shakespeare critical race scholars have focused on the relationship between Shakespeare’s humanity and the humanity of black folks. While critical Shakespeare and early modern race work is by no means univocal and involves a diversity of approaches and informed perspectives, it operates often implicitly but sometimes more explicitly with something akin to Alexander Weheliye’s exacting argument that the volatile rapport between race and the human is defined … by two constellations: first, there exists no portion of the modern human that is not subject to racialization which determines the hierarchical ordering of the Homo sapiens species into humans, not-quite-humans, and nonhumans;

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second, as a result, humanity has held a very different status for the traditions of the racially oppressed … [T]he human as a secular entity of scientific and humanistic inquiry has functioned as a central topos of modernity since the Renaissance. (2014: 8) From this perspective, Shakespeare and early modern race studies seeks to understand the how and the why Shakespeare and his early modern English contemporaries sought to reinvent, delimit and theorize about the humanity of themselves, especially in relationship to the humanity of others. At the risk of stating the obvious, this area of inquiry is open to nonblack interlocutors, and many of its prominent studies have been written by white scholars. It would be misleading, however, to pass over the fact that self-identified scholars of colour, particularly African Americans, have been crucial to the development of the field. It has been scholars of colour who have most insistently and persistently argued for the importance of studying Shakespeare in a racialized context, especially given the prominence afforded to Shakespeare in Western literature and thought and also, given the reading of Shakespeare from Ben Jonson (1623) to Jacob Burckhardt (2012: 190) to Harold Bloom (1998) to Stephen Greenblatt (2010: 1–17), as ‘the embodiment of human freedom’, a freedom which seems to go hand in hand with earning human status itself (Greenblatt 2010: 1). Without essentializing any scholar’s identity, it makes sense that many Shakespeare scholars of colour would be especially drawn to this area of inquiry. Shakespearean scholars in critical race studies see themselves as having consequential inquiries and urgent business. In its capaciousness, as described by Ayanna Thompson, the field, along with medieval critical race studies, ‘push[es] … in new archival, theoretical, and practical directions … [and] encourage[s] us to think critically about the ways that premodern race scholars function as activists in our field and in our communities’ (Field 2019; italics in text). As put by Sujata Iyengar, ‘A racially informed Renaissance criticism should … simultaneously be a feminist criticism, a materialist criticism, a queer criticism, a new historicist criticism, a formal criticism, and an interventionist one’ (2005: 15). Race is capacious, and any viable critical intervention requires a capacious response. Part of this capaciousness includes thinking about race and racializing processes not just with respect to Shakespeare or the early modern stage or the early modern period more broadly, but taking seriously a critique of our scholarly habits and practices. The ways we police our bodies and scholarship and the ways our bodies and scholarship are policed sit at the evidentiary core of Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies. Critical race studies builds from here, working through the archives and critical race theorizing to take on issues of race – embodiment, the human, whiteness, blackness, anti-blackness, brownness, swarthiness, intersectionalities (with gender, sex, able-bodiedness, religion, class, sexuality, queerness, nationality) – to better understand it as phenomenon and as epistemology not only in the workings of Shakespeare’s sixteenth and seventeenth centuries but also in Shakespeare’s afterlives, including in Shakespeare studies, past and present.

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MORPHOLOGICAL WORRIES The field does not stand or fall on a word, of course, but race2 remains a nonnegotiable marker of the field, however much some scholars have worked diligently but unsuccessfully to attenuate its significations in sixteenth- and seventeenthcentury English culture, often doing so by arguing that race, however unreal, becomes real only in the eighteenth century, in the era of the Enlightenment and in the era of scientific racism. It’s worth noting in any case, as historian David Goldberg and many others have shown, the ‘application [of the term] to groups of people [was] already well rooted nearly two hundred years prior to the Enlightenment!’ (1993: 63).3 Notwithstanding, Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies isn’t contingent on the term race any more than, say, sixteenthand seventeenth-century queer studies is on the word queer or gender studies on the word gender. Still, the word race has real critical purchase in Shakespeare’s texts. As Jonathan Goldberg has noted, the word race occurs ‘some dozen times, where it most often designates a notion of birth and lineage that confers a specific social rank’ (2004: 120), and, even more notably, these occurrences ‘frequently worry the question of mixture … even within a noble strain’ (2004: 121). This ‘worry’ – this ‘cause of, or matter for, anxiety’ (OED def. 1b) – is inextricably linked to race qua policing, and this is most emphatically the case in regard to the ‘noble strain’, particularly when figured as the noble strain of whiteness. As real, violent and consequential as the racialization in the West of the black body is from at least the thirteenth century onward, the black body also serves as subterfuge, a seemingly salient (obvious) and contained (fixed) epistemic magic show for the more widespread and surreptitious policing of white people both in relationship to nonwhites and most especially in relationship to each other. Notwithstanding, more than a cautionary tale, the black body (along with its policing) remains a crucial subject in a person’s own right and also a necessary informant in Shakespeare’s day and our own. Race has been an articulated topic in Shakespeare criticism from at least A Short View of Tragedy, a work reputed to have introduced French Neoclassical criticism to England and written by Thomas Rymer, who, interestingly, also in an earlier work (1678) coined the term ‘poetic justice’. A Short View is most well known now for its racial disapprobation of Othello. Shakespeare’s first mistake, according to Rymer, was, unlike Giraldi Cinthio, from whose story Shakespeare creates his, ‘bestow[ing] a name on his Moor’, a gesture that in itself gives him a ‘dignity’ that is ‘an affront to all Chroniclers, and Antiquaries’ (1970: 87). ‘A Negro to be their General?’ And to marry him to ‘the Daughter and Heir of some great Lord’? None of this ‘comports with the condition of a General, or, indeed of a Man’ (1970: 91–2). While the last scene of Shakespeare’s play may remind one of ‘the style of the last Speeches and Confessions of the persons executed at Tyburn’, there, Rymer argues, ‘justice’ would be served. Here, in Othello, Shakespeare, ‘against all Justice and Reason, against all Law, Humanity and Nature, in a barbarous way, executes and makes havock [sic] of his subjects, Hab-nab, as they come to hand’ (1970: 143–4). Sylvia Wynter’s observation seems an apt response to both Rymer and Iago as she expresses the kind

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of grounding observation from which much of Shakespeare and critical race studies has emanated in both the United States and elsewhere: For what Renaissance humanism was to effect was an extraordinary rupture at the level of the human species as a whole … [T]he West was … able to reinvent its true Christian self as that of Man only because, at the same time, Western discourses … were also inventing the untrue Other of the Christian self, as that of Man’s human Others … The invention of Man … is what the artists and the writers of the sixteenth century are doing. (Wynter and Scott 2000: 175, 176, 178).4

SHAKESPEARE ABROAD: THE 1960s Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies began in the mid-1960s with the publication of Philip Mason’s Prospero’s Magic: Some Thoughts on Class and Race (1962) and Eldred Durosimi Jones’s Othello’s Countrymen: The African in English Renaissance Drama (1965), as well as G. K. Hunter’s ‘Othello and Colour Prejudice’ (1967), based on a lecture he delivered that same year to the British Academy. These founding texts were no mere academic exercises and were all mounted as challenges to the specious and fanciful separation of the literary critical from the social and political worlds contextualizing it. Mason (a white Englishman who spent a significant portion of his life in India, where he had ‘the good fortune’ of seeing the end of British colonialism there in 1947 and witnessing from there, too, ‘the rapid stages of African independence, in various territories, particularly the Rhodesias and Nigeria’ in 1965 and 1960, respectively) says his study began by contemplating all of this and more as he began to bring together experiences and ideas to which he wanted to ‘give more thought’ (1962: vii). Says Mason, ‘It was some years after my reintroduction to English life that I came to the study of race relations as a formal subject and realized that I had been living race relations unconsciously’ (1962: 2). Mason was interested in the similarities and differences between race and class and filtering all of this through Jungian psychology and its illumination of the ‘racial and colonial psychology [at work in] some of Shakespeare’s plays’ (1962: 52). The stakes were huge, overwhelming, for Mason, who saw race relations as being in a ‘stage of crisis’ and who would go on to argue that the crisis in ‘race relations’ should be ‘more properly [called a “crisis”] in human relations’ (1962: 54).5 His study – six lectures delivered at the University College of the West Indies ‘on the eve of its independence’ from British rule in 1962 (1962: vii) – was meant to respond to such frequently heard arguments from whites (whether in England, India or South Africa) that ‘their [blacks’] minds just don’t work like ours do’ (1962: 1).6 Mason would search for answers in Othello, King Lear and The Tempest. The most significant work in this era was Jones’s, especially Othello’s Countrymen. Jones, a Sierra Leonean who had an Oxford education (Oxford University Press published both Prospero’s Magic and Othello’s Countrymen), spent his academic career in Sierra Leone. Jones argues that his ‘investigation shows how

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greatly the Elizabethans’ knowledge of the continent and peoples of Africa has been underestimated by modern critics’ and rejects the oft-repeated argument – still! – that ‘Elizabethans did not know the difference between Moors and Negroes, or that they had heard of Negroes only as slaves’ (1965: viii). Peter Erickson and Kim Hall put it well when they argue that Jones ‘in effect negotiates his own position between England and a West African British colony through Othello … [He] breaks Othello’s cultural isolation by the author’s implicit claim to be one of Othello’s countrymen’ (2016: 3–4). As may be gleaned even from the ‘treatments’ in the title of Jones’s longest and most significant chapter, ‘Dramatic Treatments of African Characters’, Jones signifies here as he does with his book’s title, where he effectively announces himself as Othello’s intellectual, social and political ally. His use of the word ‘treatments’ breaks through barriers and links the treatment (and dismissal) of blacks by white Shakespeare scholars to the treatment of blacks by whites in England and on the African continent in Jones’s contemporary times. Jones declares at the end of his study, ‘Thus by the oblique route of a study of the use made of Africa by Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatists, the triumphant genius of Shakespeare can once more be demonstrated’ (1965: 132). Like W. E. B. DuBois, who would in The Souls of Black Folk (1903) famously and almost impenetrably (and iambically) write, ‘I sit with Shakespeare and he winces not’ (1987: 438),7 Jones with his ‘oblique route’ reclaims Shakespeare from academic and cultural industries wishing to position Shakespeare against the humanization of blacks qua black.

COMING TO AMERICA: 1970s–1980s The discussion of Shakespeare and race was fairly quiet in the United States until the 1970s publication of Jones’s The Elizabethan Image of Africa (1971), published by the University of Virginia Press for the Folger Library, and Harry Lee Faggett’s Black and Other Minorities in Shakespeare’s England (1971), published by an HBCU,8 PrairieView Press. The latter, which began as a dissertation written much earlier at Boston University (1947), began as an ‘investigation’ into ‘a curiosity concerning the status of aliens in Elizabethan England and any sociological parallels in modern times’ (1971: i). Faggett’s work means to put Elizabethan ‘racial attitudes’ in conversation with contemporary ones (1971: i): ‘Elizabethans were generally more liberal than twentieth-century Englishmen are in their treatment of alien races seeking benefits of citizenship’ (1971: 145, italics added). The conversation shifted decisively to the United States in the 1980s with the publication of Elliot Tokson’s The Popular Image of the Black Man in English Drama, 1558–1688 (1982), Errol Hill’s Shakespeare in Sable: A History of Black Shakespearean Actors (1984) and Anthony Barthelemy’s Black Face, Maligned Race: The Representation of Blacks in English Drama from Shakespeare to Southerne (1987). All three of these texts were crucial to the establishing of Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies. Tokson made an important move by not focusing on specific characters but by emphasizing and homing in on characteristics,

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‘patterns of qualities’, in order not to obscure the processes of racialization that can become obfuscated by a more holistic focus on a particular character (1982: xii), and the materiality of the stage begins to come more into the fore with the critical recognition, ‘not surprisingly, that dramatists were more often drawn to the figure of the black man than other writers’ (1982: 20). Hill’s study of black American Shakespeare actors begins with Ira Aldridge, who made his acting debut in William Brown’s African Company in 1821, where Aldridge is reputed to have seen his first Shakespeare play and where he also played Romeo (Hill 1984: 18). Some of Hill’s chapter titles point to a diasporic community (‘Involuntary Exiles’ and ‘No Place Like Home’) and a simmering racial politics (‘Challenge of a New Century’) about which W. E. B. DuBois has famously said, ‘The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line’ (1987: 372). The most telling of chapter titles, however, is, perhaps, the first – ‘Shakespeare and the Black Actor’ – a juxtaposition more likely ‘to excite the merriment of the most lugubrious’ of white spectators: ‘The spectacle of black actors performing Shakespeare has often seemed incongruous to white critics and patrons who fail to note how irrational is the attitude that acclaims Shakespeare’s plays for their universality and yet wishes to deny their interpretation by people of all races’ (Hill 1984: 2). Barthelemy pushes for a more comprehensive study of black characters than any previous scholar of the early modern stage by beginning with ‘Blackness and the Western Tradition’ and starting with early medieval drama, both miracle and mystery plays, and including in his repertoire, which extends to the later seventeenth century, a discussion of white Moors. Othello receives limited attention in Barthelemy’s study, even though Barthelemy, stressing how Othello both disrupts and fulfils the stereotyping of blacks, insists that ‘the importance of Othello as the dominant representation of an African on the stage’ until at least the twentieth century ‘cannot be overestimated’ (1987: 161). And we are reminded here in the early twenty-first century of Fred Moten’s recent and very quotable observation: ‘The problem of the color line, which W. E. B. DuBois locates in the twentieth century at its outset, is a problem of the centuries, whether we are talking about the seventeenth, twentieth, or twenty-first. And it’s not so much that Shakespeare has given an early articulation of the Negro Problem; it’s that, instead, he has given Negroes a problem’ (2019). These three studies, emphasizing the ‘popular’, i.e. the populating of the stage with black bodies, may seem more critically formal and more apolitical than those preceding them. While such an observation is not without warrant, it would, however, be a misreading of them to see them as outside the critical frame of Shakespeare and early modern race studies. It’s important to stress that these earlier studies, like those preceding them, were not simply ‘surveys of the history and representation of blackness on the English Renaissance stage’ (Traub 2016: 20). The emergence of these texts in an increasingly socially and politically conservative America was no accident, no more than historian Peter Fryer’s 1984 Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain was an accident in Britain. As Paul Gilroy says, Amidst the political and economic debris of the early 1980s riots, Staying Power answered the widespread hunger for a historical narrative which could anchor

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hopes for more just and more humane treatment of Britain’s racialized minorities. In retrospect, it also signalled [sic] a decisive step away from the influential African American scripts of race and politics which had been so important in the preceding phase of struggles when ideas of civil rights and black power had enjoyed global impact. (2018: x) Returning to the three studies here, they tacitly use Shakespeare historically and globally to extend citizenship to black Americans outside the constrictions of yoking black existential lives to the corporeal materiality of slavery, what Orlando Patterson calls a non-beingness grounded in ‘social death’ (2018: 38–45). These studies take place in an America that was literally and figuratively depopulating and policing (e.g. incarcerating, walling off) civic spaces by ridding them of black subjects. These latter texts (relying necessarily on a more formal critical approach to get a hearing) were no less an ain’t I a person than Mason’s recalling, ‘“A district where I was alone”, we used to say in India, meaning, of course, alone except for a million or so of Indians, whom we, like Sir George, had forgotten to count as persons’ (1962: 1–2). The critical race texts discussed up to this point cannot be fully grasped without understanding how deeply engaged they are in social and political racial struggles that they insist cannot be separated from critical practice, notably that of the dominant white academic and intellectual cultures and institutions. From the summer 1958 ‘race riots’, the 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act, the Race Relations Act (Bleich 2003: 43–52), the 1963 Robbins Report (commissioned by the British government) and the ongoing racial unrest through the 1960s in England to, in the United States, the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision to desegregate public schools, the 1965 Civil Rights Act and all of the attending unrest, as well as the ‘Black Power’ and ‘Black is Beautiful’ movements and the 1960s political assassinations, and on through the conservative backlash of the 1980s, Shakespeare could be posed critically to operate as a counter-narrative to the terrorization of black lives.

RACE DEBATE VERSUS RACE POLICING: THE OTHER 1980s With the rise of new historicism in the 1980s, race studies would become increasingly ‘debated’, even though it actually shared many tenets with new historicism; Shakespeare and early modern race studies was increasingly subjected to claims of anachronism and identity politicking, the latter being specifically but not exclusively made with allusion to the few black Shakespeare and early modern scholars, all of whose work at the time would have fallen under the rubric of Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies. It wasn’t just that new historicists would pay ‘little more than cursory attention’ to race and gender (Hall 1995: 14; Demeter and Thompson 2017: 575) but that it was decisively anathema and at best simply irrelevant. As Stephen Orgel claimed with bravura and finality, ‘in 1605 … the language of racism … obviously had nothing to do with skin color’ and was not a real or ‘complex’ subject in Shakespeare’s literature or time and, implicitly, shouldn’t be in ours (1998: 158).

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In an ‘overview of the field’ essay in a section titled ‘The Terms of the Debate’, Jason Demeter and Ayanna Thompson argue, ‘where one stands in this debate is largely predictive of whether or not one believes early modern race studies are relevant to our understanding of so vital, contentious, and far-reaching a concept in our contemporary world’ (2017: 576). The division they speak of here is especially what makes it necessary – not to stifle ‘debate’ but to generate it, productively – for critical race scholars to distinguish its work and its debates from a more generic race studies whose studies may prove useful for those working in Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies. For one important reason, it’s vital to the intellectual, social, political and activist contours of this work that scholars (black and nonblack alike) appreciate the critical genealogy in which they work, a genealogy that has served for many Shakespeare and early modern critical race scholars both as critical and theoretical foundation and as intellectual and personal inspiration and purpose. In other words, there were reasons both inside and outside the academy why the critical race studies of the 1980s turned formal and, to put it simply, got meticulously textual. However so, the collective and well-articulated pushback against critical race studies would not be more fully felt until the first decade and a half of the twenty-first century. Erickson and Hall describe this fifteen-year period the following way: During this … period, there is no single methodological direction but rather a set of multiple directions that are not clearly coordinated … Dispersal creates a loss  of concentrated energy and, in particular, a specific curtailment or abandonment of political focus. In this mixed phase, intellectual perspectives, even when potentially innovative, can also readily shift toward an excessive academic caution in approaching race that effectively stifles or rejects race as a legitimate early modern issue. (2016: 4) Their reading is itself cautiously polite, stepping away from what Etienne Balibar explains as ‘academic racism’: Theories of academic racism mimic scientific discursivity by basing themselves upon visible ‘evidence’ (whence the essential importance of the stigmata of race and in particular of bodily stigmata), or, more exactly, they mimic the way in which scientific discursivity articulates ‘visible fact’ to ‘hidden causes’ and thus connect up with a spontaneous process of theorization inherent in the racism of the masses. (1991: 19; italics added) Hence this work was no less indicative of its time, coming as it were in an era in which moving ‘beyond’ race – whether in postracialist fantasies or colourblind casting or couched in efforts to pull back from the brink of the death of the canon and of Shakespeare and his replacement with brown, black, queer, feminist, etc. writers – was the cause célèbre for more than a few scholars and even some prominent new historicists would begin to fancy themselves returning home (from all of their machinations and trickeries) to a more liberal humanist vision of Shakespeare, after all. One of the influential and well-articulated and -produced texts of this era is Mary Floyd-Wilson’s English Ethnicity and Race in Early Modern Drama (2003),

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which sought to swerve the race conversation from its critical race direction and more toward a disinterested, sober and apolitical meticulousness. Her study, well researched, smart and generative, offered a path forward for scholars wanting to attend to race but cautious about the ideas and debates at the core of Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies. Put more definitively, on one side of the debate in Shakespeare and early modern race studies more broadly were those who think early modern race is germane to our discussions of contemporary race, and on the other stood ‘those inclined to consider race as a distinctive and largely discontinuous idea … [who also] tend[ed] to advocate a geohumoral theory of race’ (Demeter and Thompson 2017: 576). Many Shakespeare and early modern critical race scholars have been keenly interested in this work and have certainly engaged much of it, but while much of this work dominated the field during this fifteen-year period, critical race scholarship continued during this period as well. The institutional grip of new historicism in the 1980s and onward, the seeming turn to the formal in Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies in the 1980s, especially when bundled with the postracialism of the early 2000s, may give the erroneous impression that critical race studies as defined here was limited to its pre-1980s days. Nothing could be further from the truth, however much scholarly consensus on the part of dominant scholarly practitioners and institutions may lead one to think otherwise. With the development in the 1980s of critical race theory in law, Shakespeare critical race studies began to come increasingly and confidently into its own, even while its practitioners, particularly its population of scholars of colour, remained disquietingly small. The word ‘disquietingly’ is used here for a host of reasons, including to witness the experience of many Shakespeare scholars of colour (especially if they’re doing critical race work) who, despite almost invisible numbers, find themselves too often being caricatured as ‘to manie’ (too many) and in need, like the Negroes whose deportation Elizabeth urged on in three orders between 1596 and 1601, of ‘be[ing] sente forth of the land’ (Acts 1902: 16–17). Is Shakespeare white property?9 With all this being said and with caveats to come, the end of the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s saw a surge in Shakespeare critical race studies, providing a still-with-us counter-narrative to the counter-narrative that took institutional hold in the 1980s and more fully established itself in the first decade and a half of the twenty-first century.

TOWARDS A CRITICAL MASS: 1990s–2000 More accurately, the critical work went on a collective offence, producing three paradigm-shifting studies: Ania Loomba’s Gender, Race, and Renaissance Drama (1989), Margo Hendricks and Patricia Parker’s Women, ‘Race’, and Writing in the Early Modern Period (1994) and Kim F. Hall’s Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England (1995). Loomba’s monograph was ground-breaking, discussing a variety of early modern plays, including sixteen of Shakespeare’s, most notably Othello, Antony and Cleopatra and The Tempest. With

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postcolonial education in India as its most material focus, it makes a strong case for how our critiques of Renaissance drama cannot be divorced from the institutional frames that underwrite them. She advances her case by offering deft readings of Jacobean female characters and taking on Western feminism, Western and Indian patriarchal policies and the education system in India. Race, however, remains a recurring but sporadic topic in Loomba’s study, which works most forcefully as a text speaking back to the British Empire and showing how Indian feminism can not only produce exciting new readings of Renaissance texts but bring a muchneeded reflexivity to the field of Shakespeare and early modern drama studies. Her study, which Erickson reads as ‘anticipat[ing] but predat[ing] … the [1990s] burst of research’ (1998: 33), lays the foundation for her later research as a Shakespeare and early modern postcolonial scholar who often works at the intersection of postcolonial studies and critical race studies. Hendricks and Parker’s Women, ‘Race’, and Writing and Hall’s Things of Darkness established the permanence of critical race studies in the United States with, as Peter Erickson has rightly argued, ‘[US] Shakespeareans of color … providing the impetus to direct attention to race’ (1998: 35). There are promising signs (from Latin America, Canada, England, Spain, Italy and Australia, to name a few) that the reach of Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies is beginning to expand globally in large part due to these texts. (All too often in the academy we confuse the realities of why race would be such an important topic for people of colour in the United States with the erroneous view that race is really only a US issue and really only a critical issue for nonwhites; having a well-developed critical vocabulary should not be mistaken for the object of critique or lead to the even more erroneous conclusion that not having such a vocabulary is itself automatically a sign of the insignificance or irrelevance of race in whatever particular geopolitical site. To talk about race critically does not create it or fulfil personal fantasies of belonging.)10 It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the Hendricks and Parker volume, a collection of seventeen essays working at the intersection of gender and race, work benefiting from the kinds of theoretical modelling that had been offered up by other collective and ground-breaking volumes, including Henry Louis Gates’s ‘Race’, Writing, and Difference (1986), particularly but not exclusively focused on blackness and US literature and culture, and Valerie Wayne’s The Matter of Difference: Materialist Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare (1991), on Shakespeare and gender. What Hendricks and Parker offered were ways of reading race (i.e. processes of racialization) rather than assuming, as does much earlier criticism, that we already know what race is and how to identify it. Notwithstanding the divergences among the contributors, they all proceed with the assumption that race points less to an ontology than to a discursive practice; this idea, it’s important to stress, was not lost on earlier Shakespeare and early modern critical race scholars, but they lacked the theoretical apparatuses emerging in the 1980s and, as detailed above, for urgent social and political reasons of their own, many of the earlier scholars understood themselves to be engaged in ontological battles. These three texts have been generative and have been responsible for establishing the institutional presence of Shakespeare and early modern critical

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race scholarship and Shakespeare and early modern race studies more generally and for bringing more people of colour into the field of Shakespeare and early modern studies. Hall’s Things of Darkness, with its commanding range of poetic and dramatic texts, travel narratives, conduct and other manuals, portraiture and other visual materials, and historical sharpness, remains a landmark and generative study, opening up the theoretical possibilities for critical race scholarship by clearly putting forward a black feminist theorizing for her particular study. (From this perspective, hers deserves comparison to Loomba’s, with which she also engages.) As Hall says in her closing observations, sounding very much like someone growing up in critical race theory, she ‘found [herself] drawing more and more on remembered conversations with [her] family, [her] readings of black feminist work, and [her] own experiences of racism, sexism, and white supremacy to understand the workings of race and gender’ in early modern texts (1995: 257). Hall is duly confident and her study unequivocally and unapologetically shows that ‘the opposition of dark and light’ at the centre of so many early modern narratives and beyond and so many imagined Western communities ‘has materially affected black women’s lives’ (1995: 264). These three texts returned to a more explicit politics as in the criticism of the 1970s and earlier, albeit more often framing it in terms of pedagogy rather than a more overt confrontation with establishment critical practices. This observation should not detract from the political forcefulness and explicit articulations of the political stakes of all three of these unapologetic texts. It must be pointed out, however, that this politics was more grounded in feminist studies than race studies: while the former was finding itself gaining an institutional footing, the latter was confined to Black Studies and African American Studies departments. It’s crucial to point out, however, that black feminist thought was not finding itself at home in either feminist studies or race studies. While race remained a salient focus of the Hendricks and Parker anthology, for example, a statement made in Hendricks’s own contributing essay underscores the volume’s intellectual battleground: ‘the imperative that faces cultural and feminist scholarship is theoretically and historically to map the discursive and social practices that prompted seventeenth-century Englishmen and women to define themselves not only in terms of nationalism but also, increasingly, in terms of color’ (Hendricks and Parker 1994: 226). As put by Traub, ‘Notably, race was put on the scholarly agenda of many early modernists only after it was positioned in direct relationship to gender’ (2016: 20, italics added). Given the paucity of scholars of colour working in the field, a point noted by Hendricks (Hendricks and Parker 1994: 225), much of this work in Shakespeare studies was of course being carried out by white feminists who, as part of US feminism, were also being critiqued by feminists of colour. Without any attempt to disparage or attenuate this very important work, one could argue that the politics driving the studies of the 1990s had more of a feminist orientation than a critical racial one and that Shakespeare and early modern feminist studies had as much to gain as critical race studies from these intersectional explorations. The reason it’s important to put forward this particular observation in this particular essay on

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critical race studies is to underscore the fact that critical race studies in the 1990s had still by the time of Loomba’s study and the Hendricks and Parker volume to iterate a more pronounced critical race theory that was not more fully reliant on intersectional critiques, even while such critiques remain instrumental to any understanding of racializing processes. Similarly, as for critical race scholars more generally, the constitutive intersectionality of race does not preclude scholars from interrogating its discrete histories and practices. Within institutional frameworks, gender frees up racialized discourses, not only making them more legible but also (often unwittingly) making them more anodyne.

CRITICAL WITNESSING: SHAKESPEARE OUR CONTEMPORARY Only in the context of a feminism finding itself more institutionally at home in the 1990s could race, under assault by both liberal humanism and neoliberalism, get a hearing, let alone a politically engaged one. However so, Hall’s study by all measures has proven to have successfully negotiated this terrain and has opened up possibilities for working both intersectionally and as a scholar focused on race. Critical race studies, even with the ensuing backlash, did produce significant and paradigm-making scholarship during the twenty-year period following, including important and sometimes ground-breaking scholarship by Imtiaz Habib (2008), Sujata Iyengar (2005), Arthur Little (2000), Joyce MacDonald (2002), Francesca Royster (2000), Ian Smith (2009) and Ayanna Thompson (2011). Notable here is Habib’s Black Lives in the English Archives, 1500–1677 (2008) that locates, details and analyses 448 archival records of ‘black people’ in early modern English archives. The field seems to have made a more confident turn since 2015, beginning with a special issue of Shakespeare Quarterly on race, guest edited by Erickson and Hall (2016), and found more recently in the recent surge in the field at various levels of the profession, including among graduate students, as well as the publication of two recent studies that have fully immersed themselves in critical race theories: Mathieu Chapman’s Anti-Black Racism in Early Modern English Drama: The Other ‘Other’ (2017) and Patricia Akhimie’s Shakespeare and the Cultivation of Difference: Race and Conduct in the Early Modern World (2018). These monographs and the Shakespeare Quarterly issue mark a watershed moment that makes it clear that Shakespeare and early modern critical race scholars must begin to own their critical genealogy forcefully and articulate distinctions between scholarly debates in the field and scholarship that aims to police the field itself. Since its most recent renaissance in the 1980s, few fields in literary studies have been more policed than Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies.11 As we move into the third decade of the twenty-first century, there’s evidence (i.e. book presses, peer-reviewed journals, (inter)national conferences and institutional hiring) that Shakespeare and early modern critical race studies is finding a more substantial place in intellectual, theoretical and academic arenas.

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HOW BLACK IS SHAKESPEARE’S MERCUTIO? One of the points this essay has been trying to make is that when we talk about race in Shakespeare, we are not necessarily talking about black characters or blackness or a racial ‘issue’, as, say, when Brabantio finds his daughter has married a black man (Oth 1.1.140–1; 1.3 passim) or when Launcelot has fathered a black child (MV 3.5.35–8). We may very well be thinking about one of Shakespeare’s many white characters or the racialization of whiteness itself. More importantly still, we may very well be thinking about the theatre as itself part of early modern England’s racializing processes. As Ayanna Thompson has argued, ‘For most people in seventeenthcentury England … all of their visual and physical “contact” would have occurred in the theatre, if at all. Thus, it is not simply that these performances rehearsed emerging notions of race: the coalescence of these performances helped to create the actual discourses for the physical constructions of race’ (2008: 15). Critical race critiques can pull in at least two directions at once: what work does race (and racialization) do in a particular play? And what do the particular iterations of race in a particular play tell us about race itself? We get further with racial critique when we understand it less as a category associated with ethnic particularities and more as discursive relations playing out and through the hegemonically overdetermined and highly ritualized marking of bodies. Even a condensed reading of Romeo and Juliet can hint at some of the productive work we can execute in critical race studies. If we imagine the all-consuming romance at the core of Romeo and Juliet as love rendered ‘timeless’, this reading wishes to pressure how timelessness squares with Verona’s ongoing failure to reproduce itself, a point repeatedly underscored by the play’s repeated references to death, including dead children and reproductive partners in the lives of the characters; the sonnets opening the first and second acts; the oppressive, inexorable presence of the feud; and the mention of plagues, civil war and an earthquake. What Shakespeare’s play repeatedly underscores is that whatever our ‘star-crossed lovers’ (1 Prologue 2) and the other Veronese may have, it isn’t time. So much of the play’s mise-en-scène and affect seem to be driven by a suspicion, a panic even, that time seems to be running out, and it’s one underscored by a Verona (‘a grand spring’) growing unseasonably hotter and hotter over the course of the play and one that’s becoming unimaginably even more of a virtual graveyard than it already was. Carla Freccero has argued that ‘in the face of every ideological apparatus  – parents, the church, the law – striving to inculcate a politics of reproductive futurity, Romeo and Juliet insist that there is no time; the time is now’ (2011: 305). Freccero, working with Lee Edelman’s celebration of a queer futurity lack, concludes that ‘this is the meaningless, absolute, irrational queer force, the drive that drives them to their tombs’ (2011: 305; italics added).12 There’s a lot hiding in, being obscured by, Freccero’s ‘meaningless’, in fact, entire racialized histories. As José Esteban Muñoz talks about, moving from the Negro songs discussed by W. E. B. DuBois to the black Harlem vogueing scene during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, the ephemeral, the ‘queer gestures’, the now, in terms of the voguers, marks in real time a moment of ‘racialized self-enactment in the face of overarching

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opposition’: what we find here is ‘the strong trace of black and queer racialized survival, the way in which children need to imagine becoming Other in the face of conspiring cultural logics of white supremacy and heteronormativity’ (2009: 80). The ‘pathos’ defining these moments underpins the now that whiteness is always at such pains to categorically reject in the name of a ‘telo-transhistorical’ future (Little 2016: 96). Deploying the tools of critical race studies, this brief critical reading argues that Romeo and Juliet dramatizes (i.e. textualizes) the failure of white futurity; put another way, the social world of Shakespeare’s play finds it impossible to break out of a seemingly all-consuming melancholia, one we may (re)productively think about in racial terms. Whiteness, ‘fairness’, functions in the play as an abyss, a chasm that wants desperately to fill itself with life, with meaning, with whiteness as meaning, and the societal forces at work in the play have unfairly bestowed this impossible demand on its eponymous characters – not only do you need to reproduce whiteness, you need to prove that finally it has – we (those cathecting to romance as timeless and to timelessness as romance) have – meaning. Time is no mere disembodied abstraction: what the play is grappling with is that whiteness itself isn’t timeless, isn’t endlessly reproducible. In fact, whiteness in the play is being endlessly mourned, subjected to a racialized melancholic script from which it repeatedly fails to extricate itself. Whiteness functions something like Muñoz’s reading of queerness: Queerness is not yet here. Queerness is an ideality. Put another way, we are not yet queer. We may never touch queerness, but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality. We have never been queer, yet queerness exists for us as an ideality that can be distilled from the past and used to imagine a future (2009: 1). Pace Freccero, it isn’t the now that consumes Romeo and Juliet but white-hetero demands of futurity – only if they were black … But Romeo and Juliet are not just white but exemplarily so, as we know, too, from Arthur Brooke’s Romeus and Juliet (1562), Shakespeare’s main source text, which opens as follows: There is beyond the Alps, a town of ancient fame, Whose bright renown yet shineth clear: Verona men it name; Built in a happy time, built on a fertile soil, Maintained by the heavenly fates, and by the townish toil … There were two ancient stocks, which Fortune high did place Above the rest, indued with wealth, and nobler of their race. (Brooke 1–4, 25–6, quoted in Hager 1999: 73) And, interestingly, we see this whiteness especially reinforced in Brooke’s description of Romeus: ‘One Romeus, who was of race a Montague, / Upon whose tender chin as yet no manlike beard he grew, / Whose beauty and whose shape so far the rest did stain’ (53–4), i.e. Romeus, already of a ‘nobler … race’, outshines all others with a kind of prepubescent, virginal and erotically undetermined whiteness, a whiteness that makes all others ‘stain[ed]’, black, by comparison.

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Shakespeare’s play opens with a prologue in the form of a sonnet (one of three in the play).13 Sonnets in this play (as Freccero notes) are ‘interrupted, fragmented, truncated; there is a breaking down or failure of form in the midst of poetic form’s most formal performance’ (2011: 305). The opening sonnet laments from the outset that there will be no future, that reproduction has already failed: ‘From forth the fatal loins of these two foes / A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life’ (1 Prologue 5–6). The idyllic ‘toil’ of Brooke’s Veronese citizens has now become the postlapsarian ‘toil’ (1 Prologue 14) of Shakespeare’s actors who hope to find a way in the theatrical now to rescue this walled city, this hortus conclusus, from its always failing yet-to-be-realized (but always originary) whiteness. ‘In fair Verona’, in white Verona, the prologue situates us in the play’s second line. The reproduction of Petrarchan idyllic whiteness repeatedly fails in this opening sonnet, saturated as it is with death and not love: even the play’s calling attention to the ‘two hours’ traffic of our stage’ (1 Prologue 12) displaces fertility (i.e. futurity) with futility. We may recall here Shakespeare’s own Sonnets – both the ones to the young man and those to the black woman – which open with, ‘From fairest creatures we desire increase’ (Sonnet 1.1). The racial text becomes all the more pronounced in the play’s opening scene, which reinforces and makes more salient the stakes and anxieties at work in Shakespeare’s Verona. Sampson and Gregory serve as yet another prologue, one that’s now embedded not just in the formal paratext of the play but which now pushes up close and threateningly against the better citizenry of Verona itself. They set in motion for Shakespeare’s audience the particular ruckus that gives birth to the events that bring about the play’s tragedy. What’s particularly notable about their opening banter is its racialized component: Sampson talks about how he and Gregory will ‘not carry coals’, and Sampson responds, ‘No, for then we should be colliers.’ To which Gregory responds, ‘I mean, and we be in choler, we’ll draw’ (1.1.1–3). To carry coal, to be in ‘choler’, i.e. not just in rage but in colour, black, associates them with blackness and a very essential ingredient for the blackening of stage characters, a point made all the more interesting in that this is Shakespeare’s first tragedy after Titus Andronicus which features Shakespeare’s ‘coal-black’ Aaron.14 And, like the earlier character, Sampson and Gregory relish a language of physical and sexual violence. Suggestively, we may think of them as not simply ‘carry[ing] coals’, delivering it, say, but as coal miners, as coming from a kind of underground, perhaps not as dramatic as the one imagined by Thomas More when he sees a group of blacks in the retinue of Catherine of Aragon arriving in London in 1501 and refers to them as ‘refugees from hell’ (1961: 2). Furthermore, their characters suggest more than a kind of generic sexual violence but one predicated especially on a kind of sodomitic comradery between the two of them that seems to pervert the whiteness that will be very much at stake in Shakespeare’s play world: Sampson brags, ‘’tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh’, as he goes on to take out his ‘naked weapon’ (1.1.31, 35). Sampson’s ‘pretty’ penis complicates the stability of Verona’s racial story. Moreover, their names, Sampson and Gregory, seem to echo in alliteration with Sodom and Gomorrah. These ‘collied’ figures (to borrow language from Ben Jonson’s Poetaster, 4.5.131) embody the

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existential racial and sexual threat that sits right at the wall (1.1.12–20) of Verona’s most ‘digni[fied]’ (1.1.1) citizenry. Race and sodomy were more entwined in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries than we may appreciate. As Alan Bray points out in his explanation of why one Domingo Cassedon Drago, ‘a negro’, in 1647, a figure ‘dislocate[ed] … by the ravages of the Civil War’, was arrested for buggery, ‘There is good reason to think that it was the colour of his skin. A member of a non-European race was more than a merely unusual sight in mid-seventeenth-century England: he specifically brought to mind the image of the sodomite, which was linked in the literature of the time with non-European races’ (1995: 40, 72). Sampson and Gregory ‘stand’ (1.1.30) at the opening of Shakespeare’s play as an immediate and intimate threat, as theatrically present embodiments, like black figures ushering in a pageant or play, like the Presenter’s prologue to George Peele’s very popular The Battle of Alcazar (1591–2), which comments on Muly Mahamet, who enters ‘Black in his look and bloody in his deeds, / … with naked sword in hand, / Accompanied, as now you may behold, / With devils coated in the shapes of men’ (1 Prologue 16, 18–20). Sampson and Gregory stand at the beginning of Shakespeare’s play as presenters and participants, relishing the imminent destruction of a city about to be consumed by heat, both sexual and climatic. They are themselves, however, only analogues to Mercutio, who, as Gordon McMullan observes, is the ‘one figure in the play who is not defined in sonnet terms and whose relationship both to the norms established by romantic love and to normative masculinity is deeply ambivalent’ (2017: xvii). It’s also worth noting in this context, as Freccero has, that Mercutio, a queer figure to be sure, comes to his end after Tybalt’s ‘suggestion that he [Mercutio] is Romeo’s consort’, his ‘sodomitic’ partner (2011: 303; 3.1.51–6). Mercutio is himself a dangerous figure, one who seems, like his Queen Mab, to ‘gallop night by night’ (1.4.70), to have emerged, if not from hell, most certainly from the underworld of dreams, the dark world of Morpheus, one of Mercury’s henchmen. Non-normative (i.e. nonwhite and nonheterosexual) gendered and racial passions have a way derailing one, of taking one off course. From this perspective, Mercutio is one whose dreams, whose desires, are extremely dangerous for a Verona for which desire is always about an abstracted and divine white future more than any embodiment in the here and now. When Romeo interrupts an enraged Mercutio and tells him that when he speaks of dreams he ‘talk’st of nothing’ (1.4.96), Romeo sounds like a deluded Theseus (MND 5.1.2–22) and Mercutio himself like an abandoned Bottom (MND 4.2.199–217): ‘True, I talk of dreams; / Which are the children of an idle brain, / Begot of nothing but vain fantasy’ (1.4.96–8). There is no place in white futurity, in ‘white-world-making’ (Yancy 2004: 10), for fags or blacks. At the end of Shakespeare’s play we are left not with Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt but with a ‘statue in pure gold’ (5.3.299) that pathetically tries to materialize loss as though this, perhaps such colonizing future ventures in search of more gold, will bring an end to white melancholia, embody it by standing in contradistinction to racial others. When the Prince says, ‘A glooming peace this morning with it brings’ (5.3.305), his ‘morning’ only means to obfuscate a white ‘mourning’, a fraught temporality that repeatedly sends audiences, white audiences, back into the dark space of the theatre to dream of a cosmic teleological light

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breaking through windows (2.2.2) so that they may at least for two hours relive and take some cathartic solace that they collectively believe in … and yet grieve once again, and endlessly, the failure of a white futurity that seems out of reach, still.

NOTES 1. Unless noted otherwise, all quotations from Shakespeare’s texts are from The Arden Shakespeare Complete Works (Shakespeare 2015). 2. Given the history of using scare quotes to attenuate and mark off race as especially different for Shakespeare and early modern criticism, this essay refuses this epistemic political move. 3. As Goldberg explains, ‘So, in general, “race” has been used to signify a “breed or stock of animals” (1580), a “genus, species or kind of animal” (1605), or a “variety of plant” (1596). It refers at this time also to “the great divisions of mankind” (1580) and especially to “a limited group of persons descended from a common ancestor” (1581), while only slightly later to a “tribe, nation or people considered of common stock” (1600)’ (1993: 63). 4. Italics in text, except for the italicization of reinvent. 5. See generally Mason’s second chapter, ‘The Stage of Crisis’ (1962: 26–53). 6. The occasion for Mason’s study shares something with Wulf Sachs’s more multidirectional Black Hamlet (1937). For further discussion of Sachs, see my essay in The Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Social Justice, edited by David Ruiter (forthcoming). 7. All DuBois quotations are from The Souls of Black Folk (1987: 357–547). 8. The phrase ‘Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ is commonly referred to by its acronym, HBCUs. 9. For further discussion of this question, see Little (2016: 88–93). For more about whiteness as property, see Cheryl Harris’s landmark essay (1993). 10. Such logic, often voiced by those critical of Shakespeare and early modern (critical) race studies is akin to current US President Donald Trump refusing to test Americans more robustly for the Covid-19 virus because, he reasons, more testing would only create more cases by making the number of cases more known. 11. Cf. Terry Eagleton’s discussion of literary critical debates in the 1980s: ‘It is the power of “policing” language – of determining that certain statements must be excluded because they do not conform to what is acceptably sayable … It is the power of authority vis-à-vis others – the power-relations between those who define and preserve the discourse, and those who are selectively admitted to it’ (1983: 203; italics added). 12. See Lee Edelman (2004). 13. The sonnets in Romeo and Juliet are as follows: 1 Prologue, 1.5.93–106, 2 Prologue. 14. The racial contours of the phrase are especially evident in Titus, where the phrase occurs three times (3.2.79, 4.2.101 and 5.1.32), the most frequent recurrence in all of Shakespeare.

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REFERENCES Acts of the Privy Council of England, New Series ([1596–7] 1902), vol. 26, ed. J. R. Dasent, 16–17, London: Mackie and Co. Akhimie, P. (2018), Shakespeare and the Cultivation of Difference: Race and Conduct in the Early Modern World, New York: Routledge. Balibar, E. (1991), ‘Is There a Neo-Racism?’, in E. Balibar and I. Wallerstein (eds), Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities, trans. C. Turner, 17–28, London: Verso. Barthelemy, A. (1987), Black Face, Maligned Race: The Representation of Blacks in English Drama from Shakespeare to Southerne, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. Bleich, E. (2003), Race Politics in Britain and France: Ideas and Policymaking since the 1960s, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bloom, H. (1998), Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, New York: Riverhead. Bray, A. ([1982] 1995), Homosexuality in Renaissance England, New York: Columbia University Press. Burckhardt, J. (2012), The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, Mineola: Dover. Chapman, M. (2017), Anti-Black Racism in Early Modern English Drama: The Other ‘Other’, London: Routledge. Demeter, J. and A. Thompson (2017), ‘Shakespeare and Early Modern Race Studies: An Overview of the Field’, in J. L. Levenson and R. Ormsby (eds), The Shakespearean World, 574–89, London: Routledge. DuBois, W. E. B. (1987), Writings: The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade, The Souls of Black Folk, Dusk of Dawn, Essays, ed. N. Huggins, New York: Library of America. Eagleton, T. (1983), Literary Theory: An Introduction, Malden: Blackwell. Edelman, L. (2004), No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive, Durham: Duke University Press. Erickson, P. (1998), ‘The Moment of Race in Renaissance Studies’, Shakespeare Studies, 26: 27–36. Erickson, P. and K. F. Hall (2016), ‘“A New Scholarly Song”: Rereading Early Modern Race’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 67: 1–13. Faggett, H. L. (1971), Black and Other Minorities in Shakespeare’s England, Gretna, Manitoba: PrairieView. Field, J. B. (2019), ‘Got Shakespeare?’, Boston Review, 20 September. Available online: bostonreview.net/arts-society/jonathan-beecher-field-got-shakespeare/. Floyd-Wilson, M. (2003), English Ethnicity and Race in Early Modern Drama, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Freccero, C. (2011), ‘Romeo and Juliet Love Death’, in M. Menon (ed.), ShakesQueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare, 302–8, Durham: Duke University Press. Gates, H. L., Jr (1986), ‘Race’, Writing, and Difference, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Gilroy, P. (2018), ‘Introduction’, in P. Fryer, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain, xiii–xvi, London: Pluto. Goldberg, D. T. (1993), Racist Culture: Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning, Oxford: Blackwell.

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Goldberg, J. (2004), Tempest in the Caribbean, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Greenblatt, S. (2010), Shakespeare’s Freedom, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Habib, I. H. (2008), Black Lives in the English Archives, 1500–1677, Farnham: Ashgate. Hager, A, ed. (1999), Understanding Romeo and Juliet: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents, Westport: Greenwood. Hall, K. F. (1995), Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Harris, C. I. (1993), ‘Whiteness as Property’, Harvard Law Review, 106: 1709–91. Hendricks, M. and P. Parker (1994), Women, ‘Race’, and Writing in the Early Modern Period, London: Routledge. Hill, E. (1984), Shakespeare in Sable: A History of Black Shakespearean Actors, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. Hunter, G. K. (1967), ‘Othello and Colour Prejudice’, Proceedings of the British Academy, 53: 139–63. Iyengar, S. (2005), Shades of Difference: Mythologies of Skin Color in Early Modern England, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Jones, E. D. (1965), Othello’s Countrymen: The African in English Renaissance Drama, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jones, E. D. (1971), The Elizabethan Image of Africa, Washington, DC: Folger. Jonson, B. (1623), ‘To the Memory of My Beloved the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare’, in W. Shakespeare, Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies [First Folio], sig. A4r–A4v, London: Edward Blount and William and Isaac Jaggard. Jonson, B. (1995), Poetaster, ed. Tom Cain, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Little, A. L., Jr (2000), Shakespeare Jungle Fever: National-Imperial Re-Visions of Race, Rape, and Sacrifice, Stanford: Stanford University Press. Little, A. L., Jr (2016), ‘Re-Historicizing Race, White Melancholia, and the Shakespearean Property’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 67: 84–103. Loomba, A. (1989), Gender, Race, and Renaissance Drama, Manchester: Manchester University Press. MacDonald, J. G. (2002), Women and Race in Early Modern Texts, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mason, P. (1962), Prospero’s Magic: Some Thoughts on Class and Race, Oxford: Oxford University Press. McMullan, G. (2017), ‘Introduction’, in Romeo and Juliet: Norton Critical Editions, ix–xxvi, New York: Norton. More, T. (1961), St. Thomas More, Selected Letters, ed. E. F. Rogers, New Haven: Yale University Press. Moten, F. (2019), ‘Letting Go of Othello’, The Paris Review, 1 November. Available online: www.theparisreview.org/blog/2019/11/01/letting-go-of-othello/. Muñoz, J. E. (2009), Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, New York: New York University Press. Orgel, S. (1998), ‘Marginal Jonson’, in D. Bevington and P. Holbrook (eds), Politics of Stuart Court Masque, 144–75, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Patterson, O. (2018), Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Peele, G. (2005), The Battle of Alcazar, in C. Edelman (ed.), The Stukeley Plays, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Royster, F. T. (2000), ‘White-Limed Walls: Whiteness and Gothic Extremism in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 51: 432–55. Rymer, T. ([1693] 1970), A Short View of Tragedy, facsimile reprint, London: Scolar. Sachs, W. (1937), Black Hamlet: The Mind of an African Negro Revealed by Psychoanalysis, London: Geoffrey Bles. Shakespeare, W. ([1998] 2015), The Arden Shakespeare Complete Works, rev. edn, ed. R. Proudfoot, A. Thompson, D. S. Kastan and H. R. Woudhuysen, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. (2017), Romeo and Juliet: A Norton Critical Edition, ed. G. McMullan, New York: Norton. Smith, I. (2009), Race and Rhetoric in the Renaissance: Barbarian Errors, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Thompson, A. (2008), Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage, London: Routledge. Thompson, A. (2011), Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Tokson, E. (1982), The Popular Image of the Black Man in English Drama, 1558–1688, Boston: G. K. Hall. Traub, V. (2016), ‘Introduction – Feminist Shakespeare Studies: Cross Currents, Border Crossings, Conflicts, and Contradictions’, in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment, 1–38, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Wayne, V., ed. (1991), The Matter of Difference: Materialist Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Weheliye, A. G. (2014), Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human, Durham: Duke University Press. Wynter, S. and D. Scott (2000), ‘The Re-Enchantment of Humanism: An Interview with Sylvia Wynter’, Small Axe, 8: 119–207. Yancy, G., ed. (2004), ‘Introduction’, in What White Looks Like: African-American Philosophers on the Whiteness Question, 1–23, London: Routledge.

CHAPTER 3.2

Postcolonial studies RUBEN ESPINOSA

The value that postcolonial studies offers to the vitality and enduring relevance of Shakespeare cannot be overstated. The conversations engendered by scholars committed to scrutinizing Shakespeare’s works through a lens that explicitly considers colonial oppression are instrumental to recognizing the future of Shakespeare studies. As Ania Loomba notes, ‘Shakespeare’s plays have been an extraordinarily powerful medium between generations and cultures, a conduit for transmitting and shaping ideas about colonialism and race’ (2002: 5). As such, Shakespeare is, and always has been, invariably connected to discourses about oppressive structures. Drawing on foundational views of the construction of the colonial subject and structures of colonial oppression from pioneering theorists like Frantz Fanon, Edward Said and Gayatri Spivak, and on studies that examine the tensions surrounding hybrid cultures and globalization – like those of Homi Bhabha, Stuart Hall, Gloria Anzaldúa, Paul Gilroy and Walter Mignolo – postcolonial criticism interrogates the way Shakespeare attends to, and is often utilized as an instrument of, colonial domination. This essay surveys the vibrant body of criticism by early modern scholars like Loomba, Jyotsna Singh, Imtiaz Habib and Kim F.  Hall, to name just a few, whose work has both paved and broadened avenues of understanding Shakespeare’s contemporary cultural currency. I seek to locate in the intergenerational and cross-historical energies to which Loomba alludes a path to the future of Shakespeare studies – one that is vividly attuned to the fraught political nature of colonialism, race, ethnicity, hybridity, gender, sexuality, class, economics and citizenship. Through a representative sample of key ideas about colonial and racial discourses and competing histories that shaped and were shaped by Shakespeare, this chapter recognizes in the varied Shakespeares that this field has tendered an understanding of the power behind plural epistemological standpoints that shape anew a distinctly diverse Shakespeare.

SHAKESPEARE STUDIES AND POSTCOLONIAL THEORY AND CRITICISM By considering colonial oppression from manifold angles, postcolonial studies seeks to shed light on the way the colonial enterprise sought to suppress, erase and redefine various cultures and colonized peoples and the aftereffects – even in the

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present moment – of that project. In her recent work on postcolonialism, Jyotsna Singh succinctly offers a definition for her readers: Put simply, [postcolonial theory] is an academic study of the cultural legacy of European colonialism, showing how the literature of former colonial powers represented and often distorted colonial history and the experiences of the native subjects and, how, in turn, colonized peoples articulated and reclaim their identity and history by interrogating European culture and history. (2019: 3) Shakespeare is clearly implicated in that European culture and history. But as Singh offers this entry point in a recent publication, she is indebted to a long tradition – indeed, one that she helped shape – of postcolonial Shakespeare criticism that allows her to focus squarely on the way ‘colonized peoples articulated and reclaim their identity’ by scrutinizing Shakespeare. She is able to look ‘beyond Western, institutional parameters’ to see how Shakespeare is used as a vehicle to relate ‘stories about diverse lives and experiences’ (2019: 4). Before I arrive at Singh’s keen study, I first want to introduce briefly some theorists and critics who have, in varied and meaningful ways, set the groundwork for current postcolonial studies of Shakespeare. Early on, Frantz Fanon offered a productive entry point to postcolonial studies by scrutinizing the psychological effects of colonialism and offering a platform for anticolonial perspectives. In his work, he explores the possibilities behind the ‘colonized intellectual’ rediscovering their people. Fanon addresses the implications behind this for the colonists: Every colonized intellectual won over, every colonized intellectual who confesses, once he decides to revert to his old ways, not only represents a setback for the colonial enterprise, but also symbolizes the pointlessness and superficiality of the work accomplished. Every colonized intellectual who crosses back over the line is a radical condemnation of the method and the regime, and the uproar it causes justifies his abdication and encourages him to persevere. (1963: 158) At the heart of Fanon’s interrogation is the idea of resistance – an idea to which his work thoughtfully attends. Indeed, Fanon gestures at the need for anticolonial resistance while considering the psychological effects of such resistance. Without doubt, Fanon’s work has proven invaluable in the realm of postcolonial studies. While there are obviously a number of theorists to whom scholars engaged in postcolonial studies of Shakespeare are indebted, perhaps no theorist has been more influential than Edward Said. In Orientalism, Said scrutinizes how distinctions between the East and the West are formulated, and his principal investment is in interrogating how ‘the Oriental is contained and represented by dominating frameworks’ (1979: 40). He writes, ‘Yet what gave the Orientals’ world its intelligibility and identity was not the result of his own efforts but rather the whole complex series of knowledgeable manipulations by which the Orient was identified by the West’ (1979: 40). Through this one-directional apparatus, then, perceptions of the East – almost always undesirable and negative – and both the colonized and formerly colonized are engendered and perpetuated by the West. For postcolonial

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scholars, this binary opposition offers a framework from which to explore how the colonizing world rendered itself superior to the colonized in all aspects of thought and culture. The scope of postcolonial studies stretches far beyond Said, of course, and some theorists and critics have taken issue with what they consider to be his overly binarized approach. Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak call for a more nuanced framework to interrogating the colonized and formerly colonized cultures. Indeed, Bhabha imagines a ‘third space’ where hybridity can be experienced in a generative way: ‘And by exploring this hybridity, this “Third Space,” we may elude the politics of polarity and emerge as the others of our selves’ (1994: 56). For her part, Spivak insightfully interrogates the muted role of the colonized in postcolonialism. Simultaneously, Spivak is vividly aware of the various layers – gender, sex, class, race, ethnicity, religion – that inform views and viewpoints of the postcolonial subject. She argues that ‘one must nevertheless insist that the colonized subaltern subject is irretrievably heterogeneous’ (1999: 270). This, of course, is not to suggest that Said offers a one-dimensional view of the colonized subject, but instead it illustrates how both Bhabha and Spivak extend the conversation and interrogate strata beyond the colonizer/colonized binary. These examples do not even begin to scratch the surface when it comes to the understandings of the destructive and far-reaching effects of colonialism that these theorists tender, but they are instead a mere snapshot of possible entry points to considering the stakes behind postcolonial studies. Other theorists – like Gloria Anzaldúa (1999) and Néstor García Canclini (1995), who explore hybrid identities and cultures, Paul Gilroy (1993) and Walter Mignolo (2000), who consider neocolonialism and globalization, and Stuart Hall (1990), who attends thoughtfully to diasporic communities – extend the reach of postcolonial studies. These varied bodies of work, along with many others not mentioned here, at times intersect, and they are all committed to scrutinizing the complex nature of the colonial enterprise while attending to the diversity of postcolonial and neocolonial identities and cultures. When we arrive at Shakespeare criticism that attends to the diversity behind postcolonialism, then, not only do we see how such theories inform our understanding of Shakespeare but also how Shakespeare has been utilized to perpetuate colonial discourses. Loomba explores this idea in her seminal work, Colonialism/Postcolonialism, by drawing on Bhabha’s concept of mimicry, where the colonized often mimics the colonizer and thus renders colonial authority hybrid or ambivalent as a result of the process of replication. Loomba argues, ‘in the colonial context “the English book” (the Western text, whether religious like the Bible, or literary like Shakespeare) is made to symbolize English authority itself. But the process whereby a text or a book stands in for an entire culture is a complex, and ultimately fraught exercise’ (1998: 89). By making Shakespeare ‘available to the uncultured’, Loomba goes on to argue, ‘the authority of European (or English) culture’ is established and situates the colonized as ‘clowns in the boudoir’ (1998: 90). On the surface, this seems to establish a clear binary where Eurocentric (or Anglocentric) views are underscored as superior and where Shakespeare is deployed to bolster such perceptions.

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However, Loomba traces in this process the energies of mimicry that Bhabha outlines in his work, and in doing so she sheds light on the complicated nature of drawing on literary authority in the colonial enterprise. She writes: Thus the intention is to assert an unbridgeable gap or difference between colonisers and colonised peoples. But the effort to convert the natives also assumes that the latter can be transformed by the religious or cultural truths enshrined in the colonial texts. Here the assumption is that the gap between cultures and people can be bridged. Thus there is a fundamental contradiction at the heart of the attempt to educate, ‘civilise’ or co-opt the colonial ‘other’. (1998: 90) Via Shakespeare, the unbridgeable becomes bridgeable, and this, ostensibly, allows for subversion. Loomba follows this logic as she interrogates how Shylock’s ‘Hath not a Jew eyes?’ speech has been used to argue for the idea that ‘Shakespeare stood for human equality’ (1998: 90). On the one hand, this ‘might be seen to prop up the authority of the Bard’, but on the other hand it also ‘challenges rather than accepts colonialist views of racial difference’ (1998: 90). One can scrutinize Shakespeare as being a tool of colonial oppression while simultaneously recognizing that the colonial, postcolonial or neocolonial subject can appropriate that tool for themselves to offer anticolonial perspectives. In their insightful intervention in postcolonial studies of Shakespeare, Jyotsna Singh and Gitanjali G. Shahani attend to the possibilities behind the future of postcolonial Shakespeares by glancing backward at several major contributions to the field. Not surprisingly, Loomba figures prominently at the onset, and Singh and Shahani highlight how Loomba’s early critique of the way Shakespeare’s assumed universality subsumed discussions of ‘race, marginality, alterity, and gender’ informed scholarship intent on underscoring these various issues (2010: 129). Highlighting early works by Singh (1989) and Abiola Irele (1992) alongside Loomba (1989), Singh and Shahani arrive at the challenges postcolonial scholars face when privileging Shakespeare’s work: ‘Even as we turn to margins of the Shakespearean text, do we inadvertently affirm its centrality to the canon? Does the compulsive return to the Shakespearean text, even through postcolonial critical frames, necessarily involve effacements and erasures of indigenous literary texts and critical traditions?’ (2010: 130). The short answer, they suggest, is not necessarily. Working from within, postcolonial critics can engage Shakespeare, and all the complications that his canonicity and cultural capital bring with it, on their own terms. When we consider the way critics like Imtiaz Habib (2000; 2008), Margo Hendricks and Patricia Parker (1994) and Kim F. Hall (1995) engage and focus, in part, on the work and the world of Shakespeare, on their own terms, we see unfolding in postcolonial studies of Shakespeare meaningful conversations surrounding the representations of race in the early modern period – conversations that surely ought to have demanded the attention of Shakespeare scholars at large. That attention, most of us know, was slow in coming, but these critics paved the road for so many future scholars invested in postcolonial and race studies of Shakespeare. Hendricks and Parker’s collection filled a lacuna in Shakespeare studies by explicitly attending to race in the early modern period. Habib’s work focuses on race as ‘a function of

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colonialism’ and argues that ‘Elizabethan constructions of race, as in Shakespeare, are a product of the global early modern European colonial enterprise’ (2000: 3). That enterprise, he suggests, was the ‘seminal event of early modern European economic, political, and cultural history’ (2000: 3). Habib raises the stakes by situating race directly within topics that were and continue to be central to so many scholars of Shakespeare and the early modern period. Perhaps no one has been more influential in expanding postcolonial studies of Shakespeare by attending to early modern constructions of race than Kim F. Hall. Taking to task new historicists who eschewed issues of race in their works (even as they examined the ‘alien’ or ‘marginal’), Hall writes, ‘Although they have brought heretofore unseen populations to literary analysis, they provide little guidance in understanding the complexities of early modern racial discourses’ (1995: 14–15). Acknowledging her own use of new historicism in her landmark study, Hall makes it a point to establish that Things of Darkness is ‘more indebted to the work of women of color within the feminist movement’ (1995: 15). She writes, ‘I also draw from “extrinsic sources” when I suggest alternative readings and viewpoints regarding the subjects of colonial rule that are largely absent in the period: these “alternative viewpoints” rely heavily on black feminists such as bell hooks, Angela Davis, and the late Audre Lorde’ (1995: 15). Similar to the aims of Hendricks and Parker, Hall examines ‘both the interconnections of race, gender, and other forms of oppression and the need to interrogate whiteness as a social construct’ (1995: 15). Hall’s latter point about needing to interrogate the social construction of whiteness is critical to the type of work on postcolonial and race studies transpiring in the present moment. More recently, key figures like Ian Smith (2013) and Arthur Little (2016) have offered keen understandings of the all-too-common imaginings and centralizing of whiteness as neutral. Like Hall, they are intent on interrogating how whiteness is imagined and constructed both in the early modern period and in our academy. For her part, Hall sets the groundwork through her careful attention to early modern literary and material artefacts that reveal tropes of blackness, both literal and, quite often, absent but imagined. In no uncertain terms, Hall’s work challenged our academy, one that was seemingly anxious about, and at times explicitly antagonistic toward, recognizing race (and racism) in the early modern period. Cognizant of the implications behind such an evasion of race, Hall writes: I am increasingly concerned that much of the seeming anxiety over the propriety of the use of the term ‘race’ in the Renaissance works to exclude an antiracist politics. Dismissing the term ‘race’ altogether or imposing absolute historical boundaries between early modern and contemporary constructions may allow us not to think about race either in Renaissance texts or in our classrooms. More specifically, it serves to maintain white privilege in Renaissance studies, the luxury of not thinking about race – hence duplicating racism in writing and professional relations. (1995: 255) I hear here an echo of the kind of energy surrounding the need for anticolonial activism that Fanon deploys in his work. And while Hall’s work could be argued to

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be situated within race studies of Shakespeare, she is very much drawing on colonial and postcolonial narratives (literary, travel, material) that seek to establish white supremacy. Hall’s work unequivocally set the stage for future scholars of Shakespeare and early modern literature to interrogate the value of postcolonial perspectives and race studies in our field. As Singh and Shahani say about the works of Hall and Hendricks and Parker, ‘In the wake of these works … questions concerning the definitions and representations of race … animated Renaissance scholarship in new and significant ways’ (2010: 131). Ushering Shakespeare studies into a new and exciting stage, Ayanna Thompson engaged both thoughtfully and forcefully with the kinds of conversations her predecessors had initiated. Thompson, like Hall, underscores antiracist politics throughout her work. At the closing of her stunning book, Passing Strange, Thompson directly addresses Shakespeare scholars and writes, ‘if the field were to support the inclusion of race studies more systematically and consistently, then our ranks may diversify more rapidly and thoroughly’ (2011: 180). Like Hall’s work, Thompson’s work falls within race studies of Shakespeare and isn’t always labelled postcolonial, but there is a through-line that is noticeable in these works where – through attention to the way Shakespeare exists as an icon of an Englishness that allowed so much in the way of suppression, marginalization and violation of so many black and brown individuals through the colonial enterprise and neocolonialism – the call for anticolonial and antiracist understandings is sounded. Often, it was ignored, but in our current moment, it ought to resonate with meaning. The contributions of the above-mentioned critics are certainly an important facet of postcolonial criticism that has shifted the field of Shakespeare studies, but the scope of postcolonial studies affords manifold possibilities. More broadly, attention to globalization has resulted in a vibrant body of criticism that turns to Islam and the East in early modern postcolonial studies. Critics like John Michael Archer (2001), Richmond Barbour (2003), Daniel Vitkus (2003), Jonathan Burton (2005), Bernadette Andrea (2007) and Ambereen Dadabhoy (2014) have explored the contact zones between Europe and Africa and the East. Addressing the lacuna in scholarship that, because it relies on a facile and anachronistic employment of Said’s Orientalism, often renders the ‘powerful West’ against the ‘subordinate East’, Andrea writes: ‘As part of a cadre of scholars who recognize that early modern imperialism in the “Greater Western World” involved Ottoman, Spanish, and only belatedly English claims, I consider the decisive place Islamic powers occupied in this network’ (2007: 1–2). A second lacuna, Andrea argues, is the ‘effacement of women’s agency’ in studies of Anglo-Ottoman relationships that often privilege ‘male authored narratives and dramas to the exclusion of sustained attention to women’s cultural productions’ (2007: 2). Studies of Shakespeare, of course, would seem to fit the bill here, and so it is not surprising that in her body of criticism Andrea rarely engages his works. Still, Andrea’s insight not only offers us all in Shakespeare studies provocative entry points to understanding the wider world of early modern England and – more importantly – the Anglocentric power structures that help perpetuate myths about English superiority, but also reminds us about

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the gendered inequities we often encounter in early modern studies. In this regard, she joins the likes of Hendricks and Parker, Hall and Singh, among many others, who are committed to engaging with the intersections among postcolonialism, race and gender. Again, the explicit attempt to address social inequities on anticolonial, antiracist and antisexist grounds infuses this field of Shakespeare and early modern studies with far-reaching potential – potential that is critical in our present moment. Indeed, in her collaborative work with David Kim, Singh explores the capacity of postcolonial studies to address the shared suffering of marginalized and oppressed groups while simultaneously recognizing the need to navigate the cross-historical dynamics of the field. She writes: This is the key challenge that I believe the postcolonial world faces, namely to imagine and create new transnational, cross-cultural, and cross-disciplinary communities mediating different temporalities. Even though we may not have a clear ‘blueprint,’ how do we keep our commitments to the past, while becoming part of a constantly transforming postcolonial world? (Singh and Kim 2017: 16) The mediation of disparate temporalities is itself a challenge, but the very notion of creating diverse communities is indeed the key. This, then, brings me back to Singh’s most recent work on postcolonial theory. As I mentioned at the outset of this chapter, Singh’s design in her most recent book is to consider how Shakespeare – with all the complexities surrounding his role in colonial, postcolonial and neocolonial settings – exists as a vehicle to tell stories from diverse perspectives, peoples and experiences. Postcoloniality in the present moment, Singh argues, ‘is a state and condition – a mode of apprehending alterity, difference, and inequities more than simply a politically inflected theoretical approach’ (2019: 4). This condition, she goes on to argue, is made evident by the ‘postcolonially inflected scholarship that has expanded the Shakespearean archive to varied spaces, places, and historical moments’ (2019: 4). In her work, then, Singh engages various and diverse Shakespeares to illustrate the power behind such postcolonial perspectives. It is with this idea of an expanded archive and ‘varied space, places, and historical moments’ in mind, then, that I employ Shakespeare to offer a perspective informed by hybrid cultures and which highlights the value of diversity to addressing social inequities in our own day.

REIMAGINING THE HUMAN(E) IN THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Shylock’s quintessential ‘Hath not a Jew eyes?’ (3.1.53) speech often governs attitudes about the mitigation of hostile feelings regarding foreigners in The Merchant of Venice. The truth is, however, that his speech does little to influence the racism and the many racists within the play. As compelling as his words might be, they are lost on his immediate audience of Salarino and Salanio. Directly after Shylock’s speech, Tubal enters and Salanio remarks, ‘Here comes another of the tribe; a third cannot be matched, unless the devil himself turn Jew’ (3.1.70–1). While Shylock delivers a

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speech meant to humanize him to his Christian audience, in their eyes he remains a being akin to the devil himself. Such anti-Semitic views, of course, run throughout the play and mirror English attitudes about Jews in the early modern period. But rather than tap into a historical understanding of these early modern attitudes – in the vein of James Shapiro (1996), for example – I instead want to consider what the play has to offer us in thinking through the implications of efforts to dehumanize for a present-day audience. More specifically, I want to draw on the theories of Gilroy and Anzaldúa to consider both the text and a recent adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, The Qualities of Mercy Project, that involved collaboration among students at fourteen different colleges and universities across the United States. This project, I argue, underscores energies of the play that allow for active resistance to structures that value white homogeneity within plural societies. In The Black Atlantic, Gilroy scrutinizes the construction of cultural value rooted in the nineteenth-century concept of biologically based racial difference. His attention to the way race bears on such imaginings of cultural value is keen, and it offers us a way to consider the role of an entity like Shakespeare (or Shakespeare studies, for that matter) on perceptions of racial hierarchies. Gilroy writes: It is certainly the case that ideas about ‘race,’ ethnicity, and nationality form an important seam of continuity linking English cultural studies with one of its sources of inspiration – the doctrines of modern European aesthetics that are consistently configured by the appeal to national and often racial particularity. (1993: 8) Although Gilroy here is exploring this concept in regard to cultural studies more broadly, the implications behind such an appeal to ‘national and often racial particularity’ are certainly vital within our own field. To think about the role of Shakespeare in constructions of cultural aesthetic value rooted in perceptions of a racial hierarchy valuing whiteness – as Singh and Shahani and many of the other postcolonial critics whom I mention above have done – is to attend responsibly to our own role in either perpetuating or disrupting these particular views. For my part, I want to attend to this from a cross-historical perspective, and Gilroy opens the door to this possibility. Gilroy writes: Notions of the primitive and the civilised which had been integral to pre-modern understanding of ‘ethnic’ differences became fundamental cognitive and aesthetic markers in the processes which generated a constellation of subject positions in which Englishness, Christianity, and other ethnic and racialized attributes would finally give way to the dislocating dazzle of ‘whiteness’. (1993: 8) The through-line that Gilroy identifies here ultimately weds notions of superiority/ inferiority to perceptions of whiteness as inherently ‘more beautiful and valuable than’. In the realm of Shakespeare studies, Hall insightfully attends to the issue surrounding the alignment of whiteness with beauty and power. She writes, ‘The eruptions of whiteness … are part of an aesthetic system that identifies certain bodies as desirable – as entitled to wealth, land and power – and others as dangerous to that

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entitlement’ (1998: 80). As such, the move to oppress those who pose a threat to the desirable is established. Hall goes on to write, ‘Certainly, in this way they must be seen as a form of colonization as potent as economic imperialism’ (1998: 80). Where The Merchant of Venice is concerned, then, we can see this transpire fairly explicitly. The alignment of Shylock with the devil is hardly an isolated incidence of racism, as the play certainly invests itself in tracing such views. Indeed, later in the play, the Christian audience further dehumanizes Shylock. When Salerio arrives in Belmont to inform Bassanio about Antonio’s precarious state, Bassanio responds: Hath all his ventures failed? What, not one hit, From Tripoli, from Mexico and England, From Lisbon, Barbary and India, And not one vessel scape the dreadful touch Of merchant-marring rocks? (3.2.266–70) Established here is the global nature of the mercantile practices that undergird Antonio’s wealth. Of significance is the fact that many of those locales figured prominently within the early modern colonial enterprise. I mention this because Salerio’s ensuing response carries with it greater significance when set against this economic reality. Salerio says in response to Bassanio’s question, ‘Not one, my lord’ (3.2.270) and goes on to explain that Shylock was intent on capitalizing on this fact: ‘[Shylock] would not take it. Never did I know / A creature that did bear the shape of man / So keen and greedy to confound a man’ (3.2.273–5). Salerio’s comment that Shylock ‘did bear the shape of man’ insinuates that he is not in fact a man. Again, when we consider the threat to Antonio’s economic (and physical) stability, it should come as little surprise that Shylock is imagined as less than human. Perhaps no one has more influence on the economic stability of those deemed other within the play than Portia. Portia establishes her racism very early in her first scene in The Merchant when she mocks her many suitors by deploying ethnic stereotypes. Rather importantly, she reveals that she can manipulate the casket riddle by setting a ‘deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary casket’ (1.2.91) to lure the Duke of Saxony to choose incorrectly. While this is seemingly innocuous banter between Portia and Nerissa, it reveals that she is capable of manipulating the system. Her full racism is on display when her suitor, the Prince of Morocco, chooses the incorrect casket, and she responds by saying, ‘A gentle riddance. Draw the curtain, go. / Let all of his complexion choose me so’ (2.7.78–9). The repercussions of this incorrect choice, of course, run much deeper than a racist comment. Hall examines the fate of Morocco in The Merchant to drive home the point about just how nefarious white society can be. Morocco not only loses Portia but also loses ‘his ability to reproduce his own bloodline, a right not explicitly denied the other suitors’ (Hall 1992: 98). Hall says of this moment in the play: The Morocco scene is only the most obvious example of the exclusionary values of Belmont. Portia derides all other suitors for their national shortcomings,

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reserving her praise for her countryman, Bassanio (a man who at first glance seems to have little to recommend him). (1992: 98) The exclusionary values to which Hall alludes are far-reaching, as are ‘the political and economic implications of her aversion’ (Hall 1992: 98). In other words, it is not merely a matter of Portia controlling her own fate in Belmont, but rather it seems to be a matter of her ability to align herself with the other white people in the play against the threat of those not like them. The ensuing actions in the play would seem to indicate that Portia is intent on helping the friend of her newfound husband, Bassanio. However, her intricate dealings in assuring that Shylock loses power over his person, his finances, his property and his religion are critical to recognizing the extent of white supremacy at work. As Hall says, ‘More than providing an object lesson for Shylock, “hitting him where it hurts,” as it were, the punishment makes sure that the uneven balance of wealth in the economy is righted along racial and gender lines’ (1992: 100). White male elites ultimately benefit from Portia’s intervention, and this is precisely the point. The play celebrates this reality. Hall says of this: Aliens must be either assimilated into the dominant culture (Shylock’s and Jessica’s conversions) and/or completely disempowered (Shylock’s sentence). Their use as explanations for racial difference allows for the organization of property, kinship, and religion within an emerging national – and imperial – identity. (1992: 101–2) What is left, then, is the messy aftermath of punishing, to varied degrees, the nonwhites – and I use that term not to centralize whiteness but to underscore, explicitly, the centralizing of whiteness within the play. We see at work here the type of paradigm that Gilroy articulates so thoughtfully. One wonders if the dazzle of whiteness here is enough to render Shylock’s famous speech mute. And yet it is indeed the speech to which most readers often turn when they consider The Merchant of Venice. Perhaps this is because it allows us all to imagine some universal quality within the play, and within Shakespeare, that calls for humane treatment of all. The truth is that the play does not. Its comedic resolution depends upon the suppression of those who differ in race, religion and gender. So how, then, do we bring these postcolonial sensibilities to the table when teaching and performing this play in our current moment? What do we do with a play that contains within it both that quintessential speech aimed at humane understanding and a celebration of white supremacy? Between 2018 and 2019, fourteen colleges and universities in the United States collaborated to adapt and film different scenes from The Merchant of Venice to render a production of the play from varied perspectives. Organized by Jonathan Burton of Whittier College, The Qualities of Mercy Project sought to engage this play ‘not to produce a seamless and coherent interpretation of The Merchant of Venice but rather to consider how students in various parts of our country might remake the play to engage with the cultures in which they live’ (The Qualities of Mercy Project 2019). All the adaptations were organized and uploaded onto YouTube and thus are available in that archive. The scope of this current essay does not allow me to engage

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with the project at large, but I do want to point to the promise and the possibilities behind such a project. Burton, as I mentioned earlier, is invested in postcolonial studies through his own scholarship, and thus this project was in no uncertain terms influenced by such leanings. He deliberately sought to offer voices to students from regions where those voices might not otherwise be heard within our academy. As the title of this project might signal, the idea was to have students think about Portia’s line, ‘the quality of mercy is not strained’ (4.1.180), in relation to the way students might imagine the notion of ‘mercy’ within their own locales. Because the videos ranged geographically from Hawaii and Kansas to Mississippi and Texas, perceptions of what this play had to offer in terms of understanding mercy varied. In the end, though, many students mobilized and used The Merchant as a vehicle to attend to the racism and xenophobia within the play to address the very same issues within their own locales. Through such approaches, the kind of aesthetic value that whiteness enjoys in and through Shakespeare was disrupted in novel ways. For me, the work of Anzaldúa affords a useful springboard to think through briefly some issues that at least one of the videos – produced by Katherine Gillen's students at Texas A&M, San Antonio – addresses. In scrutinizing the pressures of hybrid identity in la frontera, Anzaldúa writes: Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity – I am my language. Until I can take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself … Until I am free to write bilingually and to switch codes without having always to translate, while I still have to speak English or Spanish when I would rather speak Spanglish, and as long as I have to accommodate the English speakers rather than having them accommodate me, my tongue will be illegitimate. (1999: 81) The uneasy nature of navigating linguistic identity in the US-Mexico borderlands results in insecurities surrounding perceptions of legitimacy for Latinxs. As the students in San Antonio thought through the fraught nature of alterity in the play, they capitalized on the issue of linguistic identity to underscore the racist energies of the play. Set in a San Antonio Mexican restaurant, the students adapted the scene where Antonio and Bassanio initially approach Shylock for a loan. The introduction to the film reads, ‘We’ve made Shylock an undocumented Mexican man who was able to make a good living in San Antonio, Texas despite his lack of a US citizenship. Antonio is a Mexican-American who refuses to acknowledge his Mexican heritage and who wants to help out his Anglo-American friend, Bassanio’ (The Qualities of Mercy Project 2019). Throughout the scene, Shylock code-switches and registers the unique linguistic identity to which Anzaldúa alludes. Of more importance, perhaps, is that the students infuse Shylock’s character with unmistakable confidence. When Antonio enters, Shylock’s first words (spoken in Spanish but translated into English on the screen) are, ‘Speaking of the devil’ (2019). Clearly, the students turn the language of the play – where Shylock is compared to the devil – onto Antonio. Of more significance, Shylock describes Antonio: ‘Pendejo con su dinero, y luego con el nopal en la frente, no quire hablar Español,’ which they translate to mean, ‘Stupid with his money and then he looks as Mexican as I do, yet he refuses to speak our

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language’ (2019). The translation is, to say the least, inexact, but I think that is the point. The actual translation is probably closer to this: ‘An idiot with his money, and then with the cactus on his forehead, he doesn’t want to speak Spanish.’ The nopal or cactus in question is a reference to the image on the Mexican flag and a saying many Chicanxs use to call out those who are Mexican but trying to approximate whiteness. Without doubt, these students gesture toward the pressures of assimilation that Anzaldúa so skilfully explores in her work while simultaneously refusing to translate the understood nuances for the viewer. They own their language with confidence. The adaptation returns to the issue of linguistic identity later in the scene when Shylock sets his terms for the loan. Instead of a pound of flesh, Shylock stipulates that if Antonio cannot repay the loan, he’ll cut off his lengua or tongue. It is, from my perspective, a brilliant move. Because language figures so prominently in this adaptation, the students are able to underscore what defines difference in our day and age and how seemingly arbitrary it is. In this production, Shylock stresses that Antonio is very much like him, but he eschews his ethnic and linguistic identity in an attempt to elevate himself. The denigration of Shylock, then, is a seeming byproduct. But, unlike the play, Shylock in this adaptation reigns supreme as he highlights Antonio’s self-hatred. This is a move that allows the students to use Shakespeare as a vehicle not to perpetuate views of Shakespeare’s universality but rather to deviate from the script and adapt it to show how making Shakespeare one’s own is more valuable. The students in this production put forward an antiracist message anchored in the legacies of colonialism and imperialism. And yet, like Shylock speaking to audiences who might not care, they speak in a language that is poignant and necessary. This type of engagement with Shakespeare, I firmly believe, points to the future of our field – a future so many postcolonial critics of Shakespeare have helped to shape.

REFERENCES Andrea, B. (2007), Women and Islam in Early Modern English Literature, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Anzaldúa, G. (1999), Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, 2nd edn, San Francisco: Aunt Lute. Archer, J. M. (2001), Old Worlds: Egypt, Southwest Asia, India, and Russia in Early Modern English Writing, Stanford: Stanford University Press. Barbour, R. (2003), Before Orientalism: London’s Theater of the East, 1576–1626, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bhabha, H. K. (1994), The Location of Culture, London: Routledge. Burton, J. (2005), Traffic and Turning: Islam and English Drama, 1579–1624, Newark: University of Delaware Press. Canclini, N. G. (1995), Hybrid Cultures: Strategies for Entering and Leaving Modernity, trans. C. L. Chiappari and S. L. Lopez, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Dadabhoy, A. (2014), ‘Two Faced: The Problem of Othello’s Visage’, in L. C. Orlin (ed.), Othello: The State of Play, 121–48, London: Arden Shakespeare.

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Fanon, F. (1963), The Wretched of the Earth, trans. R. Philcox, New York: Grove. Gilroy, P. (1993), The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Habib, I. (2000), Shakespeare and Race: Postcolonial Praxis in the Early Modern Period, New York: University Press of America. Habib, I. (2008), Black Lives in the English Archives, 1500–1677, Burlington: Ashgate. Hall, K. F. (1992), ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Colonization and Miscegenation in The Merchant of Venice’, Renaissance Drama, 23: 87–111. Hall, K. F. (1995), Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Hall, K. F. (1998), ‘“These Bastard Signs of Fair”: Literary Whiteness in Shakespeare’s Sonnets’, in A. Loomba and M. Orkin (eds), Post-Colonial Shakespeares, 64–83, London: Routledge. Hall, S. (1990), ‘Cultural Identity and Diaspora’, in J. Rutherford (ed.), Identity: Community, Culture, Difference, 222–37, London: Lawrence and Wishart. Hendricks, M. and P. Parker, eds (1994), Women, ‘Race,’ and Writing in the Early Modern Period, London: Routledge. Irele, A. (1992), ‘In Praise of Alienation’, in V. Y. Mudimbe (ed.), The Surreptitious Speech, 201–4, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Little, A. (2016), ‘Re-Historicizing Race, White Melancholia, and the Shakespearean Property’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 67: 84–103. Loomba, A. (1989), Gender, Race, Renaissance Drama, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Loomba, A. (1998), Colonialism/Postcolonialism, London: Routledge. Loomba, A. (2002), Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mignolo, W. (2000), Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking, Princeton: Princeton University Press. The Qualities of Mercy Project (2019), [YouTube video], YouTube. Available online: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEcX8YVMVUzMF3r3hUo2Kl8BGOqacYYZg&fb clid=IwAR2c-MtBH-6lt3t12U9fqbV7eiYQCCOH7SP1X2wcxtFINjodTRosKHude44 (accessed 25 July 2019). Said, E. W. (1979), Orientalism, New York: Vintage. Shakespeare, W. (2010), The Merchant of Venice, ed. John Drakakis, Arden Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shapiro, J. (1996), Shakespeare and the Jews, New York: Columbia University Press. Singh, J. (1989), ‘Different Shakespeares: The Bard in Colonial/Postcolonial India’, Theater Journal, 41: 445–58. Singh, J. (2019), Shakespeare and Postcolonial Theory, London: Arden Shakespeare. Singh, J. and D. Kim (2017), The Postcolonial World, London: Routledge. Singh, J. G. and G. G. Shahani (2010), ‘Postcolonial Shakespeare Revisited’, Shakespeare, 6: 127–38. Smith, I. (2013), ‘Othello’s Black Handkerchief’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 64: 1–25.

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Spivak, G. C. (1999), A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Thompson, A. (2011), Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Vitkus, D. (2003), Turning Turk: English Theater and the Multicultural Mediterranean, 1570–1630, New York: Palgrave.

CHAPTER 3.3

Queer studies ANTHONY GUY PATRICIA

The term queer theory was first used by Teresa de Lauretis in her introduction to a special issue of differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies. The underlying premise of queer theory was – and still is – that ‘homosexuality is no longer to be seen simply as marginal with regard to a dominant, stable form of sexuality (heterosexuality) against which it would be defined either by opposition or homology’ (1991: iii). Homosexuality was ‘no longer to be seen either as merely transgressive or deviant vis-à-vis a proper, natural sexuality (i.e., institutionalized reproductive sexuality) … or as just another, optional “life-style”’ (1991: iii). From the outset, then, queer theory was intended to challenge heterosexuality’s claim to be the grand récit of the normative as regards culturally sanctioned sexual and emotional interactions among human beings. Queer theory, it turns out, has always been interested in the works of Shakespeare. The survey that follows will show that critics working with queer theory and Shakespeare have used its interpretive powers to explore the concepts of sodomy, friendship, the bedfellow, homosociality (Sedgwick 1985: 1), relational triangularity, homoeroticism, gender, identity, desire, the (in)significance of lesbianism (Traub 2002: 158), authorial intertextuality, philology, unhistoricism (Goldberg and Menon 2005: 1609) and homohistory (Goldberg and Menon 2005: 1609) in the Sonnets and many of the plays – but especially the romantic comedies – that the poet-playwright wrote. The seeds of queer theory were planted in the late 1970s and early 1980s by Michel Foucault and Alan Bray. Attending to historical accuracy meant that scholars were responsible for discerning the early modern nomenclature for homosexuality, since the term homosexuality had yet to be coined. So, then, how could critics produce readings of texts that present what we understand today to be homosexuals engaging in homosexual activities? Because of the efforts of Foucault and Bray, the closest early modern cognate to homosexuality was determined to be sodomy. Foucault, in The History of Sexuality Volume I: An Introduction, explains that, according to the ‘ancient civil or canonical [law] codes, sodomy was a category of forbidden acts; their perpetrator was nothing more than the juridical subject of them’ (1978: 43). Rather than being understood as an identity, as homosexuality would come to be understood in the nineteenth century, sodomy was a thing – or a number of things – someone did and was punished for. Complementing Foucault, Bray, in Homosexuality in Renaissance England, worries the fact that the ‘term “homosexual” did not exist in 1611 but (and surely this is the crucial question) did

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its equivalent? Only two of the possible candidates, bugger and sodomite, were in general use and neither was synonymous with homosexuality alone’ (1995: 13–14). In the essay ‘Homosexuality and the Signs of Male Friendship in Elizabethan England’, Bray further elaborates: Elizabethan ‘sodomy’ differed from our contemporary idea of ‘homosexuality’ in a number of other ways also. It covered more hazily a whole range of sexual acts, of which sexual acts between people of the same sex were only a part. It was closer, rather, to an idea like debauchery. But it differed more fundamentally also in that it was not only a sexual crime. It was also a political and religious crime and it was this that explains most clearly why it was regarded with such dread … (1994: 41) For those of us who inhabit the early twenty-first century, identifying sodomy in our own time is a relatively easy task in comparison because the meaning of the word has been so far delimited in that it refers now only to anal sex – an act that can occur among people of any gender and sexual identity. It is, however, most often applied to the kind of sexual act many, though not all, gay men engage in. From the remove of some 400 years, identifying what sodomy actually was in Shakespeare’s time is far more difficult. Two critics who have grappled with sodomy in Shakespeare’s plays are Gregory W. Bredbeck and Jonathan Goldberg. In Sodomy and Interpretation: Marlowe to Milton, Bredbeck discusses Thersites, Troilus and Cressida’s foul-mouthed speaker of truth, who describes Patroclus as Achilles’ ‘male varlet’ and ‘[m]asculine whore’ (TC 5.1.16, 17). Most critics have either taken great pains to downplay Thersites’ words by claiming they do not mean what they seem to mean, or they have been satisfied with reading Thersites’ invective as a denouncement of male, same-sex sodomy. Bredbeck disagrees with both of these interpretations because they overlook the fact that Thersites is ‘a personification of satire’ (1991: 37). Thersites is not satirizing Patroclus for the sexual acts he may or may not be participating in with Achilles. The problem is not, ‘nor has it ever been, the sexual actions of Patroclus. The problem is Achilles’ “pride” … and the foregrounding of Patroclus’ catamitical possibilities has been merely a convenient “use” of sodomy designed to destroy Achilles’ (1991: 46). Thersites is satirizing Achilles for his inaction in the Greeks’ war against the Trojans and its myriad negative effects. Whether or not Achilles and Patroclus’s relationship is sodomitical is beside the point. Goldberg draws our attention to the fact that the First Tetralogy’s King Henry V had not one but two male bedfellows when he was Prince Hal. The first of these is Lord Scroop, who ‘was his [the prince’s] bedfellow’ (H5 2.2.8) when they were growing up and, because of that, ‘didst bear the key of all my [Hal’s/King Henry V’s] counsels’ and ‘knewst the very bottom of my soul’ (H5 2.2.96–7). Such intimacy would be expected between two people who slept together. As Bray tells us about the actual living conditions of people in early modern England: This was a society where most people slept with someone else and where the rooms of a house led casually one into the other and servants mingled with

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their masters. Such a lack of privacy usually made who shared a bed with whom into a public fact. It was also a potentially meaningful one, for beds are not only places where people sleep: they are also places where people talk. To be someone’s ‘bedfellow’ suggested that one had influence and could be the making of a fortune. (1994: 42) What is queer about these circumstances is that no one is concerned with the fact that Henry V and Lord Scroop used to share a bed with one another, a thing that might well have involved genital sodomy. The focus of anger in Henry V is on Lord Scroop and the actions he has taken against the king in aligning himself with the agents of France. As Goldberg puts it, Henry and Scroop’s ‘physical intimacy was supposed to have kept Scroop ever from turning traitor to the king. His crime is not what he did in bed’ (2010: 162–3). The crime that damns Scroop is not the sex (sodomy); it is the treason. As to the king’s second bedfellow? Goldberg speculates that person is none other than Falstaff. The work of Foucault and Bray on sodomy appeared a number of years before queer theory evolved out of lesbian and gay studies. So did one of the early critical interventions of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick: the influential 1985 book Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire, in which she appropriates the idea of the homosocial and uses it in the study of desire in literary texts. Sedgwick describes homosocial as ‘a word occasionally used in history and the social sciences, where it describes social bonds between persons of the same sex … it is applied to such activities as “male bonding”, which may, as in our society, be characterized by intense homophobia, fear and hatred of homosexuality’ (1985: 1). Sedgwick adds that any possible eroticism of homosociality requires envisioning the ‘potential unbrokenness of a continuum between [the] homosocial and [the] homosexual’ (1985: 1). Another way to grapple with male homosociality is to think of it as men looking out for their own interests as well as the interests of other men, especially when the benefits of doing so are, or could become, reciprocal. As far as the unbroken continuum is concerned, interpersonal human relationships occur on a spectrum along which anything is possible. The male bonds of homosociality can extend to homosexual activity (sodomy) or they can remain platonic. Sedgwick overlays the trope of the romantic triangle onto the concepts of homosociality and the homoerotic continuum.1 Then she turns her attention to Shakespeare’s Sonnets, which were considered bona fide homosexual artefacts written by a bona fide homosexual author that also happened to tell a more or less complete erotic love story in which male homosociality, male homoeroticism and a triangular relationship involving two men and a woman were prominent features.2 This is apparent in the first of the Sonnets, which feature a male speaker counseling a younger man with whom he is enamored to marry and beget children so that the young man’s incomparable beauty will not die by virtue of living on in others that the beautiful young man has fathered. Hence Sedgwick can claim that the Sonnets present a male-male love that, like the love of the Greeks, is set firmly within a structure of institutionalized social relations that are carried out via women: marriage, name, family, loyalty to progenitors and to posterity, all depend on the

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youth’s making a particular use of women [by marrying one and having children by her] that is not, in the abstract, seen as opposing, denying, or detracting from his bond to the speaker. (1985: 35) The procreative imperative aside, things get complicated when the young man becomes sexually involved with the Dark Lady of the Sonnets, who is also sexually involved with the speaker. But the bond between the young man and the speaker only becomes more intense, at least on the speaker’s part. For, starting in Sonnet 133 and onward, the speaker, at times angrily, beseeches the Dark Lady to release the young man from the abject slavery she has put him into and return him, unscathed, to the speaker and the speaker’s love. When this does not happen, the speaker severs all ties to the Dark Lady, allowing him to maintain his exclusive – though unrequited and ultimately doomed – homosocial connection to the young man. One other prominent scholar to attend to the Sonnets is Joseph Pequigney, who devotes the entirety of his 1985 book, Such Is My Love: A Study of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, to a homoerotic reading of the 154-poem sequence. He lays out his purposes on the very first page of his study: ‘The stand I take on the question of eroticism is hardly one of conformity, for I argue … that the friendship treated in Sonnets 1–126 is decidedly amorous – passionate to a degree and in ways not dreamed of in the published philology, the interaction between the friends being sexual in both orientation and practice’ (1985: 1). For the conservative 1980s, this was an extraordinary claim for Pequigney to make. It was also a necessary and a correct claim. He goes on to make his case about the amorous same-sex male eroticism evident in the Sonnets through exceptionally rigorous close reading and textual analysis of the poems, through principled disagreement with other scholars’ commentary on them, and with insights from the work of Freud and Lacan. With the advent of queer theory proper, many Shakespeare critics have explored his works using the lenses of desire and homoeroticism. In Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare’s England: A Cultural Poetics, for example, Bruce Smith focuses on representations of desire rather than of homosexual acts because it allows him to reckon with the fact that the term homosexual did not exist until the late nineteenth century and, thus, is anachronistic when working with Shakespeare’s England, and because the term sodomy is too circumscribed to the juridical realm. Smith looks at poetic articulations of desire because ‘only poetic discourse can address homosexual desire’ (1994: 17; italics in the original). Smith identifies six literary myths – or master plots – with which all educated people in Shakespeare’s England would have been familiar and which were especially amenable to incorporations of homosexual desire into their narratives: Combatants and Comrades, The Passionate Shepherd, The Shipwrecked Youth, Knights in Shifts, Master and Minion, and The Secret Sharer. In the tradition of Sedgwick and Pequigney, the Sonnets receive sustained analysis in his discussion of the Secret Sharer. For Smith, the Sonnets are confessions – with all the religious overtones that word carries. They are also a window into the private life of the male speaker who wrote them; they are secrets being shared with the reader, who functions as the ‘privileged witness to someone else’s life’ (1994: 228). And, of course, the Sonnets

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are romantic poems, the bulk of which are addressed to a beautiful young man with whom the speaker is in love. Valerie Traub, in ‘The Homoerotics of Shakespearean Comedy’, chapter 5 of her book Desire and Anxiety: Circulations of Sexuality in Shakespearean Drama, begins with the salient reminder that all female roles in the dramas performed in early modern English theatres were played by prepubescent boys rather than by girls or women. Traub puts it like this: the boy actor works ‘as the basis upon which homoeroticism can be safely explored – working for both actors and audiences as an expression of non-hegemonic desire within the confines of conventional, comedic restraints’ (1992: 118). Crossdressing boy actors playing girls and women in early modern English dramas was all in good fun while also making manifest representations of desire that went beyond the heteronormative. Traub then analyses the homoeroticism evident in As You Like It and Twelfth Night, which she sees as ‘sites of struggle for the signification of homoeroticism: they demonstrate that within the early modern erotic economy the homoerotic relation to desire could be both celebratory and strained’ (1992: 122). The representation of homoeroticism in As You Like It is ‘playful in its ability to transcend binary oppositions, to break into dual mode, a simultaneity, of desire. Insofar as Rosalind/ Ganymede is a multiply sexual object (simultaneously heterosexual and homoerotic), Orlando’s effusion of desire toward her/him prevents the stable reinstitution of heterosexuality’ at the end of the play (1992: 122–3). Traub’s optimism about the queer ending she discerns in As You Like It is countered by Mario DiGangi, who writes about the play in The Homoerotics of Early Modern Drama. DiGangi insists, in fact, that all forms of homoeroticism the comedy evokes – in its male (Ganymede and Orlando) and female (Rosalind and Celia) forms – are foreclosed, are contained and neutralized, by the end of the play (1997: 22). In Twelfth Night, Traub claims homoeroticism is ‘anxious and strained’ because, ultimately, the ‘homoerotic energies of Viola, Olivia, and Orsino are displaced onto Antonio, whose relation to Sebastian is finally sacrificed for the maintenance of institutionalized heterosexuality’ (1992: 123). Traub does not read Twelfth Night as queerly as Pequigney does in his essay ‘The Two Antonios and Same-Sex Love in Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice’. Pequigney asserts that ‘the Antonio of Twelfth Night is passionately in love with his friend, as “his words [that] do from such passion fly” will amply demonstrate’. He adds that the ‘openly amorous language habitual to him whenever he speaks to or about Sebastian – and rarely does his attention turn to anything else – is the foremost clue to the erotic nature of their friendship’ (1995: 179). When Antonio catches up with Sebastian in Illyria, though this puts him in grave danger, Antonio insists that it was his desire for Sebastian that forced him to risk life and limb. Pequigney argues that this ‘impelling “desire” is sensual: the very word would connote libido even apart from the intensifying metaphor of the flesh-cutting metal spur’ (1995: 179). Even more significantly, Pequigney goes on to insist that critics who have claimed that both of the Antonios in Twelfth Night and Merchant end up alone are wrong because no textual evidence exists to support that view. For him, ‘each Antonio at the close of his comedy is permanently reunited with his friend, and included in the community composed of

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reconciled, loving, and admirable members with neither one being or deserving to be omitted or self-excluded with the likes of a Shylock or a Malvolio’ (1995: 193). While Pequigney does not believe the Antonio of Merchant is left out in the cold, so to speak, at the end of that play, he does insist that the relationship between Antonio and Bassanio in Merchant, unlike that of Antonio and Sebastian in Twelfth Night, never crosses the line from the platonically homosocial into the erotically homosexual. This seems like an odd stance to take. It is, in fact, a position with which Alan Sinfield registers his disagreement in his piece ‘How to Read The Merchant of Venice without Being Heterosexist’. Here, Sinfield agrees with W. H. Auden, who ‘suggested in an essay in The Dyer’s Hand, [that] The Merchant of Venice makes best sense if we regard Antonio as in love with Bassanio’ (2006: 54). For Sinfield, this love is apparent in Antonio’s devotion to Bassanio, his willingness to secure credit from Shylock on Bassanio’s behalf, his profound sorrow when Bassanio departs Venice to woo Portia, and his willingness to forego his very life for the not altogether deserving Bassanio. On the latter point, Sinfield states that the ‘theme of amatory sacrifice contributes to an air of homoerotic excess, especially in the idea of being bound and inviting physical violation’ (2006: 55). Pushing the envelope, Sinfield later takes issue with the almost universal belief that Antonio is left alone at the end of Merchant. This, he insists, is a purely heterosexist reading. A queer ending for Merchant might involve seeing Antonio as ‘delighted with his boyfriend’s [Bassanio’s] lucky break’ (2006: 66) and content with the knowledge that his intimate relationship with Bassanio will continue despite, or perhaps even because of, Bassanio’s marriage to Portia. The homosocial relationship between the two men will endure, so why would the homosexual relationship between them not endure as well? For Sinfield, there is no reason why it would not. That in itself is the very definition of queering a Shakespearean text, as evidenced by its refusal to accept the heteronormative status quo. ‘To many responsible, even ground-breaking scholars,’ Traub writes in The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England, ‘female homoeroticism prior to the Enlightenment has seemed silent and invisible. Impossible’ (2002: 3). Given the scholarly silence and invisibility she identifies, she also uses the apt term ‘(in)significance’ to register the lack of academic interest in lesbian desire in periods prior to the eighteenth century (2002: 158). One of the many places these desires were expressed was in Shakespearean drama. Traub argues that A Midsummer Night’s Dream ‘depicts a close female friendship disrupted by jealousy and competition for men’ (2002: 57). She is referring to the characters of Hermia and Helena, who, before the start of the play, were ‘sweet playfellow[s]’ who ‘Upon faint primrose beds were wont to lie / Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet’ (MND 1.1.220 and 215–16) and used to spend much of their time in idyllic homosocial – and potentially homoerotic – association. For Traub, lesbian homoeroticism is also apparent in Titania’s relationship with her Indian votaress. Indeed, Titania, her devotee and the ‘lovely boy’ make up a complete queer family that has no need for any kind of masculine involvement. Theodora A. Jankowski, in Pure Resistance: Queer Virginity in Early Modern English Drama, takes up the historical figure of Jeanne d’Arc and Shakespeare’s

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representation of her as Joan la Pucelle in Henry VI, Part I, writing: ‘I choose to begin this examination with a look at Jeanne d’Arc because she is so completely not what early modern English society expected a virgin to be: chaste, silent, and obedient’ (2000: 3). Indeed, Jeanne ‘did not model the diffident young virgin who was destined to be married and lead a quiet life producing children … As a perpetual virgin, she was easily viewed as a monster. But she was worse than that. She was queer’ (2000: 4). Of course, the larger point is that refusing the dictates of what Adrienne Rich called ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ automatically puts both Jeanne d’Arc and Joan la Pucelle in opposition to the normative. In ‘resisting men, [they] are not only rejecting the sexual economy but are essentially opting out of the patriarchy’ (Jankowski 2000: 5–6), a queer cardinal sin for a woman if ever there was one. The title of Jeffrey Masten’s Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama is delightfully, queerly, provocative. He uses the term intercourse – both with and without its sexual connotations – as a synonym for the kind of theatrical collaboration that was a widespread practice in Shakespeare’s time. Textual intercourse, then, is collaborative playwriting between two almost always male authors, as Shakespeare is known to have done. Masten continues his innovative work in Queer Philologies: Sex, Language, and Affect in Shakespeare’s Time, in which his purpose is to ‘draw critical attention … to the ways in which philology’s manifold methods and rhetorics of investigation are often themselves thoroughly implicated in the languages of sex, gender, and the body’ (2016: 18). Philology has always been concerned with the heteronormative and, thus, stands in need of queering. In fact, for Masten, philology, ‘in its early modern emergences, is already queer’ (2016: 31). He later considers the queer effects of glosses on such Shakespearean elocutions as ‘tupping’ in Othello and the distinction between lovers and friends in plays like Merchant. Perhaps one of the most significant recent developments in queer Shakespeare studies is the debate initiated by Jonathan Goldberg and Madhavi Menon in their 2005 PMLA article, ‘Queering History’. Menon extends the reach of her and Goldberg’s idea of queer history to Shakespeare in Unhistorical Shakespeare: Queer Theory in Shakespearean Literature and Film. Her first comment on the topic is ‘our embrace of difference as the template for relating past and present produces a compulsory heterotemporality in which chronology determines identity’ (2008: 1). It is because of this that the practice of history as we know it is deeply flawed, especially when it comes to sexuality, desire and Shakespeare. The theoretical stance Menon takes to resist the received teleological neatness of the concept we understand to be history today encompasses unhistoricism, or the inability of history to house the queer project, as well as homohistory, or the suspension of ideologies of ‘determinate sexual and chronological difference’ and expanding non-heterosexual possibilities (Goldberg and Menon 2005: 1609).3 On historical authenticity, Menon notes that Shakespeare scholars had serious concerns with the film Shakespeare in Love (1998) because, to them, it was not authentic regarding what little we know about Shakespeare, the man: that he was someone who probably enjoyed the erotic company of other men. In so doing,

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Shakespeare in Love seems to participate in the reification of heterohistory. Menon argues that this is not actually the case. In her view, Shakespeare in Love ‘enacts not heteronormativity, but rather the flaws of assuming its unambiguous existence’ (2008: 136). With our heterosexual/homosexual identitarian categories in place, we wanted Joseph Fiennes’s Shakespeare to be exclusively and unequivocally gay. It is almost a certainty, however, that the historical Shakespeare was what we would call bisexual, a lover of both women and men. Faulting a film like Shakespeare in Love for depicting that is not only misguided criticism, it is not a truly queer critique. In the ‘Introduction’ to Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare, Menon presents a Shakespeare who is, and always was, a queer theorist. She takes this provocative stance as the means to insist that queerness obtained in Shakespeare’s time (and in his writings, too) even though the concept, queer – as well as gay, lesbian and homosexual, for that matter – did not come into existence as the sexual identities we understand them to be today until the nineteenth century. For Menon, this prescriptive stricture is nothing less than a strai[gh]tjacket that must be rendered obsolete through scholars’ embracing the idea that the distinctions between historical periods (e.g. between the postmodern and the early modern) should not be considered monolithic conceptions. Periodization specialization, therefore, should be abolished. She also argues that queerness in Shakespeare does not begin and end with Antonio’s homoerotic/sexual desire for Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice or Olivia’s homoerotic/sexual desire for Viola/ Cesario in Twelfth Night. It has a much larger field of concern that the essays in Shakesqueer explore individually and collectively. Surveys of a critical field such as this one cannot be exhaustive. Hopefully, though, what has been covered here provides readers with a broad, albeit selective, historical overview of the major critics and their works that obtain in queer Shakespeare studies today. That said, Melissa E. Sanchez’s Shakespeare and Queer Theory is the most eminently readable, up-to-date and comprehensive book-length overview of the field currently available. Given Shakespeare’s enormous cultural capital, Sanchez points out in her introduction that ‘queer approaches to his work can dislodge the conservative ideals of desire and subjectivity that great literature is often supposed to bestow to its readers’ (2019: 1). These conservative ideals of desire and subjectivity are, of course, exclusively heteronormative and thought to be universally applicable. Readings of Shakespeare informed by queer theory explode this myth. In subsequent chapters of Shakespeare and Queer Theory, Sanchez traces the historical development of queer theory both in the ‘real world’ as a response to the AIDS/HIV crisis of the 1980s and 1990s and in the academy as a specific philosophical stance from which criticism is engendered. She also explores homosocial relations and homoerotic desires in Shakespeare’s works, considers forms of queerness that ‘have little to do with same-sex desires’ yet still challenge conceptions of ‘sexual normativity’ (2019: 17) and assays the queerness of the Shakespeare canon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Venus and Adonis, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Henry V and Hamlet. Sanchez gives attention to queer performance, as well,

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critiquing such Shakespearean films as Derek Jarman’s The Tempest (1979), Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho (1991), Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Julie Taymor’s Titus (1999).

QUEERING MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING With its focus on heterosexual courtship and marriage, Much Ado may seem an unlikely play for queer analysis. Indeed, it is not hyperbole to say that Much Ado is one of the straightest romantic comedies Shakespeare wrote. Given queer theory’s charge to interrogate all things that our culture has placed on the pedestal of representative, naturalized normality, however, it is precisely because of its overdetermined heteronormative ethos that Much Ado begs to be subjected to queer critique. What follows, then, is a case study of how to read Much Ado without being heterosexist – a reading that recognizes queerness in the play’s dramatization of homosociality, friendship, desire, bedfellows, gender roles and sodomy. Much Ado is a play that is particularly rich in homosocial relationships – the kinds of networks of association, as Sedgwick detailed, between men in which they look out for the interests of other men and thereby serve themselves. For instance, when Leonato and Don Pedro come together in Act 1, Don Pedro says: ‘Good Signor Leonato, are you come to meet your trouble? The fashion of the world is to avoid cost, and you encounter it’ (1.1.91–3). To this, Leonato responds: ‘Never came trouble to my house in the likeness of your grace; for trouble being gone, comfort should remain, but when you depart from me, sorrow abides and happiness takes his leave’ (1.1.94–7). The words Don Pedro and Leonato exchange here are fairly passionate; they are fuller of feeling than twenty-first-century men of the West might speak to one another, rendering them somewhat suspect. Leonato is consumed by sorrow and unhappiness when Don Pedro departs from him and Messina. Critics who feel the need to deflect away from any potential impropriety (e.g. nonheteronormativity) in this brief dialogue between Don Pedro and Leonato might resort to the old homophobic chestnut: ‘that’s just how men talked “back then”; it does not mean they are queer’. Perhaps not. But Don Pedro and Leonato are two male friends who have a high regard for one another as well as a vested interest in each other’s welfare. They have a relationship that is thoroughly homosocial in the Sedgwick sense of the concept. Male homosocial relationships extend beyond Don Pedro and Leonato. Benedick, at first, wants to save Claudio from himself when Claudio reveals his romantic interest in Hero (1.1.154–91); Don Pedro offers himself as intermediary between Claudio and Leonato so that Claudio may pursue marriage with Leonato’s daughter (1.1.192–309); Don Pedro, Claudio and Leonato band together in conspiracy to make Benedick and Beatrice fall in love with one another once and for all (2.1.324–58); and Don Pedro and Claudio come together again, even more intensely than before, when Hero is ‘proven’ unfaithful by Don John. Even the unholy alliance between Don John, Conrad and Borachio is a strongly homosocial one. Conrad and Borachio swear that they will ‘assist’ Don John ‘[t]o

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the death’ (1.3.64–5) in his evil machinations against his brother Don Pedro and his brother’s friends, especially the ‘most exquisite Claudio’ (1.3.46). They proceed to convince Claudio that Don Pedro seeks to marry Hero himself and, later, that Hero has been dallying sexually with at least one other man like only a wanton would. Though their goals are nefarious, Don John, Conrad and Borachio are friends homosocially united in achieving them. In fact, so committed to the cause are Conrad and Borachio that they remain loyal to Don John until it is revealed that their actions have caused the death of the sweet, innocent Hero. As Foucault, Bray and others have explained, from a juridical perspective, Don John, Conrad and Borachio are Much Ado’s sodomites. Not one of them may have engaged in anal sex – sodomy – with each other or anyone or anything else, but the crime of sodomy could all too easily be added to the crimes of duplicity, treason, conspiracy and attempted murder they did commit. Whether we are talking about the relatively decent characters of Don Pedro, Leonato, Benedick and Claudio or the villainous characters of Don John, Conrad and Borachio, all of them, within their respective groups, desire each other in the broadest sense; they desire good fortune for their friends and for themselves. And they will help each other to claim it insofar as they are able. This is male homosociality as Sedgwick delineated the concept in action. What there is not, of course, is a shred of textual evidence in Much Ado that any male character has a sexual relationship with any other male character. Their relationships remain textually platonic. It should be remembered, though, that, as Sedgwick also pointed out, homosociality exists on a continuum that includes homoeroticism and homosexuality. Homoeroticism and homosexuality, in other words, are always potentialities that could at any time become operative. Reading Much Ado only ‘partly against the grain’ as Sinfield advises – reading queerly, in other words – allows for the queer pleasure of speculating on the possibility that, picking up on Beatrice’s lines about Benedick in the first scene of the play, ‘Who is his companion now? He hath every month a new sworn brother’ (1.1.67–8), Benedick and Claudio may have been bedfellows when they were out on campaign. As Bray informs us, being someone’s bedfellow provided not only creature comforts but also offered people a means to secure and improve their place in life. Sleeping in the same bed with someone else, under the cover, so to speak, of the culturally sanctioned relationship of bedfellow, gave those of the same sex the perfect means with which to indulge in their erotic/sexual desires night after night – if they were so inclined. We should note, too, that the concept of the bedfellow comes up during 4.1, the most dramatically fraught scene in Much Ado, in a way that is rather unexpected. Benedick asks Beatrice – ‘Lady, were you her [Hero’s] bedfellow last night?’ – to which she replies: ‘No, truly not, although until last night / I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow’ (4.1.147–9). Bray’s elaboration on the early modern Elizabethan bedfellow seems androcentric. Furthermore, it does not seem like the idea of female bedfellows has been taken up by either historians or by Shakespeare scholars. Yet here it occurs in Much Ado. What are we to make of it from a queer perspective? Provisionally, two things can be said. The first is that their interest in

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males (Beatrice is clearly attracted to Benedick and probably had a prior romance with him, while Hero is just as clearly attracted to Claudio) does not – or ought not to – preclude either Beatrice’s or Hero’s sexual interest in other women. The second is that the fact that they are cousins does not preclude a sexual relationship between Beatrice and Hero. In fact, it can be argued that such an incestuous relationship would be doubly queer. Regardless, to ignore either or both of these queer possibilities would be to create another instance of what Traub so eloquently refers to as the (in)significance of lesbian desire in academic study of the Renaissance (2002: 158). In 4.1 of Much Ado, Hero has to face a slew of accusations from Claudio of knowing ‘the heat of a luxurious bed’ (4.1.39), of being ‘intemperate’ (4.1.58), of ‘rag[ing] in savage sensuality’ (4.1.60), of being ‘most foul’ (4.1.103) and of being ‘pure impiety and impious purity’ (4.1.104). She also has to face a father who wants her dead and damned to the deepest pit of hell for being sexually depraved and a common liar (4.1.120–75). Since none of this is true, she might well be better off choosing a queer way forward. This she could accomplish, if not by actually dying, then by electing to remain a virgin for the rest of her life. As Jankowski points out, eschewing compulsory heterosexuality and marriage and childbearing – in short, the mechanisms the patriarchy uses to control women – would not only be unusual for Hero, it would be perhaps the queerest thing possible for her to do. That, as comedy demands, she ends up marrying Claudio despite his horrific treatment of her, which does not bode well for the long-term happiness of their union, proves to be disconcerting from a queer perspective. A project attempting to queer Much Ado must register that discomfort while noting that all does not necessarily end happily ever after. Happily-ever-after is nothing but a heteronormative fantasy.

NOTES 1. See Girard (1972). 2. See de Grazia (1999) and Matz (2010), who responds to de Grazia, for the role the Sonnets play in the recuperation of Shakespeare as a homosexual author in the early days of the gay rights movement after the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City. 3. See Traub’s (2016) rebuttal to Menon’s ideas about homohistory and historical periodization.

REFERENCES Bray, A. (1994), ‘Homosexuality and the Signs of Male Friendship in Elizabethan England’, in J. Goldberg (ed.), Queering the Renaissance, 40–61, Durham: Duke University Press. Bray, A. ([1982] 1995), Homosexuality in Renaissance England, New York: Columbia University Press. Bredbeck, G. W. (1991), Sodomy and Interpretation: Marlowe to Milton, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

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DiGangi, M. (1997), The Homoerotics of Early Modern Drama, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Foucault, M. (1978), The History of Sexuality Volume I: An Introduction, trans. R. Hurley, New York: Pantheon. Girard, R. (1972), Deceit, Desire, and the Novel: Self and Other in Literary Structure, trans. Y. Freccero, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Goldberg, J. (2010), Sodometries: Renaissance Texts, Modern Sexualities, New York: Fordham University Press. Goldberg, J. and M. Menon (2005), ‘Queering History’, PMLA, 120: 1608–17. de Grazia, M. (1999), ‘The Scandal of Shakespeare’s Sonnets’, in J. Schiffer (ed.), Shakespeare’s Sonnets: Critical Essays, 89–112, New York: Garland. Jankowski, T. A. (2000), Pure Resistance: Queer Virginity in Early Modern English Drama, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. de Lauretis, T. (1991), ‘Queer Theory: Lesbian and Gay Sexualities, An Introduction’, differences, 3: iii–xvii. Masten, J. (1997), Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Masten, J. (2016), Queer Philologies: Sex, Language, and Affect in Shakespeare’s Time, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Matz, R. (2010), ‘The Scandals of Shakespeare’s Sonnets’, ELH, 77: 477–508. Menon, M. (2008), Unhistorical Shakespeare: Queer Theory in Shakespearean Literature and Film, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Menon, M. (2011), ‘Introduction: Queer Shakes’, in Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare, 1–27, Durham: Duke University Press. Pequigney, J. (1985), Such Is My Love: A Study of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Pequigney, J. (1995), ‘The Two Antonios and Same-Sex Love in Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice’, in D. E. Barker and I. Kamps (eds), Shakespeare and Gender: A History, 178–95, New York: Verso. Sanchez, M. E. (2019), Shakespeare and Queer Theory, Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Sedgwick, E. K. (1985), Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire, New York: Columbia University Press. Shakespeare, W. (1995), King Henry V, ed. T. W. Craik, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. ([1998] 2015), Troilus and Cressida, ed. D. Bevington, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, rev. edn, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. ([2006] 2016), Much Ado About Nothing, ed. C. McEachern, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, rev. edn, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. (2017), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ed. S. Chaudhuri, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Sinfield, A. (2006), ‘How to Read The Merchant of Venice Without Being Heterosexist’, in Shakespeare, Authority, Sexuality: Unfinished Business in Cultural Materialism, 53–67, New York: Routledge.

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Smith, B. R. ([1991] 1994), Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare’s England: A Cultural Poetics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Traub, V. (1992), ‘The Homoerotics of Shakespearean Comedy’, in Desire and Anxiety: Circulations of Sexuality in Shakespearean Drama, 117–44, New York: Routledge. Traub, V. (2002), The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Traub, V. (2016), ‘The New Unhistoricism in Queer Studies’, in Thinking Sex with the Early Moderns, 57–81, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

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CHAPTER 4.1

Ecocritical studies RANDALL MARTIN

Extended droughts and water shortages caused by global heating have become part of the daily news cycle and almost too common evidence of Anthropocene urgencies. The earth’s water consists of 99.25 per cent oceans and polar ice. The remaining amount of freshwater is nearly all subterranean, and most human activities draw on the 0.3 per cent in lakes and rivers (‘Thirsty Planet’ 2019). This marginal but essential limit is under pressure from climate change as well as population and economic growth, especially in burgeoning cities requiring more shelter and food from waterintensive construction and agribusiness. Water justice and rights for both humans and the nonhuman life of rivers and lakes are issues of global environmental politics and therefore timely subjects for Shakespeare ecocriticism. If conventional criticism evaluates the qualities and contextual origins of literary or dramatic works, then ecocriticism explores how the natural world is portrayed in drama and literature in relation to both early modern natural history and contemporary ecology and environmentalism. (Ecology is the scientific study of relationships between lifeforms and their environments; environmentalism is the ethical imperative and political movement to protect species and ecosystems).1 Ecocriticism ‘asks fundamental questions about the nature and causes of environmental crises, [and] the ways they are … contested or interpreted in literature’ (Clark 2019: 5). As such, it is an ‘avowedly political mode of analysis’ (Garrard 2012: 3) allied with other activist literary practices such as feminism, postcolonialism, posthumanism, race studies, queer theory and animal studies. Ecocriticism likewise challenges a traditionally exclusive concern with human value and world views (i.e. anthropocentrism). When Hamlet describes playing as holding ‘the mirror up to Nature’ (Ham 3.2.22), the ‘mirror’, conventionally, is the glass of early modern European humanism. Ecocriticism shifts this perspective by exposing the culturally suppressed nonhuman interdependencies of Renaissance and later versions of ‘Nature’. Shakespeare is open to such readings because his work reflects the early modern destabilization of humanist knowledge by revived classical scepticism about the superiority of human reason, New World discoveries about the earth, and materially oriented, rather than metaphysical, approaches to human-animal relations (Campana and Maisano 2016). Those emerging horizons anticipate Anthropocene perceptions that premodern nature, conceived as a stable backdrop and limitless resource for human exploitation, has ended and must now be rethought in radically new ways (Morton 2009).

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This chapter will illustrate some of these ecocritical pathways through a case study of early modern freshwater commodification and privatization in Coriolanus. It will begin with a brief survey of three conceptual developments in Shakespeare ecocriticism, each of which is reflected in my case study: historicist and presentist analysis, new varieties of knowledge stimulated by changing Anthropocene impacts and research, and embodied performance as ecocritical knowledge and culturally transformative practice. Because ecocriticism demands both historical awareness and self-awareness (Garrard 2014: 3), let me state that these three tendencies reflect my own sense of how the discipline has evolved but also, I hope, a reasonably representative picture of the field. Following my survey of leading concepts, I shall outline the case study’s argument and conclude with some thoughts about the future of ecocritical research. Current ecocriticism combines historicist and presentist interpretations of Shakespeare’s texts. Historicism focuses on the early modern physical and intellectual environments that shaped Shakespeare’s depictions of interconnected natural and social worlds. Drawing on archival as well as literary research, it traces the imaginative reception and circulation of these contexts in original stage performances and literary production. Its purpose is to rediscover and critique the cultural and material genealogies of today’s deeper environmental crises, such as climate change, pollution and deforestation. It also analyses Shakespeare’s representations of environmental ethics and sustainability (even if early moderns did not call them that) which have been lost to industrialization, consumer capitalism and the Enlightenment’s philosophical elevation of humans above all other lifeforms. The twenty-first-century viewpoint of eco-historiography involves criss-crossing temporal and imaginative borders. In theory and practice, the eco-Shakespearian always partially re-enacts past facts and events through contemporary narrative forms, present-day ideas and modern subjectivities. These include scientific knowledge (e.g. evolutionary biology, cellular to biospheric ecosysytems, human-animal ethology (Alaimo 2010; Maisano 2013; Martin 2015; 2018)), environmental activism (e.g. decarbonization, social justice movements, post-growth economics (Egan 2015; Borlik 2018; Laroche and Munroe 2017; Martin 2019)) and posthuman ontologies (Raber 2018). Presentism thus makes eco-contemporary Shakespeare a self-conscious goal of its critical labours and political commitments. Ecocritics hope that their revaluation of Shakespeare through this research will fire the personal imaginations of students and readers and motivate self-aware behaviours in solidarity with all earthly species. This is the biocentric re-orientation towards irreversible but perhaps not yet catastrophic Anthropocene extinctions that philosopher Donna Haraway calls ‘living with the trouble’ (2016). (Biocentrism is the biological and moral view that all lifeforms have value.) My reading of Coriolanus combines presentist and eco-historical approaches, including the use of archival documentation. Grounded in unexplored textual allusions and patterns, it relates the play to an early seventeenth-century artificial diversion of the River Lea into the privately owned New River – a waterway that still flows into central London today (see Figure 1).

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FIGURE 1  New River, London. Photograph by Randall Martin.

Ecocritical Shakespeare’s second major development has been the expansion of its fields of knowledge and objects of study. This proliferation is inevitable, as Timothy Clark observes, since conceptually ‘the environment’ encompasses the entire planet from subterranean to atmospheric domains (2015; 2019). Contemporary transcultural and global Shakespeares in performance and criticism reflect and produce that challenging viewpoint of plural and scaled complexity. Shakespeare ecocriticism initially tended to focus on rural, pastoral, woodland, oceanic and non-urban spaces (The Merry Wives of Windsor, located within royal Windsor Forest, and early modern London playhouses were notable exceptions). Its spatial and critical orientations were ‘green’ (terrestrial environments and conflict zones (Bate 2005; Borlik 2008; Theis 2009)) and ‘blue’ (ocean and littoral spaces, sites of sea-voyaging, shipwreck and early modern globalization (Mentz 2009; Brayton 2013)). But from virtually the beginning these dual approaches diversified rapidly. A cluster of experimental essays edited by Simon Estok challenged the thenprevailing aversion of ecocriticism to theory (2005). The centrepiece of Robert Watson’s Back to Nature was a deft poststructural analysis of As You Like It within a larger study of Edenic nostalgia generated by early modernization (2006). Gabriel Egan advanced eco-Marxist readings in Green Shakespeare (2006), and Adam Max Cohen introduced posthuman and cyborgian perspectives in Shakespeare and Technology (2006).

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What might be called eco-Shakespeare’s big bang followed shortly after. It spawned critical galaxies such as new materialism, object vitalism and ecofeminism in Shakespeare studies. It also reflects evolving contemporary responses to the Anthropocene, such as (to cite mainly books, and ones focused on Shakespeare): ecophobia (Estok 2011), ecocritical pastoralism (Borlik 2011), uses and abuses of early modern woodlands (Nardizzi 2013), ecocritical theory (Egan 2015), early modern and contemporary environmental controversies (Martin 2015), ecofeminist theory (Laroche and Munroe 2017), early modern non-oceanic ‘wetscapes’ (Duckert 2017), weather-related human behaviour (Chiari 2019), human-animal ontologies (Boehrer 2010), human-ursine interdependencies (Höfele 2011), animal-human cosmopolity (Shannon 2013) and interspecies biological and cultural co-evolution (Raber 2018). Several essay collections are also dedicated wholly or in part to a wide range of ecocritical Shakespeares, including techniques of eco-pedagogy2 and selfreflexive essays about the evolving discipline.3 Most recently, a Studies in English Literature cluster on ‘Shakespeare’s Waters’, together with Duckert’s book (2017) and Todd Borlik’s (2013) and Hillary Eklund’s research on wetlands (2017; 2019; forthcoming), has initiated a hydrological turn to which this essay contributes.4 A third conceptual approach to ecocritical research is performance. As Anthropocene dangers become a fearful existential reality, eco-Shakespeare studied through, or realized in, performance will become increasingly relevant to practitioners, audiences and scholars. Cless Downing’s ‘Eco-Directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest’ (2010), Gwilym Jones’s Shakespeare’s Storms (2015), the epilogue to my Shakespeare and Ecology (2015), Jennifer Mae Hamilton’s This Contentious Storm: An Ecocritical and Performance History of King Lear (2017), Katherine Steele Brokaw’s ‘Shakespeare as Community Practice’ (2017) and the international Cymbeline in the Anthropocene project (2020–2: www. cymbeline-anthropocene.com) exemplify recent performance-oriented ecocriticism. My case study’s references to several film and stage versions of Coriolanus are meant to illustrate the possibilities of this methodology. A special issue of Shakespeare Bulletin has opened discussions about ecodramaturgy and outdoor-performance phenomenology (Martin and O’Malley 2018; O’Malley 2020). Although outdoor Shakespeare is conventionally associated with park settings, many open-air sites are located in towns and cities, most famously Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Urban spaces have received less ecocritical attention than natural environments (although that distinction, like human/animal and many others, has blurred into Anthropocene ‘naturecultures’ (Haraway 2003) and ‘hyperobjects’ (Morton 2013)). The context of my reading of Coriolanus is the changing urban ecology of ancient Rome and how it mirrors nascent consumption and resource pressures in early seventeenth-century London, now hugely magnified in twenty-first-century cities.

CHANNELLING CORIOLANUS THROUGH NEW RIVER Coriolanus connects dramatic clashes over food shortages and famine with less visible but materially related struggles for water access and distribution. Water was, and remains, widely regarded as a universal good and a fundamental element of social

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and ecological contracts. Shakespeare represents water stewardship as integral to the play’s political debate over bottom-up versus top-down authority. My discussion will ecologize this debate in terms of maximal versus sustainable resource use. Its first argument is that Shakespeare recognized that New River’s appropriation of the River Lea’s flow regime was connected to early modern land enclosure and its related food shortages and social violence. Post-feudal enclosure created the legal precedents and cultural licence for the new idea of commodifying water. Its imagined scope was enlarged by the European ideology of imperial conquest, capital investment and privately shared profits. But early modern resistance to enclosure also generated ethical and environmental arguments against elevating capital risk and profit above other kinds of human and nonhuman value. My complementary argument is that Coriolanus’s fantasy of the autonomous male body tropes privatizing enclosure practices which collide with ecological paradigms of community interdependence represented by food, water and governance. After Coriolanus is exiled from Rome in Act 3, he experiences stresses of survival subsistence entirely different from the short-term dangers of personal combat. These vulnerabilities force him temporarily to acknowledge the physical and social needs he despised in Rome’s soldiers and citizens. He accepts hospitality from his erstwhile Volscian enemies before persuading them to support his overpowering desire for revenge, now represented elementally by images of fire. Although the embodied appeal of Volumnia and his family causes Coriolanus to relent, the Volscians seize on his doomed role as peacemaker to murder him. Set in fifth-century BCE Rome, Coriolanus is the political tragedy of a fanatical war hero unable to transition to peacetime society. As his defeated but ultimately vengeful Volscian enemy Aufidius puts it, Coriolanus is unable to move ‘From th’casque [i.e. battle-helmet] to th’cushion [civilian government]’ (4.7.43, Shakespeare 20135). The rigidity of his authoritarian opinions inflames Rome’s class conflict, which bursts out in the opening confrontation between starving yet articulate Roman citizens and grain-hoarding patricians. As scholars have long recognized, their clashes allude to violent 1607–8 protests over agricultural enclosure (i.e. the privatization of common land customarily used by local residents to grow food). Also in dispute during the Midland Riots was the hoarding of agricultural commodities by better-off farmers and landowners to profit from inflating prices. Although poor harvests were caused by bad weather related to the period’s cooling climate, historians tell us that the main problem was not in fact the supply of food but its control and distribution (Walter and Wrightson 1976). King Lear captures this distinction in a flash of moral insight: ‘Distribution should undo excess, / And each man have enough’ (4.1.72–3). Coriolanus reflects this problem in terms of both water and corn. The patricians act self-interestedly to defuse the crisis by opening the city’s storehouses and distributing free corn to the citizens. This move infuriates Caius Martius, as Coriolanus is named initially in the play. He is likewise disgusted by the patricians’ decision to grant the citizens new political representatives – the tribunes – with a voice in Rome’s nascent republican government. But Caius Martius’s battle-prowess is vital to Rome’s food security and the expansion of its

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urban footprint, which involves plundering the grain of neighbouring city-states. He defeats the Volscians in Act 1 and earns the heroic cognomen of their conquered city, Corioles. The Senate also rewards him with an appointment as consul – the patrician counterpart of the tribunes. But Coriolanus must confirm his fitness for office by gaining the people’s voices, or votes. In 2.3, Coriolanus presents himself in the marketplace and initially wins the citizens’ approval. But Tribunes Sicinius and Brutus recognize that Coriolanus threatens their new power, so they go about persuading the people to renege on their ‘ignorant election’. Brutus dispenses talking-points about Coriolanus’s abandonment of his family’s heritage of public service: Say we read lectures to you, How youngly he began to serve his country [in the wars], How long continued, and what stocks he springs of, The noble house o’th’Martians, from whence came … Publius and Quintus … That our best water brought by conduits hither.  (2.3.232–5, 238–9) In the first of the play’s several allusions to water ownership and distribution, Brutus refers to the public Aqua martia aqueduct built by Roman engineer Quintus Martius Rex in 144 BCE. Shakespeare associates Coriolanus with the Aqua martia (alluding to his family name, Martius), even though historically it was built well after his era. Its ‘conduits’ – a word referring to canals or aqueducts as well as the fountains or pipes which deliver their water – point simultaneously to Jacobean London and its biggest controversy over freshwater: engineer Edmund Colthurst’s plan to divert two sources of the River Lea near Ware, twenty-one miles north of London, to the city by means of an artificial channel and aqueducts. In 1604 King James awarded Colthurst a seven-year private monopoly for the project, called New River (Gough 1964). Among its intended public benefits were providing London households and industries with freshwater for a charge (distributed through the traditional service of London water-sellers, many of whom were women), securing a more reliable water supply for extinguishing fires and scouring city ditches to improve sanitation and public health. At the beginning, however, New River seemed likely to fail. Colthurst ran out of money after getting only three of the waterway’s eventual twenty-six miles. To raise capital, he persuaded the City of London and parliament to turn his monopoly into a public-private partnership. But landowning MPs and tenant farmers along the proposed route strongly opposed the 1605–6 New River statute, which mandated state expropriation of their property. City officials also objected to transferring public ownership of the River Lea’s water to a private citizen. Since the waterway’s success was uncertain, they also hesitated to risk funds to complete it. This is where London goldsmith and Welsh mining entrepreneur Hugh Myddelton stepped in (see Figure 2). He offered to ‘money’ the project on condition that the City transfer full ownership of the water and profits from its sales to him and New River’s twentyfour corporate shareholders, or ‘venturers’.

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FIGURE 2  Sir Hugh Myddelton, 1st Baronet, after Cornelius Johnson (Cornelius Janssen van Ceulen). Oil on canvas, seventeenth–nineteenth century, based on a work of 1628.50 × 40 in. (1270 × 1016 mm). Photo by permission of the © National Portrait Gallery, London.

The City agreed and Myddelton resumed digging on 21 April 1609. These events were taking place when Shakespeare was writing Coriolanus between late 1608 and 1609. The play was not staged publicly until early 1610 because the plague temporarily closed the theatres for virtually all of 1609, and during this time the script may have continued to evolve (Holland 2013). When it was performed at

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the indoor Blackfriars Theatre, resumption of New River’s construction had strengthened resistance from gentry MPs to Myddelton gaining ‘sole profit benefitt comodity and advantage whatsoever’ from the privatized water (Gough 1964: 13). They put forward a bill to repeal New River that looked likely to pass. Contemporary manuscript documents record arguments for and against the repeal in ways that uncannily anticipate modern disputes over river diversions.6 Among the ecological arguments were that abstracting water from the River Lea’s springs would deprive local grain mills of energy, disrupt the seasonal fertilizing of water meadows on which both humans and animals depended and reduce the river’s energy flows, thereby hampering navigable transport of food to London during a period of chronic shortages (Rudden 1985: 32). Property owners adjacent to New River also protested that the cut would alter the composition of local soils by turning arable land into ‘squallie grounds’ and ‘mangl[ing]’ common fields into ‘quillets and small pieces’. Despite the vigour of these arguments, the 1610 repeal foundered because King James, trying to circumvent his political opponents over other issues, dissolved parliament in early 1611. The significant point for present purposes is that, while Coriolanus was being written and staged between late 1608 and early 1610, it looked as if New River would be shut down. That potential rejection may have affected Shakespeare’s adaptations of his main source, Plutarch’s Life of Coriolanus, in ways I shall discuss in a moment. It would also have framed perceptions of Shakespeare’s references to Myddelton’s New River and to Coriolanus as the play’s chief exponent of an enclosure ethos. Prior to the play’s most direct allusion to New River, Shakespeare sets up this ethos in 2.3, the same scene in which Brutus alludes to New River’s prototype, the Aqua martia. Here Coriolanus reluctantly solicits the citizens’ voices to become consul. Personally, he dismisses the whole ordeal as illegitimate: coriolanus 

You know the cause, sir, of my standing here. 3 citizen  We do, sir. Tell us what hath brought you to’t. coriolanus  Mine own desert. … Well then, I pray, your price o’th’consulship? 1 citizen  The price is to ask it kindly. coriolanus  Kindly, sir, I pray let me ha’t. I have wounds to show you which shall be yours in private. [to 2 citizen] Your good voice, sir. What say you? (2.3.62–4, 72–7) Shakespeare departs significantly from Plutarch’s Life, where Coriolanus shows no hesitation about soliciting citizens’ votes or displaying his battle scars. But Shakespeare’s Coriolanus feels that doing so would be tantamount to selling out his heroic deeds for popular acclaim and equating citizen authority with his own. Both he and the Citizens recognize that successfully ‘standing up’ for corn in earlier street protests has already redrawn Rome’s political map by shifting some authority to the people (2.3.14–16). Hence Coriolanus’s bitter resistance: ‘Better it is to die, better to starve, / Than crave the hire which first we do deserve’ (2.3.111–12). Nonetheless, as the quotation above shows, Coriolanus offers the First Citizen the opportunity

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of seeing his wounds in private. This is another departure from Plutarch. Ralph Fiennes’s 2011 film of the play illuminates this moment when Coriolanus singles out a burly man who has the look of an army veteran. Implicitly Fiennes’s gaze tells him he has earned the privilege of a personal viewing on the basis of their male bonding in combat. The other Citizens, by contrast, want to see Coriolanus’s scars as evidence of ‘kindness’ – shared vulnerabilities, physical needs and common sacrifice for the well-being of Rome. These they identify with their own welfare, sustained by equitable access to food and water. This sharp divergence in social entitlements and natural rights would have shaped Jacobean audiences’ understanding of the play’s central reference to New River during the climactic political confrontation in 3.1. Sicinius and Brutus confront Coriolanus with the Citizens’ withdrawal of their approval. This betrayal winds up Coriolanus into a towering rage against the dangers of dividing the patricians’ authority. Rhetorically he asks them: [why] have you thus Given Hydra here [i.e. the Citizens] to choose an officer [i.e. Tribune Sicinius] That with his peremptory ‘shall’, being but The horn and noise o’th’monster’s, wants not spirit To say he’ll turn your current in a ditch And make your channel his? (3.1.93–8; my italics) Shakespeare’s ‘current’, ‘channel’ and ‘ditch’ – all synonymous terms in this period – were identified as topical allusions to New River as far back as 1949. Like the earlier reference to Aqua martia, they are related to images of bathing, washing, river water, water-sellers, streams, mingled flows, dams and floods (respectively, 1.6.63, 1.9.66, 2.1.46–7, 2.1.68, 2.3.258, 3.1.74, 3.1.251–2). One of the tasks of ecocritical Shakespeare is to (re)discover ecological patterns in events and phenomena in his work in order to recover their ‘entangled’ (2.1.75) causes and effects. Another goal is to identify metacontextual patterns that trope expansive thinking about world systems, ethical responsibilities to unseen and visible nonhuman life, and creative stewardship of local and wider ecologies. I do not have space here to explore all the play’s hydrological relationships. The main point I will underline is that, from its early scenes, Coriolanus links water and food as basic organic needs and ecological rights. Their integration is central to the play’s tragic confrontation between shared and sustainable, versus privately commodified, resource use. In the passage cited above, ‘Making your channel his’ suggests Myddelton’s capitalized takeover of a regional and city resource. The audacity of turning ‘your current in a ditch’ sneers at the original public health justifications for, and shared distribution of, the River Lea’s water. When Coriolanus uses New River code words to warn the patricians about diluting their authority, he is ostensibly berating the Tribunes but actually voicing his own elitist contempt. Referring to himself just before this passage as a ‘lonely dragon’ in ‘his fen’ (4.1.30), Coriolanus allusively

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merges himself with the mythical Hydra and the rapacious Hugh Myddelton and his ‘Tritons’ who disparaged contemporary opposition to New River. These poetictopical identities personify Coriolanus’s earlier opinion that only top predators should enjoy spoils of war or stockpiled food: ‘Being pressed [i.e. conscripted] to th’war, / Even when the navel of the state was touched, / They would not thread the [city] gates. This kind of service / Did not deserve corn gratis’ (3.1.123–6). This is the same commodifying logic Coriolanus used to deny showing his wounds in the marketplace but which entitled the First Citizen–soldier to a private viewing. It is similar to the reasoning Myddelton’s supporters used to justify the completion of New River: his risky investment as a dauntless ‘venturer’ has earned him the heroic privilege of disrupting the River Lea’s natural ecosystem and profiting exclusively from its stolen water. Such moments are a magnet for the cultural energies of ecocritical Shakespeare: to expose this historically emergent and still-prevailing mystification of homo economicus and its destructive ideologies, and to counter them with alternative Shakespearian narratives of community-defined growth and environmental capital in our scholarship, classrooms and performances.

BURNING VS INCLUSIVE FUTURES After the people and Tribunes banish him, Coriolanus travels to Antium to join Aufidius to take revenge on Rome. As I observed earlier, Shakespeare shifts the play’s elemental imagery from waters to fire-storms associated with Coriolanus’s scorchedearth vengeance (e.g. Menenius: ‘Thou art preparing fire for us’ (5.2.71)). Topically, the shift might have reminded some Blackfriars spectators of the abandoned goals of using New River water to fight fires and make London neighbourhoods flourish (archival documents record objections to these abdications). Moreover, insofar as Coriolanus’s militant individualism tropes early modern resource enclosure and privatization, his revenge rage also captures their environmental violence. But ultimately the broader ecopolitical journey of Rome escapes this fate (in the play’s historical fiction, at least). And before Coriolanus’s dramatic reversal, his visit to Antium introduces an ontological alternative to his scripted tragedy by temporarily opening his strenuously sealed body to biosocial influences and change. When Coriolanus arrives in Antium after travelling for an unspecified time on his own, his immediate needs are physical and social. Here two recent performances point suggestively to an environmental immersion that briefly reorients Coriolanus’s exceptionalist world view. Ralph Fiennes’s feature film set the offstage interim between 4.1 and 4.4 in the countryside and made it a revealing addition to the film narrative. Fiennes’s Coriolanus becomes a homeless migrant living rough ‘under the canopy [of the sky]’ (4.5.39) and depending on the kindness of strangers. This interlude creates a cinematic emblem of Coriolanus confronting his body’s limits and recognizing its intrinsic transcorporeality (Alaimo 2010). Robert Lepage’s visually stunning 2018 production at Ontario’s Stratford Festival also exposed Coriolanus’s ideal of sovereign self-sufficiency as a skewed perception of human nature and well-being. Lepage meta-contextualized Coriolanus’s fixations as Anthropocene

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entrapments: André Sills’s Coriolanus drove alone in a full-size on-stage car to Antium, confined and battered by a spectacular cycloramic storm. Although his body was not touched directly, his overloaded senses were constantly on the edge of losing control. He emerged from the car visibly shaken and diminished. Both these ordeals heightened audiences’ awareness of Coriolanus’s urgent bodily and mental needs upon arriving at Aufidius’s dwelling. ‘A goodly house’, he observes, and ‘The feast smells well’ (4.5.5). Relieved at the prospect of shelter and food, Coriolanus moves immediately to the ‘hearth’ to warm himself (4.5.25), brushing past Aufidius’s servants. Remaining there after the Volscian leader enters, Coriolanus identifies himself with the domestic affordances of the hearth. The two men embrace like newlyweds, ‘As hotly and as nobly with thy love / As ever in ambitious strength I did / Contend against thy valour’ (4.5.113–15). Aufidius further queers this ‘strange alteration’ by making ‘a mistress’ of his new partner (4.5.150– 99). Later, he confirms Coriolanus’s unwonted desire for melting bodily interaction by recalling how he ‘came unto my hearth’ (punning on ‘heart’) (5.6.29). What Shakespeare emphasizes in these homo-household moments is Coriolanus’s human-animal regeneration after his restricted life as a scavenger-survivor in the ‘city of kites and crows’ (4.5.43). Like Lear after belatedly coming to feel what wretches feel, Coriolanus begins to relate to others through and beyond his supposedly impermeable body. He becomes ‘watery’ from the inside out (Neimanis 2017). How conscious he is of this change is for an actor to suggest. Graham Abbey’s brooding and ultimately grief-stricken Aufidius in Lepage’s production showed how much queer potential both men had lost. In the Volscians’ hospitality, Coriolanus unabashedly relishes corporeal sympathies. This is precisely the ethos of distribution he despised in Rome, whose citizens he cut off from his instrumentalized domain (‘O, me alone! Make you a sword of me?’ (1.7.76, Raber 2018: 145–56)). It is likewise the kindred body he represses when forgetting the name of the ‘poor host’ in Corioles who ‘used [him] kindly’ and begged to be released as a prisoner (1.10.81–5). (In his film, Fiennes represents this need as thirst: Coriolanus comes upon an old man cowering in a single room of a war-blasted apartment; the man offers him a drink from his plastic water bottle, and Coriolanus spares him.) As Jacques Derrida suggests, hospitality may be mingled with the latent hostility of the guest and/or host (2000), which in Antium Coriolanus objectifies as hatred for Rome, and Aufidius waits vengefully to enact. Thus the life-giving warmth and centripetal social energy of the fireside (with its gendered valences of cookery and sustainable practices that ecofeminists have focused on (Munroe and Laroche 2011)) begins to warp into the revenge fantasy of ‘phlogiston’, or combustion as an allegedly self-regenerating property and value (Mentz 2015b: 62–4). And although Coriolanus again temporarily surrenders to family bonds when Volumnia compels him to become a ‘gosling’ to obey ‘instinct’, the dream of redemption through suffering somatic and subjective storms proves to be as elusive as it is in King Lear (Jones 2015: 59–78). Unlike that play, however, Coriolanus’s tragically belated recognition of human connectedness takes place within the larger narrative of Rome’s escape from destruction, its return to civil peace and more equitable prosperity (4.6), and its

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incipient emergence as the Western world’s most celebrated republic. This outcome may have resonated with Blackfriars spectators opposed to Myddelton’s privatization scheme. They had seen New River abandon its urban welfare goals in favour of a profit-driven agenda backed by King James. And at the time of the play’s first performance in 1609–10, it seemed as if parliamentary resistance to royal authority, routinely characterized as neo-republican (Hadfield 2005: 17–53), would succeed in rejecting the takeover by Myddelton’s 1 per cent. But after Coriolanus was staged and parliament’s repeal failed, New River did get built, and since then it has changed hands several times as a public and private waterdelivery system (Gough 1964; Rudden 1985). From today’s perspective, Coriolanus’s association of New River with a self-isolating and self-destructive autocrat looks like a hopeful tale of citizen opposition to a corporatized river diversion within a wider reclamation of the hydrocommons. The latter movement has gained strength in recent years in the face of the alarming commercialization of global freshwater. Maude Barlow reports, for example, that the city of Berlin ‘municipalized’ their privatized water system in 2011, when over 600,000 citizens voted in favour of restoring civic control by buying back the water rights which had been sold to the French multinational Veolia (2016: 118–27). Coriolanus thus stages an ecocidal tragedy within Rome’s wider journey towards more socially inclusive and ecologically accountable governance, whose material emblems are fair food and water access. Yet Shakespeare recognized this vision, historically, as a road not taken. Rome’s swelling domestic and military consumption, like early modern England’s, caused a scaling up of the martialcommercial ethos of conquest and extraction on continental and imperial levels in Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, just as it did in the nascent British empire of King James. From that perspective, Coriolanus analogizes the Anthropocene’s capitalized violence, its Social Darwinist distortions of evolutionary fitness as alpha male strength alone, and its hegemonic fantasies of unlimited growth. Yet it also offers freshly relevant counter-arguments for a demilitarized public domain and post-growth values (Jackson 2017). As my case study of Coriolanus has tried to show, the value of ecocritical Shakespeare lies in making us aware of the contested origins of our modern environmental crises and how we might use that knowledge to challenge their entrenched structural paradigms and mitigate their worst impacts, thereby giving some belated hope to today’s Greta Thunbergs. The ecocritical opportunity of Shakespeare is his astonishing range of natureculture complexities. They provide a capacious intellectual environment for boundary-breaking theoretical, archival and materialist eco-research. Moreover, Shakespeare’s globally adapted and performed profile means that scholars can benefit from worldwide artistic and locally embodied interpretation of his ecologies while reciprocating their creative insights with practitioners. Because of the intensifying impacts of climate change and other devastations of the Anthropocene, the future prospects of Shakespearian ecocritical and eco-theatrical research look unavoidably promising, if always shot through with distress at our collective responsibility for the era’s injustices, displacements and extinctions.7

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NOTES 1. OED n. 2a–b, OED comb. form 4. Ecocriticism’s expanding intellectual possibilities are suggested by the many eco-forms recorded by the OED’s 2008 edition (e.g. eco-damage, eco-calamity, eco-tragedy, eco-catastrophe, eco-protester, eco-activism, eco-literacy, eco-consciousness, eco-audit, ecocide, eco-justice). These have only since multiplied to express the changing instabilities and growing dangers of the Anthropocene. 2. By editors chronologically: Estok (2005), Yates and Sullivan Jr (2011), Bruckner and Brayton (2011), Herbrechter and Callus (2012), Feerick and Nardizzi (2012), Munroe and Laroche (2016), Eklund (2017), Dionne and Duckert (2018), Browning (2019), Chiari (2019). 3. Mentz (2011; 2012); O’Dair (2008; 2011; 2018). 4. A significant inspiration for this epistemological proliferation continues to be J. J. Cohen (2013). Presenting new ecocritical horizons troped by rainbow colours, Prismatic Ecology productively refracts ecocriticism’s core of the natural world, scientific knowledge and political ecocosmopolitanism formulated by Heise (2006; 2008) to deepen and topicalize scholarly and experiential complexities of the Anthropocene. Following Cohen’s poetics of the Mississippi River (xvi–xxxv), I discuss the eco-refraction of the River Lea into New River through blue, green and brown lenses (more could be added). 5. All quotations are taken from this edition. 6. Calendar of State Papers Domestic, James I, 78 no. 106; Bodley Tanner MS 98 fol. 47. 7. A different version of this essay was presented at the 2015 meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America in a seminar on ‘Landscape, Space, and Place in Early Modern Literature’ led by Julie Sanders and Garrett A. Sullivan, both of whom I’d like to thank for their generous feedback and encouragement. I’m also grateful to Madeline Bassnett and Todd Borlik for reading this version and making valuable suggestions.

REFERENCES Alaimo, S. (2010), Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Barlow, M. (2016), Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever, Toronto: Anansi. Bate, J. (2005), ‘A Voice for Ariel’, in The Song of the Earth, 68–93, Basingstoke: Picador. Boehrer, B. (2010), Animal Characters: Nonhuman Beings in Early Modern Literature, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Borlik, T. A. (2008), ‘Mute Timber?: Fiscal Forestry and Environmental Stichomythia in the Old Arcadia’, in I. Kamps, K. Raber and T. Hallock (eds), Early Modern Ecostudies: From the Florentine Codex to Shakespeare, 75–104, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Borlik, T. A. (2011), Ecocriticism and Early Modern Literature: Green Pastures, New York: Routledge. Borlik, T. A. (2013), ‘Caliban and the Fen Demons of Lincolnshire: The Englishness of Shakespeare’s Tempest’, Shakespeare, 9: 21–51.

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Borlik, T. A. (2018), ‘Iron Age as Renaissance Anthropocene: Periodization and the Ecology of War in Shakespearean History’, Early Modern Culture, 13, Article 9. Available online: https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/emc/vol13/iss1/9/ Brayton, D. (2013), Shakespeare’s Ocean: An Ecocritical Exploration, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. Brokaw, K. S. (2017), ‘Shakespeare as Community Practice’, Shakespeare Bulletin, 35: 445–61. Browning, L. D., ed. (2019), ‘Shakespeare’s Waters’, Studies in English Literature, 59: 325–7. Bruckner, L. and D. Brayton (2011), Ecocritical Shakespeare, Farnham: Ashgate. Campana, J. and S. Maisano, eds (2016), Renaissance Posthumanism, New York: Fordham University Press. Chiari, S. (2019), Shakespeare’s Representation of Weather, Climate and Environment, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Clark, T. (2015), Ecocriticism on the Edge: The Anthropocene as a Threshold Concept, London: Bloomsbury. Clark, T. (2019), The Value of Ecocriticism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cohen, A. M. (2006), Shakespeare and Technology: Dramatizing Early Modern Technological Revolutions, London: Palgrave Macmillan. Cohen, J. J., ed. (2013), Prismatic Ecology: Ecotheory beyond Green, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Conkie, R. (2018), ‘Nature’s Above Art (an Illustrated Guide)’, Shakespeare Bulletin, 36: 391–408. Derrida, J. (2000), Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond, trans. R. Bowlby, Stanford: Stanford University Press. Dionne, C. and L. Duckert, eds (2018), ‘Shakespeare in the Anthropocene’, Early Modern Culture, 13. Available online: https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/emc/vol13/iss1/ Downing, C. (2010), ‘Eco-Directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest’, in Ecology and Environment in European Drama, 91–118, London: Routledge, 2010. Duckert, L. (2017), For All Waters: Finding Ourselves in Early Modern Wetscapes, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Egan, G. (2006), Green Shakespeare: From Ecopolitics and Ecocriticism, London: Routledge. Egan, G. (2015), Shakespeare and Ecocritical Theory, London: Arden Shakespeare. Eklund, H. (2017), ‘Wetlands Reclamation and the Fate of the Local in Seventeenth Century England’, in Ground-Work: English Renaissance Literature and Soil Science, 149–70, Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press. Eklund, H. (2019), ‘Shakespeare’s Littoral and the Dramas of Loss and Store’, Studies in English Literature, 59: 349–65. Eklund, H. (forthcoming), ‘After Wetlands’, Criticism. Estok, S. (2005), ‘An Introduction to Shakespeare and Ecocriticism: The Special Cluster’, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, 12: 109–17. Estok, S. (2011), Ecocriticism and Shakespeare: Reading Ecophobia, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Feerick, J. and V. Nardizzi, eds (2012), The Indistinct Human in Renaissance Literature, London: Routledge. Garrard, G. (2012), Ecocriticism, 2nd edn, London: Routledge. Garrard, G. (2014), ‘Introduction’, The Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism, ed. G. Garrard, 1–26, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gough, J. W. (1964), Sir Hugh Myddleton: Entrepreneur and Engineer, Oxford: Clarendon. Hadfield, A. (2005), Shakespeare and Republicanism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hamilton, J. M. (2017), This Contentious Storm: An Ecocritical and Performance History of ‘King Lear’, London: Bloomsbury. Haraway, D. J. (2003), The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Haraway, D. J. (2016), Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Durham: Duke University Press. Heise, U. K. (2006), ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Ecocriticism’, PMLA, 121: 503–16. Heise, U. K. (2008), Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Herbrechter, S. and I. Callus, eds (2012), Posthumanist Shakespeares, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Höfele, A. (2011), Stage, Stake, and Scaffold: Humans and Animals in Shakespeare’s Theatre, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Holland, P., ed. (2013), ‘Introduction’, in William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Jackson, T. (2017), Prosperity without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow, 2nd edn, Abingdon: Routledge. Jones, G. (2015), Shakespeare’s Storms, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Laroche, R. and J. Munroe (2017), Shakespeare and Ecofeminist Theory, London: Arden Shakespeare. Maisano, S. (2013), ‘Rise of the Poet of the Apes’, Shakespeare Studies, 41: 64–76. Martin, R. (2015), Shakespeare and Ecology, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Martin, R. (2018), ‘Evolutionary Naturalism and Embodied Ecology in Shakespearian Performance (with a Scene from King John)’, Shakespeare Survey, 71: 147–63. Martin, R. (2019), ‘Economies of Gunpowder and Ecologies of Peace: Accounting for Sustainability’, Shakespeare Survey, 72: 16–31. Martin, R. and E. O’Malley (2018), ‘Eco-Shakespeare in Performance: Introduction’, Shakespeare Bulletin, 36: 377–90. Mazzio, C., ed. (2009), ‘Shakespeare and Science, c. 1600’, South Central Review, 26: 1–23. Mentz, S. (2009), At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean, London: Continuum. Mentz, S. (2011), ‘Tongues in the Storm: Shakespeare, Ecological Crisis, and the Resources of Genre’, in L. Bruckner and D. Brayton (eds), Ecocritical Shakespeare, 155–72, Aldershot: Ashgate. Mentz, S. (2012), ‘After Sustainability’, PMLA, 127: 586–92. Mentz, S. (2015a), Shipwreck Modernity: Ecologies of Globalization, 1550–1719, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

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Mentz, S. (2015b), ‘Phlogiston’, in J. J. Cohen and L. Duckert (eds), Elemental Ecocriticism, 55–76, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Morton, T. (2009), Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Morton, T. (2013), Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Munroe, J. and R. Laroche, eds (2011), Ecofeminist Approaches to Early Modernity, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Munroe, J. and R. Laroche, eds (2016), Ecological Approaches to Early Modern Texts: A Field Guide to Reading and Teaching, New York: Routledge. Nardizzi, V. (2013), Wooden Os: Shakespeare’s Theatres and England’s Trees, Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Neimanis, A. (2017), Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology, London: Bloomsbury. O’Dair, S. (2008), ‘Slow Shakespeare: An Eco-Critique of Method in Early Modern Literary Studies’, in I. Kamps, K. Raber and T. Hallock (eds), Early Modern Ecostudies: From the Florentine Codex to Shakespeare, 11–30, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. O’Dair, S. (2011), ‘Is It Shakespeare Ecocriticism if It Isn’t Presentist?’, in L. Bruckner and D. Brayton (eds), Ecocritical Shakespeare, 71–85, Farnham: Ashgate. O’Dair, S. (2018), ‘Growing Pains’, Early Modern Culture, 13, Article 7. Available online: https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/emc/vol13/iss1/7 O’Malley, E. (2020), Weathering Shakespeare: Audiences and Open Air Performance, London: Bloomsbury. Raber, K. (2011), Animal Bodies, Renaissance Culture, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Raber, K. (2018), Shakespeare and Posthumanist Theory, London: Arden Shakespeare. Raber, K. and T. Hallock (2008), ‘Early Modern Ecostudies’, in I. Kamps, K. Raber and T. Hallock (eds), Early Modern Ecostudies: From the Florentine Codex to Shakespeare, 1–8, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Rudden, B. (1985), The New River: A Legal History, Oxford: Clarendon. Shakespeare, W. (2013), Coriolanus, ed. P. Holland, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shannon, L. (2013), The Accommodated Animal: Cosmopolity in Shakespearean Locales, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Theis, J. S. (2009), Writing the Forest in Early Modern England: A Sylvan Pastoral Nation, Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press. ‘Thirsty Planet’ (2019), The Economist, Special Report: Water, 2 March, 5–14. Walter, J. and K. Wrightson (1976), ‘Dearth and the Social Order in Early Modern England’, Past & Present, 71: 22–42. Watson, R. N. (2006), Back to Nature: The Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Yates, J. and G. L. Sullivan, eds (2011), “‘Forum” on Shakespeare and Ecology: Introduction’, Shakespeare Studies, 39: 23–31.

CHAPTER 4.2

Computational studies BRETT GREATLEY-HIRSCH

compute, v. 1.a. To determine by arithmetical or mathematical reckoning; to calculate, reckon, count. In later use chiefly: to ascertain by a relatively complex calculation or procedure, typically using a computer or calculating machine.

(OED) For over 400 years, our first contact with Shakespeare as children and adults has been on the page – in books printed in an infinite variety of languages, formats, shapes and sizes – or on the stage, in theatres great and small. But times have changed. Today, millions of people around the world access Shakespeare’s works online – on their smartphones, tablets and computers – many for the first time. For an everincreasing number of users, digital technologies are shaping how we experience Shakespeare and engage with his works, as both consumers and producers. Largescale digitization projects and the proliferation of databases are making primary and secondary materials hitherto more readily available to those critics fortunate enough to have access. These digital tools are introducing new forms of criticism while also enabling traditional analysis at unprecedented scale, speed and efficiency; at the same time, digital publishing is opening up new platforms for the dissemination of scholarship. While digital Shakespeare content is proving a rich area for critical study in its own right,1 media historians remind us that the difficulty for scholars is that any ‘new media’ does not stay new for long. Unlike the codex, which has remained a relatively stable format over the course of its history, the web is constantly evolving. Attempts to survey the impact of new media on Shakespeare study thus become quickly dated, as each new wave of technological innovation renders past conclusions obsolete.2 Likewise, the exponential growth rate of digital Shakespeare content makes the task of accurately cataloguing new material a near impossibility. Perhaps paradoxically, the rhetoric of new media reveals the contingency of its ‘newness’, constructed as both radically different from and reassuringly similar to the past: we access ‘pages’ and navigate them by ‘scrolling’, for instance, but the web is neither codex nor manuscript. With this in mind, this chapter’s discussion of computational studies of Shakespeare will stress both its departures from and continuities with earlier forms of quantitative criticism.

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SHAKESPEARE AND/AS DATA Scholars have counted things in Shakespeare long before the advent of the computer made the process more accurate, efficient and sophisticated. As we shall see, what is counted and how it is counted have changed, in no small part due to the affordances of computing. The earliest application of quantitative methods to the study of Shakespeare appeared during the eighteenth century in the form of the concordance – an index of the words used in a text or corpus keyed to citations of the passages in which they occur. With origins tracing back to medieval scriptural exegesis and adapted only relatively recently to the study of non-biblical literature,3 the basic function of the concordance is ‘to bring together (“concord”) passages of a text that illustrate the uses of a word’ (Howard-Hill 1979: 4). Andrew Becket compiled the earliest concordance to Shakespeare’s plays in 1787, designed, as advertised by its title, to give readers ready access to ‘distinguished and parallel passages’ arranged alphabetically by theme. Becket’s selective index of axiomatic passages was followed by increasingly more precise concordances to the plays compiled by Samuel Ayscough (1790), Francis Twiss (1805), Mary Cowden Clarke (1844–5) and W. H. Davenport Adams (1886), as well as concordances to the poems by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps (1867) and Helen Kate Rogers Furness (1874). Keyed to the popular Globe edition of Shakespeare’s works,4 John Bartlett’s Complete Concordance (1894) to the plays and poems remained the standard reference of its kind for most of the twentieth century until it was superseded by systematic computer-generated concordances prepared by T. H. Howard-Hill (1969–73) and Marvin Spevack (1968–80). Both Howard-Hill and Spevack’s concordances are of a scale, accuracy and detail not seen before or since in print, and, unlike their predecessors, they provide summary statistics about the texts. Over the course of nine volumes, Spevack offers a series of interlocking concordances to the plays and poems – individually, collectively and as a complete works – with plays further concorded by character. The entry for each play, for example, begins with summary statistics about the total number of speeches, lines, word-tokens (in verse, prose and mixed contexts) and word-types, while the concordances give raw and relative frequencies for each word. Beyond their use as hermeneutic tools, concordances were also instrumental in thoroughly debunking the myth that Shakespeare’s vocabulary dwarfed those of all other English playwrights (Crystal 2008). There is some truth to it: when we tally the different words used by Shakespeare and his fellow dramatists, Shakespeare’s total is indeed larger. However, since Shakespeare’s plays survive in greater number than those of any other single playwright of the period, the comparison is skewed: a substantially larger canon means significantly more opportunities to use different words. A simple comparison of total word-types is therefore a misleading measure of vocabulary. A more meaningful comparison is to calculate the rates at which Shakespeare and his contemporaries introduced new words with each successive play. Counted in this way, computational studies have shown Shakespeare’s practice to be decidedly average amongst his contemporaries (Craig 2011; Elliott and Valenza 2011).

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Though it was amongst the earliest to be quantified, vocabulary is but one feature of Shakespeare’s writing to pique the curiosity of critics. The nineteenth century witnessed a veritable gold rush for the quantitative analysis of Shakespeare’s works, with investigators mining every feature for discernable and distinctive patterns that might characterize aspects of Shakespeare’s style. Much of this stylometric work was conducted under the auspices of the New Shakspere Society, founded in 1873 by F. J. Furnivall to ‘do honour to Shakspere, to make out the succession of his plays, and thereby the growth of his mind and art’ (Furnivall 1874b: 6). In the words of one of its most industrious members, F.  G. Fleay, criticism of Shakespeare ‘must become quantitative’; the necessary ‘great step’ championed by the Society was to ‘cease to be empirical, and become scientific’: ‘if you cannot weigh, measure, [or] number your results, however you may be convinced yourself, you must not hope to convince others, or claim the position of an investigator; you are merely a guesser, a propounder of hypotheses’ (Fleay 1874: 2). Although the initial goal of the Society was to determine the chronology of Shakespeare’s plays ‘by a very close study of the metrical and phraseological peculiarities’ of his works (Furnivall 1874a: vi), its focus on countable features of verse inevitably led to ‘the determination of the genuineness of the works traditionally assigned to a writer’: authorship attribution, which Fleay termed ‘the far more important end’ of their researches (1874: 6). In his first paper before the Society, Fleay tabulated the rates of double or ‘feminine’ endings, pauseended or ‘stopped’ lines, rhyming lines, incomplete lines and Alexandrines. On the basis of these counts, he suspected that The Taming of the Shrew and parts of Henry VIII, Pericles, Timon of Athens and the Henry VI plays were not by Shakespeare (Fleay 1874). Critical consensus on Shakespeare’s collaborations has since confirmed many of Fleay’s suspicions. While the successful findings of the New Shakspere Society are tempered by many false starts and outright failures, its spirit of exploration and experimentation inspired fresh quantitative investigation long after its dissolution in 1894. Since the subject of authorship attribution is given more detailed treatment in another Arden Shakespeare Handbook and elsewhere,5 my discussion of its development will be accordingly brief. With some refinements, the attribution methods pioneered by the New Shakspere Society – ‘counting the frequencies of certain verse features’ and ‘finding parallel passages’ – remained ‘essentially unchanged for the next 100 years’ (Egan 2017: 33). A watershed moment for stylometry was the introduction of the desktop computer in the 1970s. Machine-readable texts of Shakespeare’s works were soon prepared, and if computers were able to produce accurate concordances of all Shakespeare’s words, they could also be used to count any feature of Shakespeare’s writing, not merely certain habits of verse. Function words,6 too frequent to be concorded by hand and routinely excluded from computation as so-called ‘stop words’, emerged as an especially weighty stylistic feature, not least by virtue of their ubiquity.7 Where computer-generated datasets like Howard-Hill and Spevack’s concordances were once only distributed in print, widespread adoption of personal computing and electronic publishing has since opened up new possibilities for data production and dissemination. An equally crucial moment for stylometry thus began in the 1990s,

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when large-scale commercial databases published by Chadwyck-Healey made a significant proportion of early modern literature available in machine-readable formats on CD-ROMs: English Poetry (1992–5), English Verse Drama (1995), English Prose Drama (1996–7) and Early English Prose Fiction (1997). These and other databases were later consolidated into Literature Online (LION), delivered as a website, and by 2000 Chadwyck-Healey (now ProQuest) embarked on a new venture – the Text Creation Partnership (TCP) – freshly to transcribe a subset of the texts in its Early English Books Online (EEBO) database, launched in 1998. Between them, these large-scale digitization projects have made a significant proportion of the corpus of early modern texts available in machine-readable formats, but coverage is selective, and the transcriptions are partial and frequently marred by errors.8

CASE STUDY A qualitative interpretation of a work by the close reading of selected passages is not the same thing as a systematic analysis of the work in its entirety – line by line, word by word. Likewise, we accept as normal practice the limited focus necessary for a literary history to produce a coherent narrative. In both of these examples, literary critics engage in ‘data reduction’ – the inclusion of some features and the exclusion of others to make sense of larger phenomena. The same approach is essential to quantitative and computational criticism, by which means an investigator constructs and tests models – representations that cannot account for all aspects of the phenomena being modelled, but which nonetheless allow for valid inferences to be made (Piper 2017; Jannidis and Flanders 2019). Since these representations focus on some features and disregard others, models always involve some information loss. The inclusion and exclusion of features is not random, however, but functional: just as histories of early modern theatre necessarily privilege certain plays, playwrights, playing companies and playhouses and exclude others to produce a coherent narrative, so too is a road map a useful model for navigating terrain because of the features selected for inclusion (e.g. roads, highways, landmarks), even if most of the information about that terrain – geographical, political, social – is lost. In this case study, I use a computational model to explore the dialogue of Shakespeare’s plays. To construct my chosen corpus, I have extracted the base text from a digital copy of the Arden Complete Works (1998) and removed all the prefatory and editorial matter. I have then used textual encoding to annotate or ‘tag’ act and scene divisions, speeches and speech prefixes, and stage directions for all thirty-eight plays.9 By searching for patterns in the text using regular expressions,10 I added tags to define the expanded or regularized forms of contractions, abbreviations and compound words. To check my dataset for errors and inconsistencies, I then validated11 the documents and imported them into Intelligent Archive, a software application designed for text processing, which I used to generate complete concordances to each play.12 Since my only concern in this case study was dialogue, all other features of the text – stage directions, literary divisions, speech prefixes and so on – were excluded from my counts.

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To select features for my models and process the data, I used Intelligent Archive to count the top 100 most frequent words across the corpus, calculated as a proportion of total tokens for each play.13 Table 1 lists the plays included in the case study, with dates of first performance and genre classifications from the revised Annals of English Drama (Harbage and Schoenbaum 1964). The result is a table with 38 rows (one for each play) and 100 columns (one for each word). By treating each of the proportions as a coordinate, we could project each play as a data-point in 100-dimensional space. This would allow us to measure the distances between plays, thereby getting a sense of their relative affinities and differences. But there is a problem: while computers can easily model spaces in 100 dimensions, human cognition is – at time of writing, at least – limited to perceiving no more than three. To work around this problem, I used a standard statistical procedure called Principal Component(s) Analysis (PCA) to reduce the dimensionality of the data.14 PCA attempts to explain as much of the variation in a dataset as possible using as few of the variables as possible. This is accomplished mathematically by condensing multiple variables that are correlated with one another, but largely independent of others, into a smaller number of composite factors. (In this context, ‘variables’ are quantifiable features capable of varying in value, such as the frequency or proportion of the word them in different plays. ‘Correlation’ describes a relationship of interdependence between two or more variables, in which a change in the value of one is associated with a change in the value of the others.) The strongest composite factor – the one that accounts for the largest proportion of the total variance in the data – is called the first principal component (PC1); the second principal component (PC2) is the composite factor accounting for the greatest proportion of the remaining variance, while also being uncorrelated with the first principal component. Further principal components can be calculated in this manner, each accounting for a smaller proportion of the remaining variance in the data than the last.

Table 1  Plays in the corpus. Play

Genre

Date of first performance

1 Henry IV

History

1597

2 Henry IV

History

1597

1 Henry VI

History

1592

2 Henry VI

History

1591

3 Henry VI

History

1591

All’s Well that Ends Well

Comedy

1603

Antony and Cleopatra

Tragedy

1606

As You Like It

Comedy

1599

The Comedy of Errors

Comedy

1594

Coriolanus

Tragedy

1608

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Play

Genre

Date of first performance

Cymbeline

Tragicomedy

1610

Hamlet

Tragedy

1601

Henry V

History

1599

Henry VIII

History

1613

Julius Caesar

Tragedy

1599

King John

History

1596

King Lear

Tragedy

1605

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Comedy

1595

Macbeth

Tragedy

1606

Measure for Measure

Comedy

1603

The Merchant of Venice

Comedy

1596

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Comedy

1597

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Comedy

1595

Much Ado About Nothing

Comedy

1598

Othello

Tragedy

1604

Pericles

Tragicomedy

1608

Richard II

History

1595

Richard III

History

1592

Romeo and Juliet

Tragedy

1595

The Taming of the Shrew

Comedy

1591

The Tempest

Comedy

1611

Timon of Athens

Tragedy

1605

Titus Andronicus

Tragedy

1592

Troilus and Cressida

Tragedy

1602

Twelfth Night

Comedy

1601

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Comedy

1590

The Two Noble Kinsmen

Tragicomedy

1613

The Winter’s Tale

Tragicomedy

1609

To analyse the data, I imported the table of word-frequency counts into R, a software environment for statistical computing, and used the built-in PCA algorithm to reduce the dimensionality of the data to the two strongest factors.15 Treating scores on PC1 and PC2 as x- and y-coordinates, I projected each play as a data-point in two-dimensional space (Figure 3). I added labels and symbols to identify the datapoints by their abbreviated title and genre, since this metadata was withheld from the PCA algorithm and played no part in its calculations. As per the legend at the top of the chart, comedies are plotted as filled circles, histories as filled triangles,

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FIGURE 3  Principal Components Analysis (PCA) scatterplot.

tragedies as checked squares and tragicomedies as unfilled squares. PC1 (the x-axis) represents the most important latent factor in the underlying relationships between the top 100 most frequent words in the plays and PC2 (the y-axis) the second most important (independent) latent factor. The relative distances between data-points projected into this two-dimensional space represent degrees of affinity, so that plays with similar rates of occurrence of the top 100 most frequent words – an aspect of their linguistic profiles – cluster together, whereas dissimilar plays are plotted further apart. When analysing plays by different playwrights of the same period, authorship consistently emerges as the strongest determining factor in the language of early modern drama (Craig 2000; 2017; Craig and Greatley-Hirsch 2017). Although several plays in my Shakespearean corpus are collaborations, the vast majority are single authored; without more pronounced, competing authorial signals, genre emerges as a stronger determining factor. We see this in Figure 3, where all of

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the histories cluster together to the left of the chart, scoring negatively on PC1, whereas the comedies tend to cluster at the opposite end, mostly scoring positively on PC1; tragedies and tragicomedies are plotted towards the middle, between the histories and comedies. Conditioned by the Aristotelian model of drama, we might have expected comic and tragic drama to be the most dissimilar; however, the PCA shows that there is a greater contrast in dialogue between Shakespearean comedies and histories, which cluster at opposite ends of PC1. This confirms the findings of other studies (Craig 2004; 2008; Hope and Witmore 2004; 2010), but we need to examine the composition of each principal component before we might begin to explain these results. Since PCA works by finding weightings for the variables to establish new composite factors or ‘principal components’, we can examine these weightings to find out which variables contribute the most to a given component. Using a biplot (Figure 4), we can visualize these contributions in the same two-dimensional space as the plays, with each variable represented by a vector or line projected from

FIGURE 4  Principal Components Analysis (PCA) biplot.

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the origin (where the x- and y-axes intersect). A vector’s direction indicates how the variable it represents contributes to each of the principal components, and its relative length indicates the magnitude of contribution.16 Looking along the x-axis first, the highest positive score is for proportions of you; those of I, am, is and she are also closely associated with it. These variables are strongly correlated: where one of them is notably frequent in a play, the others tend to be frequent, too, and vice versa. At the other end of the x-axis, our is the extreme, strongly correlated with words like their, king, we and from. The pattern that emerges along PC1 appears to be a contrast between words associated with interactive dialogue and words associated with description and narration (Craig 2004). Reading the biplot (Figure 4) in relation to the earlier scatterplot (Figure 3), we find histories characterized by a higher proportion of words associated with description and narration, such as these, from, this, of, the, upon, then and now, words with strongly negative weightings on PC1. The higher proportion of certain pronouns reflects a further social dimension of the histories, in which the second person pronouns used to address individuals of subordinate social rank or a group (thee, thou, thy) and the titles of those in a position to use them (king, lord) are more common. Plural personal pronouns (our, them, they, their) are also weighted negatively on PC1 and more common in the histories, as are the words we and us (counts of which, in this study, conflate the royal and true plural forms). By contrast, comedies are generally marked by a higher proportion of words associated with interactive dialogue – words with strongly positive weightings on PC1, including the second person pronouns used in exchanges between social equals (you, your).17 Whereas the lofty concerns of court and country in the histories require more frequent addresses to groups (e.g. courtiers, soldiers, subjects, nations), monarchs to themselves in the plural, narration and description, the mundane and mercantile world of the comedies is built upon direct exchanges between characters talking about themselves and one another: I, me and you, three words with the strongest positive weightings on PC1, predominate in the comedies. With the notable exception of his, all of the gendered third person pronouns are also weighted positively on PC1 (she, her, he, him), reflecting the greater centrality of women in the comedies as characters and plot devices. In this model of the plays, pace Linda Bamber (1982), we find comic women and not so much tragic but historic men. Along the y-axis, we find two separate but related language patterns. The first is a contrast between intimate discourse (marked by the use of first person pronouns I, me, my and the exclamatory O), weighted positively on PC2, and public discourse (with more frequent recourse to plural pronouns like their, our, we, us, them and they), weighted negatively. The second is a contrast between old-fashioned and modern language: older forms (hath, thy, thou, thee) have strong positive weightings on PC2, while more modern forms (have, do, you, your) are negatively weighted. In this, Shakespeare is like his fellow dramatists: the replacement of thforms with y-forms is ‘one of the most marked developments through the period’ (Craig 2008: 287). Since they are ‘associated with archaic or formal language’ and ‘used in contexts favouring linguistic conservative’, it is unsurprising that

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th-forms are more common in the histories, where ‘formal challenges and defiance are issued’ and their ‘archaic-religious and archaic-legal connotation’ has more dramatic import (Hope 2003: 80–1). Moreover, there appears to be a relationship between a play’s date of first performance (Table 1) and its score on PC2. We can express the strength of this relationship by calculating its correlation coefficient, a standard statistical measure given as a value between −1 (for a perfect negative correlation) and 1 (for a perfect positive correlation), where 0 indicates no relationship between the variables. The correlation coefficient between a play’s date of first performance and its score on PC2 is −0.83, a very strong negative correlation.18 In other words, early plays tend to score positively on PC2, whereas later plays tend to score negatively. There are exceptions to this chronological pattern: for example, we might expect The Tempest, as one of the last plays to be written, to feature a higher proportion of modern forms and therefore score much lower on PC2. While most of the characters in The Tempest prefer y-forms to th-forms, in keeping with the play’s date of composition, Prospero and Caliban – the two largest parts in terms of dialogue – prefer th-forms to y-forms. In their speech, Prospero and Caliban use thee and thou roughly three times as often as they use you and your. For Prospero, the th-forms are ‘a handy shorthand for his miniature patriarchy, a tiny kingdom more or less willingly bound to its father–ruler’ (Craig 2008: 287). For Caliban, the th-forms are an expression of resentment and defiance, as in ‘This island’s mine by Sycorax, my mother, / Which thou tak’st from me. When thou cam’st first / Thou strok’st me and made much of me’ (Tem 1.2.332–4, emphasis added), and a reflection of his coarseness (Byrne 1936: 137–40). Plays of the same genre typically cluster together (Figure 3), sharing similar proportions of words weighted on the first and second principal components (Figure 4). However, there are some interesting outliers and anomalies. Othello, for instance, scores the highest on PC1 of any tragedy and is plotted with the cluster of comedies. Hope and Witmore made the same observation in their study: built ‘on structures that would ordinarily be employed in comedy’ to ‘heighten[] the emotional effect of down-turn’ as the play reaches its tragic conclusion, Othello’s language profile is ‘not true to type’ and more closely aligns with comedies than with other tragedies (2010: 374, 376ff.). These findings, also derived computationally, confirm Susan Snyder’s qualitative study of Othello’s ‘comic matrix’ (2002: 29– 45). At the other extreme, Macbeth and Titus Andronicus score the lowest of the tragedies on PC1 and are plotted with the histories. As with Othello’s ‘comic matrix’, critics have noted affinities between these plays and the histories. E. M. W. Tillyard concluded Shakespeare’s History Plays with a short chapter on Macbeth, described as not only ‘the last of the great tragedies’ but also ‘the epilogue of the Histories’ (1944: 315); for Stanley Cavell, Macbeth belongs ‘as much with Shakespearean histories as with the tragedies’ (1992: 1). Titus Andronicus, on the other hand, was Shakespeare’s earliest effort in a genre to which he would not return until much later: ‘If we set aside for the moment Titus Andronicus as a revenge tragedy in a genre that Shakespeare chose not to pursue further during his early years in London,’ David Bevington concludes, ‘we can say that Shakespeare

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began his career as a dramatist chiefly as a deviser of romantic comedies and English history plays’ (2011: 85).19

‘THERE IS MEASURE IN EVERYTHING’ (MA 2.1.65) Given data enough and time to develop the necessary methods, quantitative criticism promises to shed light on many unresolved questions about Shakespeare’s canon, chronology, sources and style, as well as his relationship to his contemporaries. Although such investigations cannot be truly exhaustive until accurate machinereadable texts for the entire corpus of early modern texts extant in print or manuscript are produced, meaningful results can still be derived using the data currently available. As the amount of data steadily grows and computational methods are developed or adapted, the range of critical applications expands accordingly. Where scholars once had to rely upon their reading and memory, the task of locating textual parallels for the study of Shakespearean authorship, sources, lost plays and editorial cruxes is increasingly accomplished through the use of ‘string matching’ and ‘sequence alignment’ algorithms, designed to find exact and approximate matches with a given ‘string’ or sequence of characters or words across a corpus of texts (Steggle 2014; 2015; Greatley-Hirsch and Johnson 2018). Similar computational methods have also been used to collate and quantify textual variation in Shakespearean texts (Widmann 1971; 1973; Horton 1994). Computational analysis of Shakespeare’s plays, in isolation and in relation to the works of his peers, has revealed fascinating insights into the language of genre (Craig 1991; 2017; Hope and Witmore 2004; 2010; Witmore, Hope and Gleicher 2016; Craig and Greatley-Hirsch 2017), Shakespeare’s ‘late’ style (Hope and Witmore 2007; 2014), characterization (Craig 2008; Culpeper 2014; Algee-Hewitt 2017; Craig and Greatley-Hirsch 2017) and use of soliloquies and asides (Nordlund 2014). Other studies have employed quantitative methods to challenge claims made about repertory company styles (Basu, Hope and Witmore 2017; Craig and Greatley-Hirsch 2017), to discern generic patterns in the distribution of stage props (Teague 1991; Bruster 2002; Craig and Greatley-Hirsch 2017), to map the Elizabethan book trade (Farmer and Lesser 2013), to identify statistical patterns in dramatic verse (Jackson 2002; Tarlinskaja 2014; Bruster and Smith 2016; Taylor and Loughnane 2017) and to track variation across foreign-language theatrical translations (Cheesman 2015; Geng et al. 2015). As for Shakespeare’s poetry, critics have explored the use of machine learning techniques to locate the volta in the Sonnets (Katajamäki, Honkela and Kohonen 2005) and to classify and count rhetorical figures (Bradley and Ullyot 2018). It was inevitable, perhaps, that Shakespeare criticism would itself become the subject of quantitative analysis ere long. Using computational methods to analyse data from bibliographies, catalogues and reference works, investigators have studied the editorial treatment of Shakespeare in relation to his fellow dramatists (Hirsch 2011; Lopez 2014), identified critical trends in Shakespeare scholarship and publishing (Estill, Klyve and Bridal 2015), reassessed rates of dramatic collaboration and composition (Brown 2017; Loughnane forthcoming) and explored the early modern social networks of the professional London theatres (Basu, Hope and

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Witmore 2017), the book trade (Farmer and Lesser 2013; Greteman 2014–present) and notable figures from the period (Warren 2012–present). Data begets analysis, and analysis in turn becomes data to be analysed further. It is only a matter of time before investigators begin to conduct quantitative Shakespeare meta-criticism.

NOTES

I wish to thank Hugh Craig, Gabriel Egan and Sarah Neville for their invaluable feedback on this chapter, which is dedicated to the memory of two gentle giants: David Bevington and John Burrows.

1. Representative examples include essays in the following recent collections: Rowe (2010), Carson and Kirwan (2014), Hirsch and Craig (2014b), Estill, Jakacki and Ullyot (2016), Jenstad, Kaethler and Roberts-Smith (2018) and O’Neill (2019). 2. Representative examples of scholarly overviews include Lancashire (2002), Best (2011), Hirsch and Craig (2014a), O’Neill (2014), Greatley-Hirsch and Best (2017) and Wilson (2018). 3. On the history and utility of concordances, see Howard-Hill (1979) and Higdon (2003). 4. On the popularity of the Globe edition, see Murphy (2003). 5. For a general introduction to authorship attribution in theory and practice, see Love (2002); for more recent overviews of computational methods, see Juola (2006) and Luyckx (2010). Egan (2017) provides a detailed historical survey of Shakespeare ­attribution study; see also Hope (1994), Sharpe (2013) and Taylor and Loughnane (2017). 6. Function words are those expressing a grammatical relationship or classification or clarifying syntactic relationships. 7. Burrows (1987) pioneered computational stylistics and the analysis of function words; see also Craig and Greatley-Hirsch (2017). 8. For a history and critique of these resources, see Kichuk (2007), Gants and Hailey (2008) and Gadd (2009). 9. Each play was represented by its own document formatted in XML (eXtensible Markup Language) using tags conforming to the guidelines of the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative). 10. A regular expression is an algebraic formula describing a pattern to be searched. A familiar example of a regular expression is the wildcard notation, whereby a search for text* returns matches for text as well as textile, textiles, texts, textual, textuality and so on. Regular expressions can be used to search for more sophisticated patterns. For example, a search of Antony and Cleopatra using the regular expression [a-z]’t\r finds was’t, do’t, unto’t and into’t at the ends of lines 2.6.14, 4.1.16, 4.14.17 and 4.14.101. 11. XML provides a means for representing the abstract structure of an ideal document against which other documents can be checked. A ‘valid’ XML document is one that conforms to this ideal. 12. This process allows me to spot, for example, some rogue compound contractions I had failed to regularize on the first pass because the regular expressions I initially used did not make allowance for extraneous spacing between i’ and th’.

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13. In order of frequency, these words are: the, and, I, to, of, you, a, is, my, that, in, it, not, me, for, will, with, be, your, he, this, his, but, have, as, thou, him, so, what, her, do, thy, we, no, all, by, shall, if, are, our, thee, on, good, now, lord, from, sir, come, she, would, they, was, at, let, or, here, more, which, there, am, O, well, how, then, them, their, us, when, love, hath, than, man, upon, one, were, go, like, know, may, say, make, did, yet, should, must, an, why, see, had, such, out, give, where, king, these, who, some, never, too and take. 14. Any college textbook on multivariate statistics will provide a more detailed discussion of PCA than my chapter allows. For a gentler introduction, see Alt 1990: 48–80. 15. PC1 accounted for 18.15 per cent of the total variance in the data and PC2 for 11.05 per cent of the remaining; combined, PC1 and PC2 explain 29.20 per cent of the total variance. 16. Since they are scaled to fit the biplot, only the direction and relative lengths of the vectors matter; the precise distances between the heads of the vectors and the datapoints representing the plays are meaningless. 17. On pronouns as genre markers in Shakespeare, see Brainerd (1979), Craig (1991), Hope (1994) and Busse (2002). 18. Any college textbook on statistics will explain the correlation coefficient and its formula in greater detail than space allows here. For my results, I used the CORREL function in Microsoft Excel. 19. Elsewhere, Bevington has gone so far as to characterize Titus Andronicus as ‘a fanciful history play with a deep interest in the tragic consequences of civil conflict’ (2008: 42).

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Murphy, A. (2003), Shakespeare in Print: A History and Chronology of Shakespeare Publishing, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nordlund, M. (2014), ‘Shakespeare’s Insides: A Systematic Study of a Dramatic Device’, The Shakespearean International Yearbook, 14: 37–56. O’Neill, S. (2014), Shakespeare and YouTube: New Media Forms of the Bard, London: Arden Shakespeare. O’Neill, S., ed. (2019), ‘Shakespeare and Digital Humanities: New Perspectives and Future Directions’, special issue of Humanities, 8. Piper, A. (2017), ‘Think Small: On Literary Modeling’, PMLA, 132: 651–8. Rowe, K., ed. (2010), ‘Shakespeare and New Media’, Special Issue of Shakespeare Quarterly, 61. Shakespeare, W. ([1998] 2001), The Arden Shakespeare Complete Works, ed. R. Proudfoot, A. Thompson, and D. S. Kastan, rev. ed., London: The Arden Shakespeare. Sharpe, W. (2013), ‘Authorship and Attribution’, in J. Bate and E. Rasmussen (eds), William Shakespeare and Others: Collaborative Plays, 641–745, New York: Palgrave. Snyder, S. (2002), Shakespeare: A Wayward Journey, Cranbury: Associated University Presses. Spevack, M. (1968–80), A Complete and Systematic Concordance to the Works of Shakespeare, 9 vols, Hildesheim: Georg Olms. Steggle, M. (2014), ‘The Cruces of Measure for Measure and EEBO-TCP’, Review of English Studies, 65: 438–55. Steggle, M. (2015), Digital Humanities and the Lost Drama of Early Modern England: Ten Case Studies, Farnham: Ashgate. Tarlinskaja, M. (2014), Shakespeare and the Versification of English Drama, 1561–1642, Burlington: Ashgate. Taylor, G. and R. Loughnane (2017), ‘The Canon and Chronology of Shakespeare’s Works’, in G. Taylor and G. Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Authorship Companion, 417–602, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Teague, F. (1991), Shakespeare’s Speaking Properties, Cranbury: Associated University Presses. Tillyard, E. M. (1944), Shakespeare’s History Plays, London: Chatto & Windus. Warren, C., dir. (2012–), Six Degrees of Francis Bacon. Available online: www. sixdegreesoffrancisbacon.com (accessed 1 July 2019). Widmann, R. L. (1971), ‘The Computer in Historical Collation: Use of the IBM 360/75 in Collating Multiple Editions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, in R. A. Wisbey (ed.), The Computer in Literary and Linguistic Research, 57–63, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Widmann, R. L. (1973), ‘Compositors and Editors of Shakespeare Editions’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 67: 389–400. Wilson, J. R. (2018), ‘Shakestats: Writing about Shakespeare between the Humanities and the Social Sciences’, Early Modern Literary Studies, 20: 4.1–38. Witmore, M., J. Hope and M. Gleicher (2016), ‘Digital Approaches to the Language of Shakespearean Tragedy’, in M. Neill (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Tragedy, 316–35, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

CHAPTER 4.3

Spiritual studies PETER ATKINSON

THE EMERGENCE OF SPIRITUAL STUDIES The publication in 2005 of Spiritual Shakespeares, edited by Ewan Fernie, drew attention to the emergence of spirituality as a type of critical theory (2005b). Hamlet’s observation that ‘There are more things in heaven and earth … / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy’ (1.5.174–5), as well as being one of that play’s most quoted lines, acknowledges the ‘spiritual’ as a proper category of enquiry. Indeed, Hamlet is the subject of two of the founding documents of current spiritual studies, Jacques Derrida’s Specters of Marx (1994)1 and Stephen Greenblatt’s Hamlet in Purgatory (2001). Fernie defines spirituality as being (or purporting to be) ‘the experience or knowledge of what is other and is ultimate’ and remarks that recent Shakespeare studies have ‘neglected the important metaphysical dimensions of Shakespeare’s text’ (2005a: 8). The neglect is not surprising: traditional concepts of spirituality or religion have struggled to survive in the face of advancing secularity. Much contemporary spirituality is too subjective, and much contemporary religion is too stridently anti-intellectual, to be much help in a serious reading of literary texts. It is, however, the texts themselves (in this case, Shakespeare’s texts) which have driven at any rate some scholars to adopt the notion of spiritual theory or spiritual studies.2 Spiritual theory means more than just a close attention to the spiritual or religious themes of the text. Of course, that close attention is important. The significance of baptism is relevant to the fate of both Shylock and Othello. The ceremony of ‘touching for the King’s evil’ in Macbeth casts a sacred light over the monarchy of Edward the Confessor. The duke’s withdrawal to the Forest of Arden in As You Like It draws on a rich tradition of Christian asceticism. The relationship of Measure for Measure to the Sermon on the Mount has long been noted. King John reflects the chronic medieval struggle of church and state for sovereignty. Besides this, the hundreds of biblical references scattered through the plays remind us of that stock of words and phrases which both Shakespeare and his audiences learned in church and which many readers today can only retrieve with difficulty.3 The inaccessibility of the religion of Shakespeare’s time is emphasized by the ‘new historicist’ school: a school which, as Fernie says, treats religion ‘as a complex reality of the early modern period and an important dimension of its historical alterity in relation to our own times’ (2005a: 24n1). ‘Complex’, certainly, but not

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so opaque as to doom the whole business of historical enquiry. There is, perhaps, a danger here of confusing the ‘alterity’ of the early modern period and our own with the ‘alterity’ which the modern non-believer feels in relation to the believer.4 Spiritual studies, however, is neither deterred nor confined by historicist studies. Fernie firmly defines it as a kind of ‘presentist’ theory: treating Shakespeare as ‘one whose dramatic explorations of spirituality can make a real contribution to contemporary debates and life’ (2005a: 2). There is, in other words, a proper reading of literary texts in the light of our current spiritual concerns. Referring to the ‘resurrection’ of Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Fernie asks if ‘humanity can be recreated on stage, perhaps it can be renovated off stage as well?’ (2005a: 5). That not only puts spirituality at the heart of literature but also puts literature at the heart of spirituality. However, it raises a doubt about the content of spirituality. If ‘dramatic explorations of spirituality’ really ‘make a real contribution to contemporary debates and life’, does spirituality have a sufficient solidity of function or purpose? After all, both Marxist and feminist readings of literary texts can draw upon a vast world of Marxist or feminist theory and practice. Does a corresponding world of spiritual theory and practice exist? Fernie (in the Introduction to the excellent collection of poems The Poet’s Quest for God) acknowledges the force of the question: is ‘unchurched spirituality’ ‘too privatized, self-serving and inchoate to be taken seriously, particularly in the context of the intense, sometimes murderous politicization of religion in global politics, at home and abroad’? Nonetheless, he says, ‘contemporary spirituality at least testifies to a widespread hunger for something more than ordinary life offers’ (2016: 20). Not surprisingly, given that spiritual theory has had to prove itself against predominantly materialist theories, most advocates of spiritual theory emphasize the difference between it and Christian theology or dogma. Fernie relates this to Shakespeare himself; Shakespeare, unlike Dante or Milton, ‘isn’t an orthodox or systematic religious thinker’ (2005a: 7). (We shall consider the relevance of Shakespeare’s personal beliefs later.) There seems, however, to be a deeper unease about letting spiritual theory get too close to theology. Turning to Fernie again: ‘One premise of Spiritual Shakespeares is that the speculative freedom and phenomenological appeal of imaginative literature offer special opportunities for the study of spirituality before it has hardened into institutional religious forms’ (2005a: 10). I would be more convinced by this distinction had Fernie not already referred to Dante and Milton, quite rightly in my view, as orthodox and systematic thinkers. The relationship of the imaginative and the systematic is more complex than that of spontaneity on the one hand and sclerosis on the other. Nonetheless, some recent critics have given an avowedly theological reading of Shakespeare. Richard Kearney concludes a survey of classic readings of Hamlet, including Kierkegaard, Freud, and Derrida with a consideration of René Girard’s Theater of Envy (Kearney 2005: 180–4). Girard traces a ‘re-iterative cycle’ of ‘mimetic revenge’ through the play as a kind of original sin perpetuating itself down the generations, brought to an ‘eschatological affirmation’ not by Hamlet but by Fortinbras (Kearney 2005: 180). Hamlet, according to Girard, should be read as a ‘quintessentially moral and Christian play’ (Kearney 2005: 182). This does not mean

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that Hamlet is a work of Christian propaganda, either in Shakespeare’s mind or in Girard’s. Girard draws our attention to a body of spiritual theory (in this case, it is the Christian doctrine of redemption) which, he argues, assists our understanding of the text.

SPIRITUAL COMMUNITIES Just as it makes no sense to speak of a belief or a theory which has not, at some time or other, been held by someone, it makes no sense to speak of spirituality divorced from the individuals or communities who believe it or practise it. However ‘privatized, self-serving and inchoate’ it may appear (Fernie 2016: 20), there can be no spirituality without practitioners. This has several implications for a discussion of spiritual literary theory. The first is that contemporary advocates of spiritual studies have to deal not only with spiritual themes in literary texts but also with individuals and communities for whom those themes were or are living realities. Take the example of the doctrine of purgatory, which Greenblatt explores in relation to Hamlet in his seminal work (2001). In Shakespeare’s day, purgatory was an intensely controversial issue, but the way it was understood in the early seventeenth century differed from the way Dante had conceived it three centuries earlier, which differed in turn from how Saxo Grammaticus, one source for the story of Hamlet, might have imagined it a century before that. This differs again from the way in which John Henry Newman treated it in The Dream of Gerontius, which is different again from how it would be discussed today. The literary critic has to know which purgatory is which. Literary critics have to be particularly careful if they themselves positively believe or disbelieve in purgatory. And all of this is apart from the question (perhaps relevant, perhaps not) of whether Shakespeare himself believed or disbelieved in any of these purgatories. A second point to observe in relation to the spiritual beliefs or practices held by individuals or communities over time is the extent to which they have been theorized. Not all spiritual communities have considered thinking to be important, let alone systematic thinking. Some, however, have; and in these cases a particular spiritual belief may have been developed into a very sophisticated theory. This is all the more so if it has been forged in the fire of controversy: the doctrine of purgatory is a good example. It follows from this that the developed beliefs and practices of spiritual communities are themselves the proper subject of academic study. A quick survey of Greenblatt’s Hamlet in Purgatory (2001), or again The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve (2017) by the same author, shows the extent of his debt to biblical scholars, theologians, church historians and liturgiologists. I asked the question above whether there was a body of spiritual theory and practice that corresponded to the body of Marxist or feminist theory drawn upon by Marxist or feminist literary critics. The answer is the entire world of the history and study of religions. There is a world of scholarship beyond the literary with which the student of spiritual studies must engage. There are scholars whose professional trajectory has been the study of religion rather than that of literature who nonetheless

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practise literary scholarship of a high order. Alongside Greenblatt’s study of Christian themes from a literary background, one could set Bernhard Lang, with a background in biblical studies, whose works include Joseph in Egypt: A Cultural Icon from Grotius to Goethe (2009) and Heaven: A History (1988). However much one may sympathize with the impulse to concentrate on spirituality ‘before it has hardened into institutional religious forms’ (Fernie 2005a: 10), in the end, it is a distinction which it is difficult to maintain. But if it is any consolation to the advocate of ‘the speculative freedom and phenomenological appeal of imaginative literature’ (Fernie 2005a: 10), those hardened religious forms turn out to be more imaginatively rich and more confusedly fluid the closer one looks at them.

SACRED WRITING The great religions of the world have their sacred writings. For the most part, these texts are not formulated statements of doctrine so much as stories, myths, poems, hymns, sagas, biographies, proverbs and wise sayings; the imaginative, the figurative and the narrative predominate over the theoretical. Different as these texts are from one another, it is remarkable how different religious traditions treasure their scriptures in comparable ways, even in the respect they give to the books or scrolls in which the scriptures are inscribed. Sacred scripture, in whatever religion, is essentially something read, recited, sung or performed. Sacred scripture begins not with the solitary scholar or the individual believer but with the community gathered to listen to the sacred text. In Shakespeare’s time, the printing and circulation of bibles for personal use was still a relative novelty, whereas the liturgical reading of the Bible in church had fifteen centuries of practice behind it, from the days when St Paul’s latest epistle arrived in Corinth or the Fourth Gospel was first read aloud in the church at Ephesus. In both of those places, the early Christians knew (and abhorred) the pagan dramas that were enacted in the great theatres, but over time the liturgical and increasingly dramatic enactment of the Christian scriptures gave birth to a new form of European theatre. By Shakespeare’s day this had moved out of church, detached itself from the liturgy, become profane as well as profound, but it never lost its rootedness in sacred performance. Shakespeare’s attunement to the cadences of the English Bible began at school and in church in Stratford. As a Christian priest, one of my duties on a Sunday is to read aloud a passage from the Bible and then to preach on it. Sermon preparation begins with a study of the text, perhaps in the original language and with the help of commentaries, and moves on through personal reflection to deciding what is to be said to the congregation. The purpose of the sermon is to steep the congregation in the text and then to encourage them to see how the text can change their life or even their world. This is a roundabout way of saying that spiritual communities with sacred scriptures are not only theatrical communities but schools of presentist literary theory. The text exists in its own time, but it is there to be brought alive in our own time and to make a difference to our time. I do not mean that when I read or perform Shakespeare (as I do) I treat it as

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sacred scripture, nor do I seek to extract Christian ‘meanings’ that go against the grain of the text. I do mean that a ‘presentist’ reading of the text of Shakespeare comes naturally to one whose business is the study and exposition of the Bible.

SHAKESPEARE’S SPIRITUALITY There is perhaps another insight which may be offered to spiritual studies from the perspective of a lived religious faith. It is to do with what Shakespeare himself did or did not believe. For the historian, all aspects of Shakespeare’s life are important, including this one, though it is difficult to see, without significant new evidence, how the question of his religion can finally be resolved.5 The real question is what counts as evidence. Too often, conclusions are deduced from the text, based on the assumption that an author will consciously or otherwise express their own beliefs in the actions or words of their characters or in the unfolding of the plot. This is a very difficult position to sustain consistently. In some cases it is clear, because enough is known of the author’s life: Donne and Herbert and Eliot and Auden were Christians; Shelley and Swinburne and Housman were not; and they make plain in their poetry their faith or lack of it. But others do not make it plain. Boethius, a Christian, wrote The Consolation of Philosophy in his prison cell, awaiting death, but he avoided any explicit statement of his Christian faith. Kahlil Gibran, the author of The Prophet, one of the most quoted and translated books of all time, is often assumed, on account of his Arabic name and the title of the book, to have been a Muslim, and there is nothing in the book to tell us that he was in fact a Maronite Christian. J.  R.  R. Tolkien, a devout Roman Catholic, drew on the myths and sagas of northern Europe for his monumental work of fiction, but without bringing Christianity into the story, and while many critics have traced in The Lord of the Rings themes that are consistent with a Christian faith, it would be difficult to argue that the book could not have been written except by a Christian. Iris Murdoch’s novels deal explicitly with many Christian themes, but is it possible from the novels alone to trace the moment at which she herself moved decisively away from faith? Poets and playwrights and novelists write the books they do, and the extent to which they reveal or conceal their personal faith is part of their artistry. The consummate artist will draw on the raw material of their own and others’ beliefs, but their aim is storytelling, not propaganda. It is the mark of Shakespeare’s art that he eludes the most persistent efforts to make him talk about himself.

HENRY V In 2003 a coalition of forces, led by the United States and including the United Kingdom, invaded Iraq to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein. In 2009 the then prime minister, Gordon Brown, announced a public inquiry into the role of the United Kingdom in the invasion, the report of which was published in 2016. It was highly critical of the role of the United Kingdom and of the prime minister at the time, Tony Blair. The invasion of Iraq and its aftermath brought into close public

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scrutiny the nature of war in the modern world, the moral and legal justification for it and the criteria used for such a justification. All this comes inescapably to mind when we consider Shakespeare’s Henry V.6 Fernie notes the significance of Henry’s use of religion as propaganda and how it comes back to haunt him (2005a: 8). David Ruiter explores the theme further in ‘Harry’s (In)human Face’. Ruiter sees Henry as attempting to turn to God on the eve of battle (2005: 66). Approaching the play from another perspective, Christopher Warren writes on the place of international law in the play: anachronistic for the early fifteenth century but highly topical for the late sixteenth. He posits a direct connection between Shakespeare and the Italian jurist and theologian Alberico Gentili, whose works are echoed in Captain Fluellen’s insistence on the rules of war (Warren 2017).7 In the following case study I propose a connected ‘spiritual’ reading of the play which places Harry’s motivation for the war, the role of his spiritual advisers, the wrestling with his conscience before God and his conduct in the light of international law (as understood in Shakespeare’s day) at the heart of the play, which arguably makes it more a tragedy than a history. The first moment in this ‘connected reading’ is Henry V 1.1, where the bishops confer before they meet the king. The bishops agree to urge Henry to invade France to distract him from a proposed parliamentary tax on the church. In other words, from the start of the play, the justification for war is compromised by the venal advice of the king’s spiritual counsellors. In 1.2 the bishops duly urge Henry to go to war, with long-winded justifications from the distant past. In Olivier’s film of Henry V, scene 1 is omitted and scene 2 is played as farce, but this is to miss the point of Henry’s earnest words to the archbishop: And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord, That you should fashion, wrest or bow your reading … For God doth know how many now in health Shall drop their blood in approbation Of what your reverence shall incite us to. (1.2.13–20) Of course, Henry longs to go to war; but he also genuinely longs to be certain that it is right to do so.8 He places himself in the hands of his spiritual advisers, and he stakes his actions on their assurance of the divine justice of his cause. He insists upon it to the Dauphin: We are no tyrant, but a Christian king, Unto whose grace our passion is as subject As is our wretches fettered in our prisons. (1.2.242–4) Thus warlike Harry goes to France, serene in the knowledge that his cause is just. Is it the thrill of the assault on Harfleur that changes him? His address to the men of Harfleur, threatening the rape of their daughters and the massacre of their infants, is not that of a Christian king but of a tyrant. And yet the more he is gripped by the momentum of war, the more he doubts himself. Doubt certainly surfaces on

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the night before the battle, when the common soldier Michael Williams voices his doubts for him: But if the cause be not good, the King himself hath a heavy reckoning to make when all those legs and arms and heads chopped off in a battle shall join together at the latter day and cry all ‘We died at such a place’, some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. … Now if these men do not die well it will be a black matter for the King, that led them to it, who to disobey were against all proportion of subjection. (4.1.132–44) Doubt recurs on the morning of the battle, stirred by the memory of his father’s rebellion against Richard II: Not today, O Lord, O not today, think not upon the fault My father made in compassing the crown. I Richard’s body have interred new, And on it have bestowed more contrite tears Than from it issued forced drops of blood. Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay, Who twice a day their withered hands hold up Toward heaven to pardon blood; and I have built Two chantries, where the sad and solemn priests Sing still for Richard’s soul. More will I do, Though all that I can do is nothing worth, Since that my penitence comes after all, Imploring pardon. (4.1.288–301) Is his cause just? That was the question he had posed in all earnestness to his spiritual counsellors at the outset, and his nagging doubts suggest that he knows they deceived him. All that is left to him is bravado, courage, stirring speech-making and the hope of victory. If God gives him victory, all will be well. When Henry wins the battle, he can be sure that God has been ‘for Harry’ all along: O God, thy arm was here; And not to us but to thy arm alone Ascribe we all. When, without stratagem, But in plain shock and even play of battle, Was ever known so great and little loss On one part and on th’other? Take it, God, For it is none but thine. (4.8.105–11) We miss the complexity of Henry’s mind and motivation if we do not feel his doubts as much as his derring-do, and if we do not recognize the lack of self-knowledge in his prayer that God will make it all come right.

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And yet there is another narrative running alongside Henry’s heroics and selfabasements. Its voice is the absurd, pompous, loquacious Captain Fluellen, selfappointed spokesman of the ‘disciplines of the wars’ (3.2.98–9), the fool of the play who speaks the fool’s truth to Henry’s power, even though he does it for the most part in absentia. For Captain Fluellen has read the works of Alberico Gentili (1552–1608), Regius Professor of Civil Law at Oxford from 1587. Gentili published De armis Romanis in two parts in 1590 and 1599, the latter the probable year of the writing of Henry V. Fluellen’s citation of ‘the disciplines of the wars, the Roman wars’ in Henry V (3.2.98–9) is unmistakable (Gentili 2011). Just war theory has a long pedigree. A just war is not a holy war or a crusade. It is a war which is judged by a proper authority to be justified in certain circumstances. In European thought, the idea of a just war originated with Augustine (354–430) and was substantially developed by Thomas Aquinas (1225–74). Aquinas elaborated three criteria: that a war must be waged by proper authority (the state); that it must be for a just purpose; that the ultimate aim must be the restoration of peace. This may be said to be the doctrine of the Catholic Church for the remainder of the middle ages, and it would have been recognized as such in the time of Henry V. In the sixteenth century, Aquinas’s teaching was refined by the School of Salamanca, a gathering of Spanish and Portuguese theologians and jurists of whom the Dominican Francisco de Vitoria (1483–1546) was the most notable. Vitoria and his colleagues were responding to the challenges of Renaissance humanism, the Protestant reformation, and the discovery and colonization of the New World. They focused attention on the natural rights of human beings, challenging the prevailing European view that the indigenous American peoples had no rights, and they extended Aquinas’s criteria for a just war to include the following: a reasonable prospect of success; the proportionate use of violence (no more than necessary to achieve the aim); the protection of civilians and hostages; the exploration of all other avenues before war is declared. The next well-known name in the development of just war theory is that of Hugo Grotius (1583–1645), regarded as the founder of international law. But Alberico Gentili represents an important intermediate step between Vitoria and Grotius, which brings the story closer to Shakespeare. An Italian protestant, Gentili fled the Inquisition and made his home in England. He was appointed Regius Professor of Civil Law by the University Chancellor, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. He also practised as a lawyer in London and was buried in St Helen’s, Bishopsgate, Shakespeare’s own parish in the 1580s. At the height of the battle, Henry orders the killing of all prisoners (4.6.37), an act of brutality discussed and condemned in chapter 26 of Gentili’s De armis Romanis: ‘I cannot praise the English who, in that famous battle in which they overthrew the power of France, having taken more prisoners than the number of their victorious army … set aside those of high rank and slew the rest’ (Warren 2017: 716). As for Fluellen, he is appalled, though his protest is lost in a swirl of his own irrelevancies about Alexander the Great. Shakespeare buries his moral point deep in the flood of Fluellen’s verbiage, but the point is there: Henry has become not a hero but a tyrant or, as some have suggested, a war criminal (Warren 2017: 709).

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Norman Rabkin explores this ambiguity and wonders whether it reflects a spiritual struggle in Shakespeare himself (1977). Whether that is so or not, I suggest that a specifically spiritual reading of the play takes us beyond a simple binary of Christian hero and Machiavellian tyrant. This is a play about spiritual self-delusion, a young king’s genuine but unrewarded quest for certainty which sweeps him into the kind of unjust war from which he was at the outset so anxious to be absolved. It takes, perhaps, a spiritual reading of the play to bring out the full contrast between the bishops, who in their wisdom culpably fail to give the moral counsel that Henry asks for, and Fluellen, who in his foolishness nonetheless draws attention to the authority of international law. Shakespeare depicts a king who longed to believe that God would vindicate him, come what may, and that in the grace of victory all would be pardoned. God’s victory would be both vindication and forgiveness. None of this, however, takes account of the Epilogue: Fortune made his sword By which the world’s best garden be achieved, And of it left his son imperial lord. Henry the Sixth, in infant bands crowned King Of France and England, did this king succeed; Whose state so many had the managing That they lost France … (Epilogue 6–12; emphasis mine) If Shakespeare anywhere steps out of the wings to utter his own judgement on Henry, it is here. The war was a failure. The victory of Agincourt was short-lived. In the succeeding reign, the king of France and Joan of Arc swept the English from their land, and in Shakespeare’s time the English claim to the crown of France had become an empty formality. Shakespeare took the tale of a gallant English king and a famous victory and re-told it with bravado, but he sowed it with doubt, the doubts of an Italian jurist who laid the foundations of international law, voiced by a comic foot-soldier who spoke more wisely than he knew. Spiritually, it is the story of a king thirsty for martial glory, who seeks to bend God to his agenda, encouraged by a corrupt religious establishment. God never speaks, never intervenes, but he leaves it to the playwright in the words of the Epilogue to erase the victory for which Henry had so desperately prayed.

CONCLUSION Spiritual studies draws attention to an intrinsic dimension of literature; in this case, the works of Shakespeare. It sits well with Shakespeare’s use of religious ideas and images, even though his personal spirituality remains elusive. Spiritual studies, however, is more than a historical analysis of an author’s use of spiritual ideas. In the spirit of ‘presentism’, it awakens resonances between the text and the present time. Spirituality does not occupy a vacuum; it is the way both individuals and communities think, feel, celebrate and mourn. Spiritual studies is therefore a dialogue

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between the interpreters of literary texts and the ‘practitioners’ of spirituality, not least in the cases where a well-rooted spiritual tradition has a cherished collection of sacred scriptures and its own developed body of theory. Spiritual studies is only ever a response to the text. Its justification lies in the extent the text is illuminated by its insights.

NOTES 1. Derrida’s contribution to what has been called the ‘religious turn’ in contemporary French philosophy is traced by Richard Kearney (2009: 167–83). 2. Nothing is invented for the first time. The emergence of spiritual studies may lead to the rediscovery of an older generation of critics, such as George Wilson Knight (1897– 1985), professor of literature, successively, at Toronto and Leeds. Alongside his wellknown works, such as The Wheel of Fire (1949), he published a collection of studies of Dante, Shakespeare and Goethe, The Christian Renaissance (1962). 3. See, for example, Naseeb Shaheen’s books on biblical references in Shakespeare (1987; 1989; 1993). 4. I put it, contentiously, this way round because the believer lives in a world dominated by non-religious norms. The believer is more exposed to the non-believer’s world than vice versa. 5. Most recently, Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, has written a play, Shakeshafte, performed in 2016, giving Shakespeare a Catholic background; the same year saw the publication of Graham Holderness’s book The Faith of William Shakespeare (2016), which locates Shakespeare as a thoroughgoing Protestant. 6. The comparison of Henry V’s invasion of France and George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq is explored in Evelyn Gajowski’s ‘“Mirror[s] of All Christian Kings”: Hank Cinq and George Deux’ (2009: 63–87). 7. See also Christopher Warren (2015: 128–9), where, however, he seems to see Fluellen as a merely comic character. 8. In the BBC television series The Hollow Crown, Tim Hiddleston plays a more searching and earnest Henry V. The conversation of the cynical bishops is retained.

REFERENCES Derrida, J. (1994), Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning, and the New International, trans. P. Kamuf, London: Routledge. Fernie, E., ed. (2005a), ‘Introduction: Shakespeare, Spirituality and Contemporary Criticism’, in Spiritual Shakespeares, 1–27, London: Routledge. Fernie, E., ed. (2005b), Spiritual Shakespeares, London: Routledge. Fernie E. (2016), ‘Introduction’, in O. Brennan and T. Swift with K. Davio and C. Myddleton-Evans (eds), The Poet’s Quest for God, 19–30, London: Eyewear. Gajowski, E., ed. (2009), ‘“Mirror[s] of All Christian Kings”: Hank Cinq and George Deux’, in Presentism, Gender and Sexuality in Shakespeare, 63–87, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Gentili, A. (2011), The Wars of the Romans: A Critical Edition and Translation of ‘De armis Romanis’, ed. B. Kingsbury and B. Straumann, trans. D. Lupher, New York: Oxford University Press. Girard, R. (1991), A Theater of Envy, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Greenblatt, S. (2001), Hamlet in Purgatory, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Greenblatt, S. (2017), The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve, London: Bodley Head. Holderness, G. (2016), The Faith of William Shakespeare, Oxford: Lion Hudson. Kearney, R. (2005), ‘Spectres of Hamlet’, in E. Fernie (ed.), Spiritual Shakespeares, 157–85, London: Routledge. Kearney, R. (2009), ‘Returning to God after God: Levinas, Derrida, Ricoeur’, Research in Phenomenology, 39: 167–83. Knight, G. Wilson ([1930] 1949), The Wheel of Fire, rev. edn, London: Methuen. Knight, G. Wilson ([1933] 1962), The Christian Renaissance, rev. edn, London: Methuen. Lang, B. (1988), Heaven: A History, New Haven: Yale University Press. Lang, B. (2009), Joseph in Egypt: A Cultural Icon from Grotius to Goethe, New Haven: Yale University Press. Rabkin, N. (1977), ‘Rabbits, Ducks, and Henry V’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 28: 279–96. Ruiter, D. (2005), ‘Harry’s (In)human Face’, in E. Fernie (ed.), Spiritual Shakespeares, 50–72, London: Routledge. Shaheen, N. (1987), Biblical References in Shakespeare’s Tragedies, Newark: University of Delaware Press. Shaheen, N. (1989), Biblical References in Shakespeare’s History Plays, Newark: University of Delaware Press. Shaheen, N. (1993), Biblical References in Shakespeare’s Comedies, Newark: University of Delaware Press. Shakespeare, W. (2011), Henry V, in R. Proudfoot, A. Thompson and D. S. Kastan (eds), The Arden Shakespeare Complete Works, London: Arden Shakespeare. Warren, C. (2015), Literature and the Law of Nations 1580–1680, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Warren, C. (2017), ‘Henry V, Anachronism, and the History of International Law’, in L. Hutson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature 1500–1700, 709–22, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Williams, R. (2016), ‘Shakeshafte’, Critical Survey 25: 43–87.

CHAPTER 4.4

Presentist studies MIGUEL RAMALHETE GOMES

Presentism can be as elusive and as broad a concept as that of the present itself. Difficult to pinpoint as a set of repeatable practices, let alone a list of favoured themes, this is because presentism is not a category on the same level as postcolonialism, gender studies or Marxist literary criticism. On the one hand, it appeared from within Shakespeare studies and it has yet to expand beyond it. On the other hand, presentism is instead on the level of historicism: as an enabling, but comparatively empty, category, it is in fact an epistemological theory (Pechter 2003: 522) rather than a set of themes. In short, presentism considers the role of Shakespeare in the present, but instead of looking at the present as an obstacle to be removed in order to access the early modern past, it crucially understands this critical, theoretical and political present as an inescapable and enabling factor in making meaning with Shakespeare. After a brief mention of earlier forms of presentism, this chapter will trace the genealogy of presentism back to 1980s cultural materialism, namely in the groundbreaking work of Terence Hawkes, with his focus on the ideological inflections of earlier Shakespeare criticism. This turn was later importantly supplemented by Hugh Grady’s formalization and synthesis of the concept in a series of studies from the 1990s onwards. Several volumes authored or edited by Hawkes, Grady, Evelyn Gajowski, Ewan Fernie, Linda Charnes, Cary DiPietro and others have, in the meantime, brought about a series of ever-widening inflections, from gender and sexuality to ecology, performance and textuality, among other twenty-first-century political and critical concerns. This considerable elasticity and the broadening of themes under the general aegis of presentism – and its growing consolidation as an operative field of theory and criticism – should, however, serve to alert us to the need for a definition, lest we risk extending it to the point of irrelevance. To position presentism as a category alongside historicism is not to place one against the other, as it has seemed to many due to the use of the word ‘presentism’ in philosophy and the social sciences, where it means radically different things from presentism in the study of Shakespeare. In fact, rather than reject the nuanced historicist approaches which, for the last forty years, have repositioned Shakespeare in his own context, it will be argued that presentism has sought instead to complement historicist work with an equally complex awareness of the importance of the critic’s own context in shaping Shakespearean criticism. More of a metatheoretical approach than a theory to be put into practice according to well-defined

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guidelines, presentism’s provocative exploration of theoretical issues related to the concepts of historicity, anachronism and temporality has consistently challenged the ways in which we have been making ‘meaning by Shakespeare’, thereby inspiring some of the finest Shakespeare criticism of the past decades. This way of making ‘meaning by Shakespeare’ will, at the end of the chapter, be exemplified through a case study of what meanings were made through Shakespeare’s contribution to Sir Thomas More in 2016, in the context of the refugee crisis and of the Brexit referendum.

HISTORICIZING PRESENTISM A critical perspective cannot be defined without some account of its history, which is to say that to define must also be to historicize. This means understanding how presentism came out of the contextualisms that became dominant in Shakespeare studies in the 1980s. Presentism already existed, as a pejorative concept applied to teleological readings of the past at the service of present interests, quite some time before new historicism and cultural materialism made their appearance. Sharon O’Dair has noted that the OED records the first use of the word in 1916 (O’Dair 2011: 71), and Herbert Butterfield, though not using the word itself, had attacked the idea in the form of the ‘myth of progress’ in The Whig Interpretation of History ([1931] 1965). With David Hackett Fischer, however, the word ‘presentism’ was formalized as a historical fallacy (1970: 135–40). Presentism therefore traditionally referred to a form of historical writing that did away with historical difference by indifferently imposing its way of thinking on the past (Grady 2005: 114). An account of the historical contributions to what became presentism cannot avoid the figure of Jan Kott, the author of Shakespeare Our Contemporary ([1961] 1974). According to presentist critic Hugh Grady, ‘Kott is the father of contemporary Presentist criticism in Shakespeare studies’ (2012: 12). Although Kott was strongly repudiated by later academic critics, his relevance in this context lies in his insistence on ‘the inevitable situatedness of his position as a reader of Shakespeare’ (Nicolaescu 2012: 138). Grady’s signalling of Kott as a predecessor finds confirmation in Kott’s proto-presentist statements: ‘Every historical period finds in [Shakespeare] what it is looking for and what it wants to see. A reader or spectator in the midtwentieth century interprets Richard III through his own experiences. He cannot do otherwise’ (Kott 1974: 5), but presentist critics have avoided Kott’s generalizing views, especially his anti-historicism. The immediate roots of presentism can, instead, be found in the 1980s. As many have since pointed out, when new historicism and cultural materialism relaunched the historicist enterprise back in the 1980s, their purpose and strengths were often openly presentist (Grady 1993: 33; Belsey 2007: 27–45). In fact, from a presentist point of view, Lucy Munro has argued, ‘the problem with new historicism is not that it was too “presentist” … but that it was not presentist enough’ (2011: 115). It is worth noting how Stephen Greenblatt, for instance, when writing about early modern culture, influentially made use of Clifford Geerz’s anthropological account of Balinese cockfights in the 1960s, and how Jonathan Dollimore and Alan

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Sinfield’s preface to their ground-breaking 1985 collection, Political Shakespeare, programmatically stated: ‘this book discusses also the institutions through which Shakespeare is reproduced and through which interventions may be made in the present’ (1994: viii). Whereas most new historicist work was later increasingly circumscribed to the early modern period, cultural materialists pursued their initial commitment to the present.

CONTEMPORARY HISTORY The work of Terence Hawkes during the 1980s and 1990s aligned him with cultural materialism, but with noticeable differences. Hawkes’s variety of cultural materialism combined text and context with unusual deftness and infinite jest, meandering through the lives and ideological underpinnings of ‘Eminent Shakespeareans’ (as his That Shakespeherian Rag: Essays on a Critical Process, from 1986, was nearly called), each essay a critical performance showing great sensibility to the inseparable textuality and historicity of Shakespeare and his critical and popular fortunes. His comparison between the practice of criticism and jazz drew on their joint basis in the unservile art of interpretation, as opposed to mere service to or celebration of ‘the Bard’ (Hawkes 1986: 118). By 1992, in Meaning by Shakespeare, Hawkes’s postmodern playfulness became articulated in the much-quoted statement that ‘We use [the plays] in order to generate meaning … Shakespeare doesn’t mean: we mean by Shakespeare’ (1992: 3). Although he focused especially on modernist critics of Shakespeare, his own position was clearly postmodernist, combining multiple temporalities – not just a hypostatized past and present dialectic, as some critics have argued (Salkeld 2009: 37) – to weave a complex pattern of cultural fragments centred around the critic’s position in the present. Hawkes was, however, articulating an important principle of what became presentism: the idea that one needed to pay considerably more attention to one’s own position as a critic. This meant accepting the notion that what had been consistently applied to Shakespeare also applied to his readers; that is, just as Shakespeare was historically determined, so too were readers and critics determined by their history when interpreting him. However, only in Shakespeare in the Present (2002) does Hawkes begin to mention presentism as a theory, and this combination with his already distinctive handling of unusually related cultural texts made it one of the classics of Shakespearean presentism. His critique of David Scott Kastan’s view of theory as a contaminant by going back to historicism’s foremost figure, the nineteenth-century German historian Leopold von Ranke; his mock-heroic claim to rescue history from scholars believing they could touch it unsullied by present concerns; his inversion of Greenblatt’s desire to speak with the dead by aiming instead to talk to the living; his insistence on preposterous inversions by asking about the influence of Marx and Freud on Shakespeare; his soothing of potential critics of what might be seen as a postmodernist free-for-all by pointing out that presentism did not imply that facts and texts did not exist; the already familiar focus on what a play does – its performative dimension – rather than on what it refers to; even the unsystematic, essay-like exploration of the junctions

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between theory and historical anecdote (though Hawkes’s anecdotes were no longer early modern but taken from the present) – all these traits were picked up by later presentist critics as repeatable manoeuvres that might go on to make up ‘presentism’. Although Hawkes influenced presentist writing in the first decade of the millennium, his procedure was unique and ultimately gave way to forms of writing that were more conventional in disciplinary terms. However, Hawkes’s rationale for presentism still resonates today: arguing that the ‘centre of gravity’ of the critic ought to be ‘“now”, rather than “then”’, he dispels the notion of a presentism assuming a mere identity between past and present, while defending the importance of historical difference against bardolatrous claims of universality. Referring to presentism, he argues that Its project is scrupulously to seek out salient aspects of the present as a crucial trigger for its investigations. Reversing, to some degree, the stratagems of new historicism, it deliberately begins with the material present and allows that to set its interrogative agenda. Perhaps this simply makes overt what covertly happens anyway. (2002: 22) Hawkes traced his adoption of the word and theory of ‘presentism’ back to recent comments by David Scott Kastan and Robin Headlam Wells that had been dismissive or critical of presentism. In the latter case, this was done by focusing on the work of Hugh Grady, who had been using the idea at least since the early 1990s and the word ‘presentism’ since shortly after that, thus converting the word’s bad reputation into a positive quality. Although in a different manner, Grady had also been working throughout the 1990s on projects close to Hawkes’s. His 1991 The Modernist Shakespeare produced a survey of Anglo-American modernist criticism of Shakespeare which immediately announced that it would not really contribute to knowledge of ‘Shakespeare himself’ or ‘the plays themselves’, instead arguing that ‘All interpretation bears within it the imprint of the moment of history in which it is undertaken; but equally, the past only takes on meaning through the inescapable present’ (1991: 1–2). His own narrative ended in the present moment, with postmodernism, which was shown to characterize new historicist studies of Shakespeare (1991: 229). Postmodernist themes, such as fragmentation and decentred subjectivities, could also be clearly found in Grady’s own combination of French theory with Frankfurt School Marxism. Grady’s insistence on the present of the critic found cogent demonstration in his archaeology of paradigmatic critical attitudes and opinions belonging firmly in the twentieth century. In Shakespeare’s Universal Wolf: Studies in Early Modern Reification (1996), this more discreet way of proceeding gave way to an avowedly postmodernist work that polemicized against an increasingly dominant and conventional historicism – defanged in both political and disciplinary terms – on its way to becoming positivist and antiquarian. Instead, Grady proposed a straightforward ‘presentist’ self-situation in the Postmodernist era on the grounds that there is no other choice … It is necessary not to give up historicism, however, but to contextualize it. Indeed, at the present juncture in Renaissance

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and Shakespeare studies, it seems no longer viable to be simply presentist or to be simply historicist. (1996: 7) It is worth noticing how Grady was in fact not opposing presentism to historicism – an opposition which is mistakenly thought to exist as a founding gesture of presentism. Grady’s critique of historicism was a critique of how the historicism of his time had bottled up its postmodern context, so that, as Ewan Fernie would argue, the present became historicism’s repressed unconscious (2005b: 174). However, since ‘there is no historicism that does not imply a latent presentism’ (Grady 2005: 115), one would need to accept that ‘historicism itself necessarily produces an implicit allegory of the present in its configurations of the past’ (Grady 2002: 2). The presentism that was being proposed here thus meant historicizing and acknowledging the critic’s own theoretical underpinnings, instead of disguising them behind the pretence that the past was being accessed with as little postmodern interference as possible (Grady 1996: 213). In fact, this meant understanding presentism as an extension of historicism, though truer to new historicism and cultural materialism’s original political and theoretical edge.

THEORY AND ENABLEMENT Criticism of Grady’s position soon followed. Critics of this and of later presentist work pointed out that it was disingenuous and unfair to pretend that previous criticism had been unaware of its historical situatedness. Among others, Robin Headlam Wells would mention or quote historicists writing decades before new historicism and frankly acknowledging that the present coloured one’s accounts of the past; to this Wells added that what presentists argued about the situatedness of the critic was hardly a novelty; in fact, it was said to be trivial (Wells 2000: 44–6). Similar arguments were made by David Scott Kastan (1999: 13) – whose Shakespeare after Theory went on to become the favoured target of many a presentist – and John Holbo (2008: 1098–100). Other critics added that the presentist project was impossible, since the present could not be known in historical terms (Sedinger 2007: 461), that it exhibited self-righteousness (Schalkwyk 2005: 3) or that presentists revealed ‘an over inflated sense of the political efficacy of the critic’ (Streete 2008: 406). What Wells, Kastan and others crucially failed to understand about presentism was that situatedness was not being presented as something that one ought to acknowledge so that it could be left behind in an effort to more objectively capture a sense of the past; situatedness was instead an enabling factor. As Hawkes would put it, ‘The present ranks, not as an obstacle to be avoided, nor as a prison to be escaped from. Quite the reverse: it’s a factor actively to be sought for, grasped and perhaps, as a result, understood’ (2002: 3). It was this different attitude towards the present which significantly changed the meaning of acknowledging one’s position. Indeed, as Evelyn Gajowski would later argue, this was a matter of ethical responsibility, of owning up to the meanings that we construct in Shakespeare’s texts and culture rather than projecting the authority of those

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constructions – our authority – elsewhere – on the author, the author’s culture, the author’s monarch, the unbearable weight of four centuries’ of theatrical and critical tradition. (2010: 686) Against Kastan, who had announced a return to the basis of material culture and a ‘Shakespeare after theory’, presentists began by pointing out that this shift from ‘cultural materialism’ to ‘materialism’ and from theory to post-theory implied a considerable depoliticization and a return to both positivism and the commodity fetishism of antiquarian historicism under the flawed belief that an objective or factual account of the past might be obtained simply by archival work (Grady 2005: 110–13). Instead, presentists crucially insisted not only on theorizing their work but also on making explicit their use of theory in general. This use of theory as a marker of the intellectual present, in fact a mark of the presentist, meant the potential annexation of entire critical fields, and this was already clear in Grady and Hawkes’s introduction to the 2007 collection Presentist Shakespeares, in which the editors argue that ‘several modes of critical practice already in existence, such as feminist criticism, post-colonial criticism, and performance studies, can be said to be presentist in principle if not in name’ (Grady and Hawkes 2007: 5). As implications go, arguing that previous forms of critical practice might be considered presentist after the fact could be both vacuous and resonant. On the one hand, ‘presentism’ was treated as a quality inherent to a series of critical texts independently of whether they called themselves presentist or not. This strategy risked opening up the field of presentism to the point of the label’s irrelevance, both dissolving the uniqueness of criticism that did call itself presentist and serving as a possible irritant to authors who were told that they were being (perhaps unwittingly) presentist after all. On the other hand, this allowed presentism to fill an otherwise empty category, as had been the case with historicism.

THE CHALLENGES OF PLURALITY This use of presentism as an epistemological category within which specific themes could then be explored – just as they could have been explored within a historicist frame – has thus become a favoured approach, from Spiritual Shakespeares, edited by Ewan Fernie, which offered ‘a primarily “presentist” engagement’ with the topic of Shakespearean spirituality (2005a: 2), to Linda Charnes’s Hamlet’s Heirs: Shakespeare and the Politics of a New Millennium, which focused on American and British politics of the early 2000s and on the ‘contemporary implications’ of ‘Shakespearean texts and figures’ (2006: 10). In a way, presentism could simply be understood as ‘a strategy of interpreting texts in relation to current affairs’ (Fernie 2005b: 169). While Grady and Hawkes’s Presentist Shakespeares already included chapters on editing (Drakakis 2007) and feminism (Gajowski 2007), most chapters had tended to expand on a theory (or sometimes an idiosyncratic idea) of presentism, which could widely differ from chapter to chapter, focusing on notions of universality and ethics (Bristol 2007), temporality and contingency (Charnes 2007), presence and action (Fernie 2007), and prescience and anachronism (Ryan 2007), among others.

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The contributors to the volume thus fell back on aspects of presentism as their actual theme, not just as epistemological grounding, and this unique procedure has also contributed to making Presentist Shakespeares essential reading in the field. Nevertheless, this way of writing about presentism was not repeated in later presentist collections, and both Presentism, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare (2009), edited by Evelyn Gajowski, and Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now: Criticism and Theory in the 21st Century (2013), edited by Cary DiPietro and Hugh Grady, mark the disciplinary consolidation of presentism as an epistemological, more than as a thematic, category by boasting chapters on feminism, gender studies, performance, ecocriticism, Marxism and beyond. In her introduction to Presentism, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare, Gajowski argues that ‘feminist and queer studies are always already … presentist’ (2009: 2), and the contributors to the collection repeatedly drive that point home, establishing a powerful connection between the two forms of critical practice (see, for instance, Smith 2009 and McLuskie 2009). And in a 2011 collection, Ecocritical Shakespeare, edited by Lynne Bruckner and Dan Brayton, Sharon O’Dair asks in the title of her chapter: ‘Is It Shakespearean Ecocriticism if It Isn’t Presentist?’ (O’Dair 2011: 71); her answer is in the negative. Indeed, ecocriticism has insisted on making clear its basis in presentism in a significant combination of two still relatively recent critical trends (Bruckner and Brayton 2011: 1–9; Estok 2011: 7–8; Egan 2015: 19–21). On the one hand, this suggests that classifying one’s work as presentist need no longer be followed by charges of producing work that is ahistorical or anachronistic; on the other hand, these collections confirmed that presentism had ceased to offer ‘only one specific critical methodology’, as DiPietro and Grady put it; ‘It was meant instead to be a “big tent” under which a number of different contemporary critical tendencies could be grouped’ (DiPietro and Grady 2013: 3–4). What Gabriel Egan, in the same volume, would call ‘competing Presentisms’ (2013: 53) additionally demonstrated what had been hinted since the first uses of the word: that, unlike historicism, presentism would not be purist about its theories and practices. Instead of policing the borders of the field, presentists have put forth a salutary variety of approaches, while often acknowledging their discomfort with, even rejection of, a word that may still confuse more than it clarifies. Finally, this means that a unified theory of presentism is a mirage: although no shortage of theoretical material is to be found in presentist criticism, a non-contradictory theory of presentism cannot account for every work falling under its aegis. As for its practice, much has happened in the more than twenty years since Grady proposed ‘presentism’ as a serious approach to Shakespearean texts and contexts; no longer ‘a new kid on the Shakespeare block’, as Helen Moore (2003: 22) once called it, in a widely used slogan, presentism can now be considered the (often unacknowledged) rationale behind several larger publishing and research projects. This includes well-known collections, such as Accents on Shakespeare, edited by Terence Hawkes; Shakespeare Now!, edited by Ewan Fernie and Simon Palfrey; Great Shakespeareans, edited by Peter Holland and Adrian Poole; and Arden Shakespeare and Theory, edited by Evelyn Gajowski. Advances have also been made in exploring what presentism may be like beyond Shakespeare, as in the ‘Presentism

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Without Shakespeare’ cluster of essays in Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies (2013).1 Indeed, the future of presentism may mean its expansion beyond the study of Shakespeare or even of other early modern texts and contexts. Volumes such as Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton, edited by Ann Baynes Coiro and Thomas Fulton (2012), already acknowledged the impact of presentism on forms of historicism, not just of Shakespeare (Grossman 2012: 81), and attempted to come to grips with what Grady, in another context, called ‘a presentist historicism’ (2005: 114). There is every reason, therefore, to think that presentism will have a vital part to play in the future of Shakespeare studies and beyond them. It already plays an indispensable part in reading our critical present, as the following case study will show.

TRIANGULATING MEANINGS: SIR THOMAS MORE AND POST-TRUTH Over 400 years after Shakespeare penned a scene for a collaborative biographical play called The Book of Sir Thomas More, this scene, which included Thomas More’s speech to a crowd rioting against foreigners in London, made the headlines of the international press in the spring of 2016, in the wake of the refugee crisis in Europe and in the run-up to the Brexit referendum. Digitized and made available by the British Library as part of the commemorations of the 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, as well as performed by Ian McKellen at BBC2’s ‘Shakespeare Live!’ broadcast on 23 April, Shakespeare’s handwritten ‘plea for humanity’ was meant to lend cultural capital to the opposition to insularity by attributing to Shakespeare the sentiments expressed through More’s persuasive rhetoric.2 The first half of this collaborative play importantly focuses on a historical riot against Flemish and Lombard immigrants, called ‘the strangers’, a riot appeased only by Thomas More’s now-famous speech, written by Shakespeare as part of his only contribution to the play, in scene 6.3 The speech revolves around an appeal to the rioters’ empathy: ‘Imagine that you see the wretched strangers, / Their babies at their backs, with their poor luggage’ (6.85–6).4 More asks them to imagine the refugees expelled or, worse, murdered by the rioting nationals, and these same nationals, consequently banished by the king, becoming strangers themselves. He concludes with the much-quoted lines ‘This is the strangers’ case, / And this your mountainish inhumanity’ (6.155–6), and the rioters all cry out ‘Faith, ’a says true. Let’s do as we may be done by’ (6.157–8). The riot thus ends through More’s persuasive skills. In 2016, the dissemination of the speech made grateful headlines in several languages, the titles of which normally used the word ‘plea’, usually attributed to Shakespeare, always said to be ‘impassioned’ or ‘ringing’ and for the sake of ‘humanity’, ‘tolerance’ or other humane sentiments (Boeschoten 2016: 19–20, 26–7). Not unexpectedly, the Daily Mail responded in kind: an article, called ‘Fury as the Bard Is Dragged into Refugee Row: BBC Accused of Using Shakespeare Celebrations to Push “Left-Wing, Pro-Immigration Agenda”’, quoted Tory MP Peter Bone brashly mixing politics and authorship attribution studies in an attempt

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to negotiate attacking the performers while managing not to attack the Bard: ‘They’ve gone out of their way to find a piece of writing which fits the Left-wing establishment’s pro-immigration agenda and it’s a shame. You’d have thought they could at least have found something which was published under Shakespeare’s name for a start’ (‘Fury as the Bard Is Dragged into Refugee Row’ 2016). Crucially, however, scene 6, where this speech is inserted, diverges widely from Raphael Holinshed’s account of the historical riot of 1517, known as ‘Ill May Day’. In Holinshed, More does address the crowd and almost manages to end the riot, but the sieged foreigners, perhaps panicking, bombard their attackers with objects and More’s appeal goes unheard as violence escalates: [The rioters] ran thorough saint Nicholas shambles, and at saint Martins gate there met with them Sir Thomas More, and others, desiring them to go to their lodgings. And as they were thus intreating, and had almost persuaded the people to depart, they within saint Martins threw out stones, bats, and hot water; so that they hurt diuerse honest persons that were there with sir Thomas More, persuading the rebellious persons to ceasse, insomuch as at length one Nicholas Downes a sergeant of armes being there with the said sir Thomas More, & sore hurt amongst others, in a furie, cried; Downe with them. And then all the misruled persons ran to the doores and windowes of the houses with saint Martins, and spoiled all that they found. (Quoted in Munday et al. 2015: 478) It is also important to note that both Holinshed’s narrative and the first scenes of the play, not written by Shakespeare, give reasons for the riot by presenting the ‘strangers’ as villains, freeloaders and abductors of English women, a presentation that is so markedly different from More’s image of the refugees that they almost seem to be referring to different groups of people. Yet almost no mention was made, in 2016, to the events in the play leading up to the speech or to the details of Holinshed’s account.5 Instead, the emotional appeal of that isolated speech was an overriding factor obscuring the xenophobic manipulations at the beginning of the play, as well as the fact that the play falsified Holinshed’s account by diametrically inverting Holinshed’s brutal narrative of how More failed to appease the crowd. It did not seem to matter in 2016 that the scene deceptively portrayed More as successful in his plea – it only mattered that it made an emotional impact. Its use, that is, the accretion of some meanings and the exclusion of others in 2016, could even have been described as post-truth, a distorted passage of postmodern relativism into journalese, in which truth-value was secondary. This understanding is, I think, only achieved by addressing how this appropriation, a quotation in a new context, is the result of an uneven and unstable process. By triangulating three textual moments related to Thomas More’s prorefugee speech – the collaborative play in which it was set, the main source for this episode in Holinshed’s chronicles, and the uses given to the speech in 2016 – it becomes possible to see how the 2016 meanings of the speech were the result of a communication among diverse historical forms of one culture in a creative process which was not the issue of a single, stable text but the result of the three moments compounded. Through triangulation, we can turn to Christy Desmet’s provocative

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question, ‘On the full spectrum of appropriations, what could be more “faithful” to Shakespeare than simple citation?’ (2014: 44), and, even while knowing that there is no such thing as being faithful to Shakespeare, instead wonder whether this putative faithfulness to Shakespeare did not mean carrying on being unfaithful to Holinshed. Significantly, the result of this agency was not hybridity, nor was it intercultural communication, despite the number of agents wittingly or unwittingly involved in this tangled process – that is, Holinshed, the authors of the play, their censor, those quoting the play in 2016 and their opposers, etc. Instead, this moment only added to a series of other such interventions, which were already questionable on their own, as illustrations that ‘intercultural relations are unequal’ (Kraidy 2005: 153). Looking back on them, it was noticeable how many cultural manifestations regarding the Calais Jungle reproduced the uneven distribution of voice and culture in variations of TV clips of celebrities being seen visiting the camp: one saw, for instance, Jordi Savall performing with refugees and Hamlet performed to refugees. But reproducers of Sir Thomas More’s speech could be seen as only performing for themselves, and this was because their intervention in the present showcased the character’s liberal rhetoric for internal consumption: the use of More’s speech was not an enabler of intercultural communication but rather a flawed instance of intra-cultural communication lending cultural capital to those already disposed to empathy, instead of lending voice to contemporary ‘strangers’. On the one hand, one might argue that this was not even meant to convince members of the alt-right or Brexiters, only to show one’s humanist credentials. On the other hand, it might additionally be seen to have replicated the silencing of the early sixteenth-century refugees maligned by Holinshed and the play’s authors, asking instead that one merely tolerate their presence. Finally, the specific posttruth here was the idea that the intellectual (or the expert, in Brexit-speak)6 could appeal to the masses by correctly touching their emotions; this is what happens in the play – though not in Holinshed – and that was certainly essential to its appeal in 2016. Instead, the dismaying plausibility of Holinshed’s narrative of More’s failure and the renewal of hostility, which was silenced in this instance, came back with a vengeance through Brexit, not because Brexiters were right, but because the appeal to emotional empathy once more failed to work. We should perhaps need to look at it as a fine but ultimately sentimental and unrealistic fiction of the masses actually lending an ear to the intellectual or the academic. But More was not listened to in 1517, and, again, he was not listened to in 2016. ‘Neither historicism nor presentism accounts for the importance of More’s speech,’ Sean Lawrence recently wrote (2018: 3). This may be true. Yet a presentist historicism may be especially alert to what was done so that the speech could continue to be important in 2016. What Shakespeare was made to do here, the meaning that was made by him, to return to Hawkes’s phrase, should therefore be reconsidered in terms of the inequality of cultural relations that, in this instance, his text contributed to preserve; almost as troubling was how easy it was to relapse into the figure that new historicism and cultural materialism had done so much to dismantle: the benevolent Bard, still undead after 400 years, coming to rescue us – and, why not, soothe our consciences – in yet another time of trouble.

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NOTES 1. The cluster includes four essays, which can be found at https://upstart.sites.clemson.edu/ Essays/1.xhtml. 2. For a more detailed account of these events, see Anne Boeschoten’s illuminating ‘Refugees and Anti-Alien Sentiment in Sir Thomas More (c. 1600) and the Contemporary Public Debate’, a BA thesis presented at the University of Utrecht in 2016. Boeschoten managed the rare feat of not only documenting the events as they were happening, considering that her thesis is dated June 2016, the month of the Brexit referendum, but also of reflecting on the limits of academic criticism in such a delicate instance as this one was. I have taken many of the factual details from Boeschoten’s thesis, although the point of this case study is precisely how presentism may help us overcome some of the limits that Boeschoten indicates. 3. For two contemporary readings of this scene and its place in the play as well as in the present, see Schülting 2013 and Lawrence 2018. 4. All quotations are from John Jowett’s edition of Sir Thomas More for the third series of The Arden Shakespeare (2011). Since the main writers of the play are Anthony Munday and Henry Chettle, the bibliographical information is placed under Munday’s name (Munday et al. 2011). 5. This procedure was replicated in 2018 in even more visual terms. On 19 June 2018, the day before World Refugee Day, two short films were made public, both based on More’s speech. One was created by the International Rescue Committee and Shakespeare’s Globe (www.rescue-uk.org/video/strangers-case-shakespeares-rallying-cry-humanity), with the title ‘The Strangers’ Case: Shakespeare’s Rallying Cry for Humanity’, and the second one was directed by Peter Trifunovic for BBA Shakespeare (British Black and Asian Shakespeare) and the University of Warwick (https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/ english/research/currentprojects/multiculturalshakespeare/news/?newsItem=8a17841a 6411e8b401642243e1b859b6). Simply called ‘The Strangers’ Case’, it showed the plea being spoken at a pub in the context of latent racism against its speaker, British Asian actor Ibrahim Knight. 6. I am alluding to Michael Gove’s infamous statement that ‘people in this country have had enough of experts’ during an interview with Faisal Islam on Sky News on 3 June 2016.

REFERENCES Belsey, C. (2007), ‘Historicizing New Historicism’, in H. Grady and T. Hawkes (eds), Presentist Shakespeares, 27–45, London: Routledge. Boeschoten, A. (2016), ‘Refugees and Anti-Alien Sentiment in Sir Thomas More (c. 1600) and the Contemporary Public Debate’, BA thesis, University of Utrecht. Bristol, M. D. (2007), ‘… And I’m the King of France’, in H. Grady and T. Hawkes (eds), Presentist Shakespeares, 46–63, London: Routledge. Bruckner, L. and D. Brayton, eds (2011), ‘Introduction: Warbling Invaders’, in Ecocritical Shakespeare, 1–9, Farnham: Ashgate. Butterfield, H. ([1931] 1965), The Whig Interpretation of History, New York: Norton.

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Charnes, L. (2006), Hamlet’s Heirs: Shakespeare and the Politics of a New Millennium, London: Routledge. Charnes, L. (2007), ‘Shakespeare, and Belief, in the Future’, in H. Grady and T. Hawkes (eds), Presentist Shakespeares, 64–78, London: Routledge. Coiro, A. B. and T. Fulton, eds (2012), Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Desmet, C. (2014), ‘Recognizing Shakespeare, Rethinking Fidelity: A Rhetoric and Ethics of Appropriation’, in A. Huang and E. Rivlin (eds), Shakespeare and the Ethics of Appropriation, 41–57, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. DiPietro, C. and H. Grady, eds (2013), ‘Introduction’, in Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now: Criticism and Theory in the 21st Century, 1–8, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Dollimore, J. and A. Sinfield, eds (1994), ‘Foreword to the First Edition: Cultural Materialism’, in Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism, vii–viii, 2nd edn, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Drakakis, J. (2007), ‘Present Text: Editing The Merchant of Venice’, in H. Grady and T. Hawkes (eds), Presentist Shakespeares, 79–95, London: Routledge. Egan, G. (2013), ‘The Presentist Threat to Editions of Shakespeare’, in C. DiPietro and H. Grady (eds), Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now: Criticism and Theory in the 21st Century, 38–59, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Egan, G. (2015), Shakespeare and Ecocritical Theory, London: Arden Shakespeare. Estok, S. C. (2011), Ecocriticism and Shakespeare: Reading Ecophobia, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Fernie, E., ed. (2005a), ‘Introduction: Shakespeare, Spirituality and Contemporary Criticism’, in Spiritual Shakespeares, 1–27, London: Routledge. Fernie, E. (2005b), ‘Shakespeare and the Prospect of Presentism’, Shakespeare Survey, 58: 169–84. Fernie, E. (2007), ‘Action! Henry V’, in H. Grady and T. Hawkes (eds), Presentist Shakespeares, 96–120, London: Routledge. Fischer, D. H. (1970), Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought, New York: Harper Perennial. ‘Fury as the Bard Is Dragged into Refugee Row’ (2016), Daily Mail, 24 April. Gajowski, E. (2007), ‘Lavinia as “Blank Page” and the Presence of Feminist Critical Practices’, in H. Grady and T. Hawkes (eds), Presentist Shakespeares, 121–40, London: Routledge. Gajowski, E., ed. (2009), ‘The Presence of the Past’, in Presentism, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare, 1–22, London: Palgrave Macmillan. Gajowski, E. (2010), ‘Beyond Historicism: Presentism, Subjectivity, Politics’, Literature Compass, 7/8: 674–91. Grady, H. (1991), The Modernist Shakespeare: Critical Texts in a Material World, Oxford: Clarendon. Grady, H. (1993), ‘Containment, Subversion – and Postmodernism’, Textual Practice, 7: 31–49. Grady, H. (1996), Shakespeare’s Universal Wolf: Studies in Early Modern Reification, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Grady, H. (2002), Shakespeare, Machiavelli, and Montaigne: Power and Subjectivity from ‘Richard II’ to ‘Hamlet’, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Grady, H. (2005), ‘Shakespeare Studies, 2005: A Situated Overview’, Shakespeare, 1: 102–20. Grady, H., ed. (2012), ‘Introduction: The Dynamics of Shakespeare Criticism in the Twentieth Century’, in Great Shakespeareans, Volume XIII: Empson, Wilson Knight, Barber, Kott, 1–13, London: Continuum. Grady, H. and T. Hawkes, eds (2007), ‘Introduction: Presenting Presentism’, in Presentist Shakespeares, 1–5, London: Routledge. Grossman, M. (2012), ‘Limiting History’, in A. B. Coiro and T. Fulton (eds), Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton, 65–84, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hawkes, T. (1986), That Shakespeherian Rag: Essays on a Critical Process, London: Methuen. Hawkes, T. (1992), Meaning by Shakespeare, London: Routledge. Hawkes, T. (2002), Shakespeare in the Present, London: Routledge. Holbo, J. (2008), ‘Shakespeare Now: The Function of Presentism at the Critical Time’, Literature Compass, 5/6: 1097–110. Kastan, D. S. (1999), Shakespeare after Theory, New York: Routledge. Kott, J. ([1961] 1974), Shakespeare Our Contemporary, trans. B. Taborski, New York: Norton. Kraidy, M. M. (2005), Hybridity, or the Cultural Logic of Globalization, Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Lawrence, S. (2018), ‘Fear and the Other in Sir Thomas More’, Actes des congrès de la Société française Shakespeare, 36. Available online: http://journals.openedition.org/ shakespeare/4123; doi: 10.4000/shakespeare.4123. McLuskie, K. (2009), ‘“The Future in the Instant”’, in E. Gajowski (ed.), Presentism, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare, 239–51, London: Palgrave Macmillan. Moore, H. (2003), ‘Present and Correct’, Times Literary Supplement, 15 August: 22. Munday, A., H. Chettle, E. Tilney, T. Dekker, T. Heywood and W. Shakespeare (2011), Sir Thomas More, ed. J. Jowett, The Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Munro, L. (2011), ‘Shakespeare and the Uses of the Past: Critical Approaches and Current Debates’, Shakespeare, 7: 102–25. Nicolaescu, M. (2012), ‘Kott in the East’, in H. Grady (ed.), Great Shakespeareans, Volume XIII: Empson, Wilson Knight, Barber, Kott, 130–53, London: Continuum. O’Dair, S. (2011), ‘Is It Shakespearean Ecocriticism if It Isn’t Presentist?’, in L. Bruckner and D. Brayton (eds), Ecocritical Shakespeare, 71–85, Farnham: Ashgate. Pechter, E. (2003), ‘What’s Wrong with Literature?’, Textual Practice, 17: 505–26. Ryan, K. (2007), ‘Troilus and Cressida: The Perils of Presentism’, in H. Grady and T. Hawkes (eds), Presentist Shakespeares, 164–83, London: Routledge. Salkeld, D. (2009), ‘Shakespeare Studies, Presentism, and Micro-History’, Cahiers Élisabéthains, 76: 35–43. Schalkwyk, D. (2005), ‘Between Historicism and Presentism: Love and Service in Antony and Cleopatra and The Tempest’, Shakespeare in Southern Africa, 17: 1–17.

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Schülting, S. (2013), ‘“What Country, Friends, Is This?” The Performance of Conflict in Shakespeare’s Drama of Migration’, in C. Dente and S. Soncini (eds), Shakespeare and Conflict: A European Perspective, 24–39, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Sedinger, T. (2007), ‘Theory Terminable and Interminable: On Presentism, Historicism, and the Problem of Hamlet’, Exemplaria, 19: 455–73. Smith, B. R. (2009), ‘Resexing Lady Macbeth’s Gender – and Ours’, in E. Gajowski (ed.), Presentism, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare, 25–48, London: Palgrave Macmillan. Streete, A. (2008), ‘The Politics of Ethical Presentism: Appropriation, Spirituality and the Case of Antony and Cleopatra’, Textual Practice, 22: 405–31. Wells, R. H. (2000), ‘Historicism and “Presentism” in Early Modern Studies’, The Cambridge Quarterly, 29: 37–60.

CHAPTER 4.5

Global studies ALEXA ALICE JOUBIN

The works of Shakespeare are closely associated with global studies, because imaginations of world cultures inform his plays and those plays have subsequently had afterlives on a global scale. Shakespeare’s plays often feature locations outside England, Scotland and Wales, and characters from the Mediterranean, France, Vienna, Venice, Cataian (Cathay) and elsewhere. Foreign characters play a key role even in the history plays that focus on the question of English identity, such as Katherine of Aragon in Henry VIII. Shakespeare’s plays demonstrate influences from a rich treasure trove of multilingual sources in Latin, Italian, Spanish and French. Before Shakespeare’s plays became widely performed outside England and Europe, international visitors brought a global flair to performances in London. European visitors such as Thomas Platter witnessed the plays on stage at the Globe in 1599 and left behind diary records. While visiting London from the ‘new world’ in 1710, the King of the River Nations Etow Oh Koam himself became a competing spectacle with a performance of Macbeth on stage at the Queen’s Theatre. During his lifetime, Shakespeare’s plays were performed in continental Europe and were subsequently taken to corners of the globe that seemed remote from the English perspective, including colonial Indonesia in 1619. Since the late sixteenth century, Shakespeare’s plays have been translated, critiqued and performed in many parts of the world. Shakespeare’s oeuvre has also been referenced, used and abused by politicians for a wide range of purposes from cultural imperialism to cultural diplomacy. The first phase of sustained study of Shakespeare and globalization unfolded over the past few decades and has brought international affairs to bear on the story of Shakespeare in global contexts. There are detailed histories of national Shakespeares in which ‘Shakespeare in India’ is shorthand for postcolonial, political merits of adaptations of Shakespeare that serve as a tool for resisting Western hegemony. South Korean Shakespeares would be seen as allegories of the divide between North and South Korea, while productions in the Eastern Bloc would be thought to contain attenuated allusions to subversive politics. Anglophone Shakespeares are assumed to have broad theoretical applicability and aesthetic merits, while foreign Shakespeares – even when they focus on artistic innovation on a personal rather than an epic level – are compelled to prove their political worth. Critics are on the lookout for potentially subversive political messages in these works, which are compulsorily characterized as allegories of geopolitical issues. In other words,

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some types of scholarship instrumentalize global Shakespeare to serve superficial definitions of diversity. In the current, second phase of global studies of Shakespeare, performances and criticism are challenging fixed notions of cultural authenticity. Shakespeare performances across various media from stage to screen have entered a postnational space, where lines between identities are blurred by the presence of diasporic performers, tourist audiences, transnational corporate sponsors, and the logics of international festivals. The transnational cultural flows go beyond the scope of geopolitical divisions of nation-states and cultural profiling. The postnational space shares characteristics of liminal spaces that are discursively formed. Performing Shakespeare not only creates channels between geographic spaces but also connects different time periods. Therefore, in modern times, global Shakespeares have been recruited as a transhistorical and intercultural practice to revitalize performance genres, exemplified or resisted as a colonial appendage or rhetoric and admired as a centrepiece in an exotic display. As such, the ideological encodings of the international avant-garde inform the works by Ariane Mnouchkine, Peter Brook, Tadashi Suzuki and others, and influence international politics and tourism in late capitalist societies. As Sujata Iyengar and Miriam Jacobson observe, scholarship on global Shakespeare has ‘moved on from concerns about fidelity [in the previous era] to investigations of the new artforms that Shakespeare can enable in global contexts’ (2020: 3). Performing Shakespeare in different languages opens up new pathways to some often-glossed-over textual cruxes in Anglophone traditions. Take The Tempest, for example. What exactly do Prospero and Miranda teach Caliban? The word ‘language’ is ambiguous in Act 1 scene 2 (Caliban: ‘You taught me language …’). It is often taken to mean his master’s language (a symbol of oppression). But it can also mean rhetoric and political speech writing, a new tool for him to change the world order. One way to excavate the different layers of meanings within the play and in performances is to compare different stage and film versions from different parts of the world. Caliban’s word, ‘language’, is translated by Christoph Martin Wieland as redden, or ‘speech’ in German. In Japanese, it is rendered as ‘human language’, as opposed to languages of the animal or computer language. Prospero announces in Act 4 scene 1 that ‘our revels now are ended’. The word ‘revels’ in the Elizabethan context refers to royal festivities and stage entertainments, but it carries different diagnostic significance in translation. Wieland used Spiele (plays) and Schauspieler (performer) to refer to Prospero’s masque and actors (‘Unsre Spiele sind nun zu Ende’ in German). Sometimes translators working in the same language have different interpretations. Liang Shiqiu translated it as ‘games’ in Mandarin Chinese in 1964, alluding to the manipulative Prospero’s cat-and-mouse games on the island, but Zhu Shenghao preferred ‘carnivals’ (1954), highlighting the festive nature of the wedding celebration. Global studies enables us to examine deceivingly harmonious images of Shakespeare. This chapter focuses on the modern period and introduces readers to a number of key concepts in Shakespeare and global studies, namely censorship and redaction, genre, gender, race and politics of reception. Readers are invited to view images and videos of many of the films and productions discussed in this chapter at MIT Global Shakespeares (https://globalshakespeares.mit.edu/).

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CENSORSHIP AND REDACTION As powerful as the Shakespearean oeuvre may be in its canonical status in many cultures, it has historically been subjected to editorial redactions and censorship. Contrary to popular imagination, censorship is not a top-down operation. It is a communal phenomenon involving both the censors and the receivers who willingly accept the Shakespeare that has been ‘improved’ upon. Shakespeare’s words have been used to divert around censorship, ‘sanitized’ and redacted for children, young adults and school use. While censors have reacted differently to Shakespeare, selfcensorship by directors and audiences is part of the picture as well. Not all censors work in the capacity of a public official. Editors act as gatekeepers of images of specific characters. For example, the ‘Abhorrèd slave’ speech toward Caliban in The Tempest (1.2.351) is assigned to Miranda in the First Folio and most modern editions but to Prospero in Lewis Theobald’s, John Dryden’s and other pre-twentieth-century editions. In turn, in modern performances these lines are sometimes reassigned depending on how the director wishes to characterize Miranda and Prospero. It makes Miranda less innocent and more complicit in colonial crimes against the natives if she joins Prospero in calling Caliban a slave. There is another side of the coin. It can be empowering for Miranda to speak thus. Melissa E. Sanchez observes that, when the lines are spoken by Miranda, she is intruding ‘into the political debate’ between two men, Prospero and Caliban, and establishing herself ‘as an independent agent’ (2008: 65). Studies have shown that the reasons for reassignments of these particular lines are rarely stylistic but instead ideological (Clayton 2016: 436). Educators also act as gatekeepers of specific forms of knowledge. In US school systems, Julius Caesar is often deemed one of the more appropriate plays to teach and perform because the themes of honour, free will and principles of the republic are considered inspiring and suitable in the educational context. Conversely, the themes in such plays as Romeo and Juliet (teen exuberance and sex), The Merchant of Venice (anti-Semitism), Othello (racism and domestic violence) and The Taming of the Shrew (sexism) make modern audiences uncomfortable, but they compel us to ask harder questions of our world. While Shakespeare has been a large part of US cultural life, the ‘Shakespeare’ that is taught and enacted in schools has often been redacted and even censored. But this is not a new phenomenon. The history of bowdlerized Shakespeare goes back to the nineteenth century. To bowdlerize a classic involves expurgating or abridging the narrative by omitting or modifying sections that are considered vulgar. In fact, the term ‘bowdlerized’ comes from Henrietta ‘Harriet’ Bowdler, who edited the popular ‘family-friendly’ anthology The Family Shakespeare (1807), which contains twenty-six edited plays. The anthology sanitized Shakespeare’s texts and rid them of undesirable elements such as references to Roman Catholicism, sex and more. The anthology was intended for young women readers. Multiple ambiguities in Shakespeare are replaced by a more definitive interpretation. Ophelia no longer seems suicidal in Hamlet. It is an accidental drowning. Lady Macbeth no longer curses ‘Out, damned spot’ but instead she says ‘Out, crimson spot!’ Prostitutes are omitted,

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such as Doll Tearsheet in 2 Henry IV. The ‘bawdy hand of the dial’ (Mercutio) in Romeo and Juliet is revised as ‘the hand of the dial’. Family Shakespeare was itself a family project. Thomas Bowdler worked with his sister Henrietta to clean up the classics. The subtitle of the volume states that ‘nothing is added to the original text; but those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family’. Shakespeare is credited as the author, though Bowdler made clear the Bard needed quite some heavy-handed editing. Ironically, Henrietta Bowdler was herself censored. Thomas Bowdler’s name appears on the cover. It took two centuries for Henrietta to be credited for the anthology, for obviously there was no way she could have admitted that she recognized the bawdy puns in Shakespeare, much less edited them out. The Bowdlers are among the better-known ‘censors’ in the nineteenth century who editorialized the classics, including Shakespeare. When laying out her editorial principles in the preface, Bowdler does not hesitate to criticize the ‘bad taste of the age in which [Shakespeare] lived’ and Shakespeare’s ‘unbridled fancy’: The language is not always faultless. Many words and expressions occur which are of so indecent Nature as to render it highly desirable that they should be erased. But neither the vicious taste of the age nor the most brilliant effusions of wit can afford an excuse for profaneness or obscenity; and if these can be obliterated the transcendent genius of the poet would undoubtedly shine with more unclouded lustre. (1843: vii) She further explains her motive in an advertisement in The Times in 1819, emphasizing that the ‘defects’ in Shakespeare have to be corrected: My great objects in the undertaking are to remove from the writings of Shakespeare some defects which diminish their value, and at the same time to present to the public an edition of his plays which the parent, the guardian and the instructor of youth may place without fear in the hands of his pupils, and from which the pupil may derive instruction as well as pleasure: and without incurring the danger of being hurt with any indelicacy of expression, may learn in the fate of Macbeth, that even a kingdom is dearly purchased, if virtue be the price of acquisition. (quoted in King 2019) While censorship carries a negative connotation in our times, The Family Shakespeare did broaden Shakespeare’s audience and readership. While US schools continue to redact Shakespeare, they also infuse Shakespeare into US cultural life in various forms. Wars, censorship and political ideologies can suppress or encourage the translation or performance of particular plays or genres for one reason or another or outlaw Shakespeare altogether (as was the case during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1966–76). The 1930s was a time when political expediency drove readers, performers and audiences to a select set of Shakespearean plays in the Soviet Union, Japan and China. The regicide and assassinations in Hamlet raised the eyebrows of the Japanese censors in the decade when Japan was preparing to challenge European and US supremacy. Hamlet was banned, along with half a dozen other plays, from

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the International Theatre Day organized by the Japan League of Proletarian Theatres (led by Murayama Tomoyoshi) on 13 February 1932 on the grounds that the play might incite rebellions against the rightist government. Ironically, Stalin expressed a distaste for dark, tragic plays such as Hamlet, having famously declared that life had become more joyful for the communist state in 1935. Shakespeare’s comedies fit the propagandistic goal and therefore had a firm place in the state-endorsed repertoire for the stage and reading materials in the USSR and its close ally, China, during this time. Shakespeare became, in Soviet and Chinese ideological interpretations, the spokesperson for the proletariat, an optimist and a fighter against feudalism through such ‘bright’ comedies as Much Ado About Nothing. Another aspect of censorship manifests itself in modern-day protests against specific plays and their perceived link to discrimination. At the London Globe in May 2012, pro-Palestinian activists protested a Hebrew production of The Merchant of Venice by the Israeli company Habima from Tel Aviv. Both the play and its supposed anti-Semitic sentiments have been the subject of debate in critical history, but this protest brought contemporary international politics into the mix. Leading actors – Mark Rylance, Emma Thompson and others – called for the Globe to boycott the company because it had performed in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The protest targets the company’s history rather than the performance or ideological issues with The Merchant of Venice. Censorship of politically sensitive contents and redaction to enhance a play’s political correctness are two sides of the same coin. Shakespeare has been used as a platform to explore politically and socially sensitive issues. Set in modern Iran, HamletIRAN suggests that ‘something is rotten’ in the country where the Green Movement arose in the wake of voting fraud during the 2009 presidential election. Directed by Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, the production features characters singing Persian folk songs and courtiers wearing turbans, with an image of Mount Damavand in the closing scene. The performance takes place around a pool, a traditional centrepiece of Persian gardens. The tormented hero of the play wishes to set things right, but he does not act rashly for fear his country may fall into chaos. Likewise, the Tibetan-language film Prince of the Himalayas (dir. Sherwood Hu, 2006) explores the sensitive topic of Tibet’s place in modern Asia. Set in ancient Tibet, the film centres on the young prince Lhamoklodan, who sets out in a quest to find his and his country’s identity. In the Thai metatheatrical adaptation of Macbeth, titled Shakespeare Must Die (dir. Ing Kanjanavanit, 2012), the characters stage a play in which a general takes the throne through a series of bloody murders. The story parallels that of a superstitious and murderous contemporary dictator known as Dear Leader. The two worlds collide when the players stage Macbeth in a world ruled by the dictator. Shakespeare Must Die is political in nature and critiques Thai politicians. The film was censored due to its sensitive subject matter, and Shakespeare’s canonical status failed to save the film from the censors. Censorship and redaction stem from a moralistic investment in Shakespeare. When Shakespeare is referenced in the global cultural marketplace, the canon is often given an additional ethical burden, and the same play can end up being valued in quite different ways depending on its use. The dialogues between

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Shakespeare and his modern interlocutors are driven by ethical claims and the use of Shakespeare for political expediency. While artists and critics alike gravitate toward inspirational narratives, there is the risk of selling out on art’s impact on social justice. As the following sections show, advertising trends – or cultural paratexts around performances – are one area where artists’ ethical claims are sometimes countered by marketing shortcuts for various topics, such as presentations of racial and gender diversity.

GENRE The phenomenon of censorship leads us to transformations of genres in Shakespeare’s oeuvre and in world literature. A society’s aversion to a genre reveals the exigencies of an age. In contemporary post-Holocaust, post-911, post-Brexit Anglo-European contexts, it is difficult to imagine The Merchant of Venice as a comedy  – at any character’s expense – as it was performed on the late sixteenth-century stage. The Māori Merchant of Venice (dir. Don Selwyn, He Taonga Films, 2002) presents the narrative as a colonial allegory. The suffering of Waihoroi Shortland’s Hairoka (Shylock) parallels the subjugation of the Māori at the hands of British settlers in New Zealand who forced the Māori to sign the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. In the Japanese tradition of performing The Merchant of Venice, the play is often retooled as a romantic comedy, a Bildungsroman of an attractive woman lawyer, or an outlandish tale involving a pound of human flesh. Early modern concepts of comedy – playful yet laden with moral concerns and even political implications – remains challenging to grapple with, while tragedy is often banned by totalitarian governments. Specific works have been singled out for scrutiny. Stalin was known to dislike Hamlet, for a play about a police state was deemed too close to home. Shakespeare could in such a context transform entire genres. Some of the most commonly asked questions about global Shakespeare include: ‘Which play is the most popular?’, ‘Why do the tragedies seem more universal and transportable from culture to culture than other genres?’ and ‘Can the comedies be enjoyed in another language?’ The answers to these questions depend on cultural location and historical period. In modern times, tragedies such as Hamlet and comedies such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream are more frequently adapted around the world because of their capacity to be detached from their native cultural settings. For example, Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice have more than fifty translations each in India alone, while Henry V and Richard II are the only history plays to have been translated into Hindi, each translated only once (Trivedi 1978: 83). But this should not be taken as a sign that the tragedies and comedies alone dominate the global circulation of Shakespeare’s work and reputation. While translations of Shakespearean tragedies and comedies and the Sonnets seem to fuel his global reputation and reach, the history plays have their own, if lesser known, histories of global transmission (Hoenselaars 2004). British performances are more frequently geared toward constructing a coherent national identity in relation to Britain’s friends and foes on the European continent. Translations of

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history plays, on the other hand, often use the plays to interrogate notions of national history. For example, Richard III: An Arab Tragedy uses the history play to question a unified Arab identity (Litvin 2007). Written in English and directed by AngloKuwaiti playwright Sulayman Al-Bassam, the production has toured widely around the world in Arabic and English. Some critics have accused the play of reinforcing and benefiting from Western prejudices against the Arab region. Plays such as Henry V that place English interests in opposition to those of the French can serve as a forum for the formation of national identities, artistic experiments and political debates in the UK and Europe. Still farther ashore, plays from both the first and second tetralogies, excluding King John, found new homes in nationalist projects of modernization in many parts of East Asia. While modern adaptors’ interests do not always align with Shakespeare’s early modern visions of such feuds as that between the Houses of York and Lancaster, they draw parallels to inspire analogous reflections on local histories. Global adaptations of Shakespeare often connect different genres, turning tragedy into comedy or parody. The Singaporean film Chicken Rice War (dir. Cheah Chee Kong [CheeK], 2000), a comedy revolving around a college production of Romeo and Juliet, pointedly parodies global teen culture by echoing the trope of censorship-ascollaboration in the metatheatrical Japanese film University of Laughs (dir. Mamoru Hoshi, 2004) and unchecked romanticism in Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s campy film William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996). Films sometimes reference visual arts. Shot in Tibet with an all-Tibetan cast, Sherwood Hu’s film Prince of the Himalayas (2006) contains visual echoes of Sir John Everett Millais’s iconic PreRaphaelite painting Ophelia (1851) and creates an Ophelia figure who is deeply associated with water. Wearing a floral wreath, Odsaluyang (Ophelia) gives birth in the Namtso Lake to Hamlet’s and her baby, who floats away, only to be rescued by the ‘Wolf Woman’ (a prophetess) while Odsaluyang dies in the lake. The scene alludes not only to Millais’s depiction of Ophelia in the instant before drowning but also to the cyclical quality of life and death in Tibetan Buddhism. Other adaptations bring texts from secular and religious traditions together. Michael Almereyda appropriates Eastern spirituality in his Buddhist-inflected film. Set in twenty-firstcentury Manhattan, Hamlet (2000; starring Ethan Hawke) features the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh in a spin-off of the ‘To be or not to be’ speech. Ophelia is depicted as a woman interested in Krishnamurti’s Living and Dying, and in another scene a clip from Ulrike Koch’s documentary about a pilgrimage, Die Salzmänner von Tibet (The Saltmen of Tibet, 1998), appears on the back-seat video monitor of Claudius’s limousine. This is one of many examples of how even English-language films of Shakespeare contain rich multicultural and multigeneric references.

GENDER Embodiment  – the act of bringing characters to life through actors’ bodies  – is a key factor in the creation of global Shakespeare. The first element of embodiment we will examine is gender. The force of performance arises in the ‘terrain between

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language and its enactment’, as W. B. Worthen’s analysis shows (2003: 3). Gender identities and words – in any language – may acquire meaning when embodied and spoken in context. Drama gains efficacy through stage behaviours and embodiments. This section explores two themes of global performances of gender, namely uses of gendered pronouns and the respresentations of Ophelia. How do gender roles travel across cultures? When Viola, disguised as page boy Cesario and finding herself being pursued by the lovelorn Olivia, declares that ‘I am the man [of the hour … and] a dream’ in Twelfth Night (2.2.25–6), she speaks with double irony as a doubly crossdressed boy actor on the early modern English stage and as an adult male actor (Johnny Flynn) in Mark Rylance’s all-male production at the Globe Theatre in London (2012, dir. Tim Carroll). As an otokoyaku (male impersonator) in the all-female Takarazuka musical production (dir. Kimura Shinji, 1999; starring Yamato Yuga) derived from shōjo (teen girl) mangas, Viola would embody enticing gender fluidity when speaking Japanese, a language that often elides the subject. In addition to making the right choice of employing the familiar or the polite register based on the relation between the speaker and the addressee, male and female speakers of Japanese are limited to gender-specific first-person pronouns. Limitations create opportunities to reframe Orsino’s comments about love from a masculinist perspective and Viola’s apology for a woman’s love when in her male guise as Cesario (2.4.78–125). These works draw attention to the actors’ bodies and thereby enable new paths to the cultures being represented, as evidenced by the gender discord in Twelfth Night. Uses of gendered personal pronouns shape the dynamics in several scenes in Akira Kurosawa’s film Throne of Blood (Toho Company, 1957), a samurai adaptation of Macbeth. While obscured by English subtitles, the uses of personal pronouns and salutations reflect moral and political agency or the lack thereof. When conversing with each other, Washizu (Macbeth) and Miki (Banquo) refer to each other with first names, deepen their voices and use informal language and the informal, masculine ‘I’ (ore). They often laugh things off, as in the scene when they are lost in the forest, as part of their bravura. Singular first-person pronouns in Japanese serve important discursive functions, according to discourse and cognitive linguistics. In addition to ore, other first-person pronouns include the informal boku, typically used by young men, and the more formal but more feminine watashi, commonly used by women (Ono and Thompson 2003). Washizu and Miki eschew formality to build male camaraderie and ascertain their masculinity. The bravura around the pronoun ore buttresses their denial that they are lost in the woods in the opening scene. Yet even if they are, they remain brothers, lost together in the woods. Washizu attempts to create a similarly intimate bond with his wife Lady Asaji (Lady Macbeth) in private, but she rejects his attempt and maintains verbal and physical distance. It is notable that when Washizu addresses Asaji, he does not use any honorific; he does not address her as tsuma (wife) or okusan (lady of the house). Meanwhile, Asaji uses the most formal singular first-person pronoun watakushi, rather than the informal, feminine atashi (or atakushi), which is usually used in private conversations between a husband and a wife. Moreover, she addresses Washizu with the general second-person pronoun anata. This word is often used in television

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commercials to refer to a general audience of all ages and genders. When using anata, Asaji speaks in a register that conveys condescension and rejects intimacy. Asaji uses the formal watakushi and the usually more casual anata alternately to create tension and conflicts between desired intimacy and rejected informality; it confuses Washizu, who is unsure how to respond. In contrast, English-language productions and films of Macbeth – such as Fassbender’s 2015 film (Kurzel) – use tone, register and body language, rather than gendered pronouns, to articulate the friendship between Banquo and Macbeth and the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Performances of gender in a global context shed light on some of Shakespeare’s most iconic female characters, including Viola, Lady Macbeth and Ophelia. Ophelia has historically been performed both as an innocent ‘rose of May’ and a sexually aware singer in Act 4 of Hamlet. Both her lyric sufferings and her suicide-asresistance-to-the-patriarchy enabled contrasting interpretations. Laurence Olivier’s 1948 film Hamlet cuts Ophelia’s soliloquy to make her seem even more powerless and vulnerable. In one scene an angry Hamlet pushes Ophelia down the stairs, making her literally a fallen woman. Michael Almereyda’s 2000 film takes a different approach to give Ophelia ‘an inner life’ (Iyengar 2016: 1323) by referencing such self-help books as Mary Pipher’s Reviving Ophelia. This interiority, in fact, is a defining feature of twenty-first-century screen representations of Ophelia. Ophelia in feminist performances revises traditional notions of victimhood. For example, French philosopher Gaston Bachelard connects a particular form of femininity, water imagery and drowning in his theory of the Ophelia complex. The figure of Ophelia symbolizes a young woman who is vulnerable yet powerful, undermined and empowered by her femininity. Contemporary directors leverage Shakespeare’s own propensity to undermine dominant ideologies of gender in their effort to renew Asian performance traditions. Along with the rise of Korean feminism in the 1990s, several South Korean adaptations of Hamlet recast Ophelia as a shaman who serves as a medium to console the dead and guide the living. Since a shaman is outside the Confucian social structure, she has greater agency. The action of Kim Jung-ok’s Hamlet (1993) takes place under an enormous hemp cloth that is suspended from the ceiling to resemble a house of mourning. It is customary for a mourning son to wear coarse hemp clothing, because hemp cloth is associated with funerals. Appropriately enough, the play begins with Ophelia’s funeral. Possessed by the Old King’s spirit, Ophelia conveys the story of his murder. Kim Kwang-bo’s Ophelia: Sister, Come to My Bed (1995) also opens with Ophelia’s funeral. Ophelia is possessed by the dead king’s spirit: she urges Hamlet to avenge his father’s death. When the ghost of Old Hamlet appears, in the form of a large puppet operated by three monks, Ophelia moves in unison with the ghost and changes her voice to that of an old man. The dual soundtrack is unsettling. The use of shamanism as a thematic device creates a pathway to agency through ghosts. Japan’s Yukio Ninagawa often draws on metatheatricality as a theme in his productions. He prepares the audiences to take on the play world through preshow action (e.g. in The Tempest and Titus Andronicus) and through creative visual framing devices (Hamlet). Before curtain time for Titus, audiences rubbed shoulders with actors in Roman costumes who were warming up and walking in the aisles.

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In the 1995 Hamlet (similar to the 2015 Hamlet), the audience saw actors busy preparing for the performance in cubicles in the dressing rooms on stage before the show started. Ophelia followed the Japanese custom of arranging ornate hina dolls – a pastime for ladies at the court and now part of the Dolls’ Festival in March celebrated by Japanese families. The dolls will eventually be set afloat to carry misfortunes away so that the family’s daughters can grow up healthily and happily. Since the dolls represent hope, Ophelia’s giving away dolls rather than flowers in her mad scene carried a grave suggestiveness. The metaphorical connection between drowning – dolls adrift – and despair was also evident. In the play-within-a-play scene, performers sat on a tiered platform resembling a hina dolls cabinet. They formed a human tableau and drew attention to the artificiality of the performance. The audience’s attention was redirected away from the representational aspect of theatrical realism to the presentational aspect of Ninagawa’s metatheatrical narrative. While these works epitomize revisionist approaches to gender roles in Shakespeare, in other cases queerness is framed as a defining feature when a production does not actively engage with gender diversity.

RACE Gender issues intersect with racial identities in performance, because both gender and race are markings of difference. It is one thing for Indian actors to perform Shakespeare in India, where the actor is not part of a minority. It is quite another to do Shakespeare in a country where one is perceived to be non-mainstream (such as Yellow Earth Theatre’s Mandarin-English bilingual King Lear in Stratford-uponAvon) or in the United States (such as American Moor by Keith Hamilton Cobb, Anacostia Playhouse, 2015; Young Jean Lee’s Lear, Soho Rep, New York, 2010; and Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s pan-Asian Winter’s Tale, dir. Desdemona Chiang, 2016) where classic theatre is assumed to be aligned with some versions of uppermiddle-class white masculine culture. This section examines three themes: the precarious position of diasporic mixed-race actors; uses of dialects and accents; and multiethnic casting. When global adaptations explore racial identities, they tend to highlight diasporic and ethnic identities that emerge in the spaces between cultures. Sangeeta Datta’s 2009 film Life Goes On draws on the framework of King Lear to depict the conflicts in an immigrant family of Hindus that moves from Bengal to London. The film draws on Bollywood conventions to create a cultural location that is neither here nor there. Despite the success of many intercultural works, the last thing diasporic actors want is to be pigeonholed and shoehorned into an ethnic ghetto where they are expected to only appear in such plays. It is both aesthetically and politically important to see, for example, Sophie Okonedo playing Queen Margaret in the BBC’s television series The Hollow Crown (dir. Dominic Cooke, Richard Eyre, Rupert Goold, Thea Sharrock, 2012–16) and The Black Macbeth (directed and adapted by Peter Coe, Roundhouse, 1972). The ultimate goal for minority artists is to transcend the label of a postcolonial subject or a perpetual other. US actor Hector Reynoso, for

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example, is strongly opposed to any labels, particularly ‘persons of colour’. During a panel discussion at Washington, DC’s Gallaudet University on Shakespeare and diversity on 29 March 2016, he made it clear that colour-conscious or colour-blind casting does not work for him. He envisions a postracial world where his talents, rather than his ethnicity, will draw the spotlight. At the same conference, actor Deidra Starnes complained that she is ready to take on stately roles and would love to play, for example, Cleopatra. However, she is repeatedly asked to be the nurse in Romeo and Juliet. Deaf actor and director Monique Holt reminded us that a diverse world calls for a diverse cast even if Shakespeare may not have envisioned nonwhite actors staging Hamlet. Language is sometimes used as a marker of racial difference. British-Kenyan director Jatinder Verma, Artistic Director of the Asian theatre company Tara Arts, uses the term Binglish (i.e. the theatre praxis of featuring Asian or black casts in productions by independent Asian or black theatre companies) to challenge the dominant conventions of the English stage. In April 2015, Tara Arts produced its adaptation of Macbeth set in a migrant Asian family. Verma deliberately avoided picking an Asian-themed play. Instead, Tara Arts wanted to give black and Asian actors an opportunity to do Shakespeare. Race and ethnicity are not only visible but also audible in global adaptations of Shakespeare. The aforementioned film Chicken Rice War uses different dialects and accents to demarcate ethnic differences. The feud in Romeo and Juliet is marked linguistically in the comedy as one between generations. The parental generation converses in Cantonese, while the younger generation speaks mostly Singlish. The feud between the two families appears both arbitrary and historically rooted, given the roles of Britain and Malaysia in Singapore’s colonial past. The parents’ feud is arbitrary, since they speak the same dialect. As a result, they are aligned against the younger generation in terms of linguistic difference. The characters are self-aware of the cultural crossroads where they stand and where Singapore finds itself. The familiar trope of ‘star-crossed lovers’ is turned inside out in this tragedy-turnedparody. Chicken Rice War questions the Singaporean government’s promise that the four official languages – Malay, English, Mandarin and Tamil – are equal. In the film, English is repeatedly demonstrated to be the preferred language that conveys authority and power, both in the framing device featuring a television newscaster reporting on the conflicts between the Wong and Chan families and in scenes that align English – even with a Singaporean accent – with global, modern culture. Many characters speak Singlish, a creole used colloquially that is based on vernacular English, Malay and Mandarin. It is bad enough for characters whose primary language is not English. It is even worse for those who do not speak even one of the four official languages, such as the Cantonese-speaking owners of the chicken rice stalls. The oeuvre of Shakespeare has also been used to initiate reparative discourses about race. In particular, King Lear has frequently been adapted in this vein. Anthony Sher and John Kani’s play Kunene and the King (Stratford-upon-Avon and Cape Town, 2019; a co-production of the RSC and Fugard Theatre) depicts how two characters come to terms with ageing, cultural biases and their mortality through situations that parallel those in Lear and their re-enactment of scenes from

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the play. Kunene and the King features Lunga, a South African black male nurse, and Jack, an ill-tempered white actor coping with terminal liver cancer in South Africa. Throughout the play they recite passages from King Lear to expose each other’s cultural biases and eventually reconcile their differences. They rehearse South African racial histories through the text of Lear as well. Hong Kong–British director David Tse staged a Mandarin-English production of King Lear in 2006 with his London-based Yellow Earth Theatre in collaboration with Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre in Shanghai and Stratford-upon-Avon (part of the RSC Complete Works Festival). Lear, a business tycoon, solicits declarations of love from his three daughters. Regan and Goneril, who live in Shanghai, are fluent in Chinese, but Cordelia, who lives in London, is unable to communicate in Chinese with her father. Her silence is both a result of her inability to speak Mandarin and a gesture of resistance to the patriarchy. Cordelia, a member of the Chinese diaspora in London, participates in this important family and business meeting via video link. Ironically but perhaps fittingly, the only Chinese word at her disposal is meiyou (‘nothing’). Both Tse’s Lear and the aforementioned Life Goes On frame the different world views of Lear and Cordelia in terms of linguistic difference and offer a redemptive arc. Multiethnic casting is an increasingly popular approach to adapting Shakespeare, but it is not a magical solution to racial inequality. In some cases, what appear to be multiethnic performances based on the casts turn out to be aesthetically incoherent, such as a pan-African Macbeth directed by Liesl Tommy for the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC in 2017. Featuring African dance, this production reimagined the Scottish play in a North African political landscape with visual references to Russian and CIA (or rather, UIA in the production) intervention in civil wars and regime change in an unnamed third world country. The production boasts nontraditional and gender-bending casting, featuring more women and actors of colour than previous productions with the same company, with Jesse J. Perez (Macbeth) and Nikkole Salter (Lady Macbeth) in the lead roles. Not coincidentally, Hecate and the witches were the only Caucasian white characters in this universe, which accentuated not only the clash between Western imperialism and the third world but also the power imbalance between black and white communities. The transposition strategy of adaptation reflected the life experience of Liesl Tommy, an African-American director who was raised in Cape Town, South Africa during the apartheid era. The production’s predominantly multiethnic cast brought to mind Orson Welles’s landmark 1936 Macbeth (Federal Theatre Project in New York), which was set in Haiti and featured an all-black cast. In both cases, the ethnicity and race of the cast matched those of the characters and cultures in the adaptation’s respective universe. Tommy’s production engaged in two models of nontraditional casting outlined by the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts and Ayanna Thompson: namely, conceptual casting, a model ‘in which actors of color are [self-consciously] cast in roles to enhance the play’s social resonance’, and cross-cultural casting, an approach that translates the universe of the play to a different culture and location (Thompson 2011: 76).

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CONCLUSION: POLITICS OF RECEPTION Global Shakespeare is a promising arena to recast racial and gender roles, counter censorship and expand dramatic genres, but multicultural works, whether made locally or imported as touring theatre, can receive a mixed reception due to audiences’ investment in some form of cultural authenticity. Iqbal Khan’s Much Ado About Nothing (RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, August 2012), for example, was set in contemporary Delhi and performed by a cast of second-generation Indian British actors. The production appropriated Bollywood-inspired music. Within the context of the UK, it was quickly compared by the press to two touring productions at the London Globe from the Indian subcontinent that were perceived to be more authentic, including Company Theatre’s Hindi adaptation of Twelfth Night (dir. Atul Kumar) at the London Globe’s 2012 World Shakespeare Festival. For intercultural films and stage works, there is often a gap between artistic intent and audience response. The gap is less visible in relatively homogenous contexts (such as a Royal Shakespeare Company production in Stratford-upon-Avon), but it is enlarged in intercultural contexts where artists and audiences do not share the same cultural heritage. Some directors find these accidental meanings productive, while others resist being pigeonholed or profiled on the basis of their cultural origins. This phenomenon can produce the artistically positive effects of flipping stereotypes and offering an alternative pathway into a classic work with established interpretations (e.g. postcolonial interpretations of The Tempest). The overworked theme of colonialism in The Tempest loses its power over time. An example is the 2009 pan-African Tempest co-produced by the RSC and Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre Centre and directed by Janice Honeyman. In this allegory of colonialism, Antony Sher’s white, dominant Prospero had John Kani’s black Caliban – who bears traces of a South African shaman – on a tether, but in the final scene, Prospero delivers the epilogue to Caliban as an acknowledgement of his crimes. Shakespearean scholar Anston Bosman, a South African native, argues that the production ‘signaled the exhaustion of The Tempest as a vehicle for that allegory and the urgent need for South African theater, now fifteen years into democracy, to appropriate Shakespeare in freshly imaginative ways’ (2010: 108). However, when this production went on tour ‘on the global stage’ outside South Africa, it received favourable reviews in Britain. The worthy and politically correct allegory about the third world was recruited to help British critics justify enjoyment of the African carnival. Kate Bassett found the production ‘universally poignant’ (2009), and Michael Billington was struck by how the performance’s combination of ‘racial politics with visual playfulness’ liberated ‘this all-too-familiar play’ and turned it into ‘a deeply moving cry for forgiveness of the colonial past’ (2009). The overseas success of the production, ironically, was due to its apolitical nature. Bosman wrote that the production was ‘political only in the most predictable sense – as a call for anticolonial insurrection and indigenous self-governance – which, in 2009, is no longer very political at all’ (2010: 114). The disparity in reception is the blessing and curse of touring theatre.

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Another example is the strong contrast between the Japanese and the foreign reception of Ninagawa’s ‘cherry blossom’ Macbeth (1980 in Tokyo, 1985 in Amsterdam and Edinburgh). Audiences at Japanese and international venues saw it alternately as a spectacle with strong visual motifs; a samurai story infused with Buddhist rituals; a stage work with Kurosawa-inspired cinematic qualities; an innovative Kabuki performance; a relatively conservative interpretation of the universal morals of Macbeth; a self-serving, self-Orientalizing production that appropriates Japanese traditions out of their local context; and sometimes all of the above. Self-Orientalization refers to a tendency of ‘Oriental’ artists – themselves typically the object of Western appropriation – to frame their works in stereotypical chinoserie or japonisme in order to meet the expectations of the Western gaze. Intercultural works thrive on the parallel and conflicting voices they foster. Global Shakespeare has been shaped by censorship in the form of redacting the canon, transformations of genres, and performances of racial and gender identities. Global adapatations promote self-reflexivity by making artists and audiences more aware of their assumptions about cultural differences. As such, adaptations are productive because they generate new worldviews.

REFERENCES Austin, J. L. (1975), How to Do Things with Words, 2nd edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bachelard, G. (1942), L’eau et les rêves; essai sur l’imagination de la matière, Paris: J. Corti. Bassett, K. (2009), ‘The Tempest, Courtyard, Stratford; Othello, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds’, Independent, 22 February. Available online: www.independent. co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/reviews/the-tempest-courtyard-stratfordothellowest-yorkshire-playhouse-leeds-1628609.html (accessed 2 May 2020). Billington, M. (2009), ‘The Tempest: Courtyard, Stratford-upon-Avon’, Guardian, 19 February. Available online: www.theguardian.com/stage/2009/feb/19/review-tempeststratford-upon-avon (accessed 2 May 2020). Bosman, A. (2010), ‘Cape of Storms: The Baxter Theatre Centre–RSC Tempest, 2009’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 61: 108–17. Bowdler, T. (1843), The Family Shakespeare in One Volume, in Which Nothing Is Added to the Original Text but Those Words and Expressions Are Omitted Which Cannot with Propriety Be Read Aloud in a Family, 8th edn, London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans. Chow, R. (1995), Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography and Contemporary Chinese Cinema, New York: Columbia University Press. Clayton, T. (2016), ‘Two Textual Cruxes in The Tempest’, Notes and Queries, 63.3 (August): 436–41. Hoenselaars, T., ed. (2004), Shakespeare’s History Plays: Performance, Translation and Adaptation in Britain and Abroad, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Iyengar, S. (2016), ‘Iconic Characters: Ophelia’, in B. Smith (ed.), The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare: The World’s Shakespeare 1660–Present, vol. 2, 1322–5, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Iyengar, S. and M. Jacobson (2020), ‘Introduction: Shakespearean Appropriation in Inter/ national Contexts’, in C. Desmet, S. Iyengar and M. Jacobson (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Global Appropriation, 1–13, London: Routledge. Jackson, M. P. (2016), ‘Screening the Tragedies: King Lear’, in M. Neill and D. Schalkwyk (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Tragedy, 607–23, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Joubin, A.A. and P. Donaldson (2019), MIT Global Shakespeares Video and Performance Archive, https://globalshakespeares.mit.edu/ Joubin, A. A. and A. Mancewicz (2018), ‘Introduction’, in A. Mancewicz and A. A. Joubin (eds), Local and Global Myths in Shakespearean Performance, 1–22, London: Palgrave Macmillan. King, W. (2019), ‘Thomas Bowdler: Bowdlerizing Shakespeare’, No Sweat Shakespeare. Available online: www.nosweatshakespeare.com/blog/thomas-bowdler-bowdlerizingshakespeare/ (accessed 31 October 2019). Kurzel, Justin, dir. Macbeth, perf. Michael Fassbender, See-Saw, 2015. Litvin, M. (2007), ‘Review of Richard III: An Arab Tragedy’, Shakespeare Bulletin, 25: 85–91. Ono, T. and S. A. Thompson (2003), ‘Japanese (w)atashi/ore/boku “I”: They’re Not Just Pronouns’, Cognitive Linguistics, 14: 321–47. Reynoso, H. (2016), ‘Shakespeare and Diversity’ symposium, Gallaudet University, 29 March. Sanchez, M. E. (2008), ‘Seduction and Service in The Tempest’, Studies in Philology, 105.1 (Winter): 50–82. Seef, A. (2018), South Africa’s Shakespeare and the Drama of Language and Identity, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Sperlinger, T. (2015), Romeo and Juliet in Palestine: Teaching under Occupation, Alresford: Zero. Sullivan, E. (2013), ‘Olympic Performance in the Year of Shakespeare’, in P. Edmondson, P. Prescott and E. Sullivan (eds), A Year of Shakespeare: Re-Living the World Shakespeare Festival, 3–11, London: Arden Shakespeare. Thompson, A. (2011), Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Trivedi, H. K. (1978), ‘Hindi Translations of Shakespeare: A Historical Survey’, Shakespeare Translation (Tokyo), 5: 79–91. Worthen, W. B. (2003), Shakespeare and the Force of Modern Performance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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PART FIVE

Twenty-first-century directions

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CHAPTER 5.1

Disability studies KATHERINE SCHAAP WILLIAMS

Critical disability studies begins with the idea that no normative criteria for bodies or minds should disqualify a human being. From that foundation, this theoretical approach studies how variance of bodies and minds has been understood, classified, rehabilitated and governed over time – and how disabled people have flourished as individuals and communities despite the medical, legal and cultural regimes that have sought to eliminate disability and disabled people themselves. Because critical disability studies emerges from the disability rights movement, disability studies is bound up with disability justice in the pursuit of a world that supports the flourishing of humans in their full range of diverse bodies and minds. Early work on disability drew upon other theoretical approaches to identity, such as feminist and gender studies, critical race studies and queer theory, developing as a broadly interdisciplinary field oriented to the present (see Adams, Reiss and Serlin 2015). The foremost target of critique was the ‘medical model’ of disability, the assumption that disability is an individual misfortune to be corrected and cured, requiring medical intervention to produce a ‘normal’ body. Against this common understanding, disability theorists posited the ‘social model’ of disability, which distinguishes between an impaired body and the environment that disables that body. Disability is not a problem intrinsic to a body in need of correction, but a register of how the world is built to accommodate some bodies and not others. As Nancy Hirschmann puts it, ‘Disability is a social construction in the most obvious sense: Because of the ways that social relations, the built environment, laws, customs, and other practices are structured and organized, certain bodies are disabled, and other bodies are facilitated’ (2012: 398). Disability, understood as a human experience and identity category, is especially broad: comprising physical and cognitive or intellectual difference, disability can be congenital and acquired, temporary and permanent, ongoing and episodic, apparent or unapparent. Subsequent critics noted that the social model prioritizes physical disability over intellectual disability and has difficulty accounting for chronic pain and other conditions that are less easily accommodated by a change in environment; furthermore, ‘impairment’ is a judgement already freighted with assumptions from the medical model’s emphasis on diagnosis. Revisions to the social model thus emphasize disability as a temporal negotiation between embodiment and environment (the ‘cultural model’ of disability: see Mitchell and Snyder 2005) and as an ‘interaction between individual and structural factors’ (the ‘critical realist

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approach’: see Shakespeare 2014). Disability is a minoritarian identity in which, as Tobin Siebers explains, ‘disability identity itself is never negative, [and] disability as a condition of minds and bodies has both positive and negative values’ (2015: 224). But disability may also challenge the notion of identity altogether, as Lennard J. Davis has suggested, developing an idea of ‘dismodernism’ that recognizes that all subjects are ‘in fact disabled, only completed by technology and by interventions’ (2002: 30). Disability’s temporal register, captured in the idea from the disability rights movement that even an able body is only ever temporarily able-bodied, sets it apart from other identity categories. Yet a wealth of critical work also demonstrates the value of intersectional approaches that read disability in relation to other identity categories such as race, gender and sexuality (see Hall 2011; Samuels 2014; Schalk 2018; and Pickens 2019). Further work on intellectual disability and neurodiversity counters the social model’s emphasis on physical disability and also allies disability with mad studies, which continues to refine, complicate and expand the frames through which we encounter diverse ‘body-minds’, a concept developed by Margaret Price (2011) to prioritize the human as enminded as much as embodied. As this array of approaches to the very definition of disability suggests, disability – identity, negotiation, political alignment – is never only one thing. Indeed, a strand of opposition within the disability studies discourse suggests that the notion of the liberal subject that grounds claims about disability rights is itself a fiction that enables exclusions. A ‘crip’ critique – which redefines a stigmatizing slur – pushes back on what Robert McRuer calls ‘compulsory able-bodiedness’ (2006: 2), the impulse of neoliberal capitalism that braids heteronormativity and ability together to idealize a productive and reproductive body. Recent work extends this analysis across space and time, from Alison Kafer’s discussion of ‘crip time’ as a challenge to the futureoriented concept of cure in medical discourse (2013) to Jasbir K. Puar’s concept of ‘debility’ as an exclusion from the rights-bearing category of the subject (2017) to McRuer’s notion of the ‘disability exceptionalism’ that justifies economic austerity (2018). Nor are these crip approaches to the power of disability resistance limited to the present moment. Elizabeth B. Bearden’s exploration of Renaissance discourses of monstrosity shows how crip perspectives exceed generic and cultural norms, arguing that disability offers ‘a representational history that is copious enough to comprehend and respond to society’s oscillations between sanctification of and discrimination against people with disabilities’ (2019: 6). Literary approaches to disability have thus demonstrated how texts represent ideas about ability, cultural norms and the category of the human – and challenge the settled construction of these categories too. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, using the term ‘normate’ to describe the ‘veiled subject position of cultural self, the figure outlined by the array of deviant others whose marked bodies shore up the normate’s boundaries’ (1997: 8), traces how literary texts employ disability not only to figure stereotypes but to represent vivid encounters with physical difference. Working from the conviction that disability offers a vital insight into human diversity, early critics emphasized the importance of memoir to reclaim experience (Linton 1998) and challenged assumptions about the experiences of living with a disability (Johnson 2005). Recent studies expand into disability rhetoric and questions of

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self-representation (Yergeau 2018) and move between personal experience and structural critique in efforts for disability justice (Taylor 2017). For scholars of literature, ‘disability aesthetics’ offers a powerful resource for understanding the expressive capacity that disability offers to textual representation (Davidson 2008; Siebers 2010). Central to these claims for literature is the understanding that texts are not only artefacts that reflect ideas about disability but objects that shape notions of disability in culture. David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder’s foundational concept of ‘narrative prosthesis’ begins by noting that disability is everywhere in literature, serving as ‘the master trope of human disqualification’, and pointing out that disability operates as ‘a stock feature of characterization and as an opportunistic metaphorical device’ (2000: 3, 47). Building on this articulation of disability’s importance to narrative, Ato Quayson outlines a theory of ‘aesthetic nervousness’ (2007: 15), arguing that disability disrupts the protocols of representation within a text, provoking affective response that goes beyond literary character. Michael Bérubé, tracing how fictions of intellectual disability trouble and redefine narrative strategies, argues that disability offers valuable experiments in literary form, even as these representations demand we challenge how narrative capacity becomes a limit case for the category of the human (2016). As Melanie Yergeau puts it, autism is ‘a story about stories, and what or who is determined to be storyable … What’s of concern is who gets to author our individual and collective identities, who gets to determine whether we are, in fact, narrative creatures, whether we are living beings in rhetorical bodies, whether we are even allowed to call ourselves human’ (2018: 21). Literary texts employ disability to explore human experience, and disability representations, in return, continue to shape the categories by which disability is recognized and valued in the world. Work in early modern disability studies builds upon these critical frameworks and also challenges limiting assumptions about disability’s premodern past. Shakespeare’s Richard III has furnished the most obvious example. In the play’s opening soliloquy, Richard Gloucester proclaims himself ‘deformed’ (1.1.20) and ‘cheated of feature’ (19); thereafter he says he ‘halts’ and is ‘misshapen thus’ (1.2.253). Later in the play he claims that his ‘arm / Is like a blasted sapling withered up’ (3.4.67–8), and other characters address him as ‘elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog’ (1.3.227) and ‘[t]hat dog, that had his teeth before his eyes’ (4.4.49). In the performance history of this play, a long tradition of able-bodied actors have understood these verbal cues and visual descriptions as an invitation to assume a prosthetic hump and adopt a limp, feigning disability. This history of representation reveals cultural expectations about disability, often mistaken for insight into the experiences of disabled people. Given Richard III’s actions, critics interpreted early modern disability through a moral lens, arguing that physical deformity was understood as a sign of moral depravity. As early modern scholars have worked with insights from disability theory, we have complicated this view, re-reading Richard III instead for a richer elaboration of the notion of ‘deformity’ as a crucial category for human variation (Williams 2009), finding that the play refracts social, cultural and proto-medical discourses of disability (Hobgood 2015), identifying the prosthetic operations of disability and

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masculinity (Nardizzi 2016), linking his character to practices of feigning disability in the period (Row-Heyveld 2018) and finding in Richard the complex relation between theatrical and textual registers of the ‘prosthetic disabled body’ (Love 2018: 3). As Genevieve Love argues, disability representations ‘embody a theatrical problem: that imitation is not identity’ and thus offer ‘a means of pointing back to mimetic challenges and opportunities’ of the theatre’s formal work (2018: 2, 14). Redefining Richard, we have also broadened the scope of attention to disability in early modern literature and culture. As Allison P. Hobgood and David Houston Wood observed in a foundational collection, Shakespeare’s work alone ‘encompasses a broad range of disabled selfhoods: it moves across a spectrum from bodily to metaphysical disfigurements, ranging from instances of blindness to limping, from alcoholism to excessive fat, from infertility to war wounds, from cognitive impairments to epilepsy, from senility to “madness,” and from feigned disability to actual’ (2013: 11). Sujata Iyengar notes, moreover, that the verb ‘disable’ and its cognates offer an expansive definition, connoting the experience of ‘a physical, moral, or economic slowdown’ (2015: 9) rather than a fixed state. Disability is both the signification of physical and intellectual difference and the frame through which difference is apprehended and received. From interpretive schema such as physiognomy texts to images of ‘monstrous’ births to legal regulations governing ‘crippled’ beggars and ‘lame’ soldiers, and from theatrical performance to natural philosophical essays to lyric poetry, representations of disability are everywhere in early modern literature. Scrutinizing the physical environments that disable and exclude on the basis of difference, we can attend to the structures that distinguish between bodies and minds and assign values to them. Drawing upon disability theory, we can ask: what determines which bodies and minds are singled out? What are the modes of correcting human variance? What kind of cultural work do disability metaphors and figurations do? How does disability signify, and how does disability exceed bodily impairment? And finally, what might disability representations offer to Shakespeare’s plays? Here I will borrow a key insight from Bérubé, the idea that rather than locating disability as a feature of a single character, we can ask how disability ‘affords us insight into the operation of, and the violation of, human social norms that construct our sense of what is right and proper, what is in just proportion and in good working order’ (2016: 26). To do so I turn to one of Shakespeare’s plays that does not seem to be ‘about’ disability at all: Romeo and Juliet. I hope to move us well beyond Richard III in our reading of disability in Shakespeare’s plays and to offer a flexible model for literary interpretation that demonstrates how reading through the lens of disability can open up new insights into familiar texts by Shakespeare. It is not that Romeo and Juliet offers a new depiction of disabled characters, though current work in early modern disability studies productively considers how representations of disabled people disclose early modern investments in ideas of ability even before a concept of the quantifiably ‘normal’ body. Rather, the play exposes beliefs about bodies and minds that appear so commonplace as to be entirely unquestioned, asking us to consider the ideology of ability that shapes how human vulnerability is interpreted.

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PERCEIVING ‘FAIR’ Romeo and Juliet is a play that imagines its titular lovers embedded in a world of visual scrutiny, one in which characters try to map appearance to identity. When we meet Romeo, he is an unrequited lover who laments the unfeeling Rosaline. Spinning Petrarchan clichés (‘Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health’ (1.1.178) and ‘Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs’ (188)), Romeo protests, above all, that ‘she is rich in beauty, only poor / That when she dies, with beauty dies her store’ (213–14). Rosaline has chosen to ‘live chaste’ (215), and Romeo understands her rejection – as the rhyme forecasts – as ‘waste’ because she, ‘beauty starved with her severity, / Cuts beauty off from all prosperity’ (217–18). He has said the same thing twice: Rosaline is beautiful, and she owes the gift of this beauty to the world (and specifically to him) through reproduction. This is a typically misogynist trope in Renaissance love poetry, except that when Benvolio tells Romeo to turn his gaze to ‘other beauties’ (226), Romeo takes it further: These happy masks that kiss fair ladies’ brows, Being black, puts us in mind they hide the fair. He that is stricken blind cannot forget The precious treasure of his eyesight lost. Show me a mistress that is passing fair, What doth her beauty serve but as a note Where I may read who passed that passing fair? (228–34) Romeo gets stuck on the word ‘fair’ in a repetition that is not close enough to be an epistrophe and not different enough to be a rhyme. The term first seems to mean beauty, in the implied contrast between ‘black’ mask and face beneath, borrowing from Petrarchan tropes of red and white skin associated with the female beloved (see Gajowski 1992). The specificity of the mask also registers racialized difference; fair is whiteness in opposition to darkness, a pejorative marker of race, as Kim Hall’s foundational work has taught us to understand (1995). Uses of ‘fair’ in Shakespeare’s plays, furthermore, oppose the term to bodies imagined as ‘Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious’ (KJ 3.1.46) or described as ‘deformed’ (R3 1.1.20) (see Williams 2019). This contrast gives way to a new image in the next pair of lines. Romeo imagines a person suddenly ‘stricken blind’, who can only think of his ability – again, in economic terms – as a ‘precious treasure’ that he no longer possesses. The final set of lines that terminate in ‘fair’ are a comparative challenge: the value of any woman he encounters can never exceed the commodity of her beauty (‘who passed that passing fair’). This is a visual economy of beauty: where Benvolio imagines that women are indiscriminately swappable, urging Romeo to turn his gaze upon someone else, Romeo’s model of appearance is competitive. His beloved is distinctive because she is fairer than everyone else. To make this case, he imagines himself in the position of someone ‘stricken blind’, and all he can imagine is a deficit. This assumption reveals Romeo’s limited conception of blindness. In this recourse to

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disability as a metaphor, blindness is not an example of what Siebers calls ‘complex embodiment’, the idea that disability reflects ‘specific knowledge about the ways that environment and embodiment mutually transform one another’ (2016: 442), and therefore constitutes diverse ways of knowing and interacting with the world. Romeo instead believes that to be removed from access to this visual economy would only be a loss. This idea permeates the world of the play as characters repeatedly harp upon appearances. Capulet dispatches his serving-men ‘[t]hrough fair Verona’ (1.2.34) with invitations for a party, which includes ‘My fair niece Rosaline’ (1.2.69); Romeo reads out the list and declares ‘a fair assembly’ (1.2.72); Benvolio reiterates that Romeo’s perception of Rosaline’s beauty arises only because he ‘saw her fair none else being by’ (1.2.95). The play begins by making this discourse entirely masculinist, a matter of appraising women according to their looks. Although the relentless repetition – that ‘fair’, ‘fair’, ‘fair’ we keep hearing – may evacuate meaning, its use reveals an impulse to comparison that governs the standards for bodies. Even in the final lines of the play, Montague and Capulet cannot cease competing with each other in displays of beauty that testify to wealth. When Capulet offers to shake Montague’s hand (‘for no more / Can I demand’ (5.3.297–8)), Montague wrests the end of the line away from him – ‘But I can give thee more, / For I will raise her statue in pure gold’ (5.3.298–9) – and Capulet responds by echoing this monumental competition: ‘As rich shall Romeo’s by his lady’s lie’ (5.1.303). The visual scrutiny, furthermore, is not limited to male characters. In the scene after Romeo introduces ‘fair’, the term circulates in the domestic, feminized space of Juliet’s room. Juliet’s mother inquires whether Juliet can summon interest in Paris (‘What say you, can you love the gentleman?’ (1.3.80)), and she develops a logic of scrutiny in the metaphor of a book: Read o’er the volume of young Paris’ face, And find delight writ there with beauty’s pen; Examine every married lineament, And see how one another lends content; And what obscured in this fair volume lies Find written in the margent of his eyes. This precious book of love, this unbound lover, To beautify him only lacks a cover. (1.3.82–9) This series of rhyming couplets develops the idea that Paris’s face is a book, written by beauty, a ‘fair volume’ that is supplemented by marginal notations (‘the margent of his eyes’) that his gaze can supplement. If Juliet is attentive, she will ‘read’, ‘find’, ‘examine’ and ‘see’ the thing that everyone else knows to be true about Paris (which Lady Capulet calls that ‘book in many’s eyes’ (1.3.92)): he is attractive and he is ‘unbound’, a sheaf of loose pages, without a ‘cover’, by which she means a wife. And he is rich. Lady Capulet will go on to suggest that his ‘fair without’ discloses a ‘fair within’, for he is a book with ‘gold clasps’ and a ‘golden story’ (1.3.91–3),

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orienting the visual economy to heterosexual marriage. Sight operates as an estimate of currency. Fair appearances signal social and economic worth; ‘fair’ is an attribute that secures many other attributes that Verona’s society deems valuable. The concept of disability that I am noting here is not limited to a single body; rather, bodily metaphors help us to notice the ideology of the ‘fair’ appearance. We also, however, find two sites of resistance to the nearly automatic conflation of the appearance with the self. The first is the lovers themselves, whose most powerful rhetorical exchanges are premised upon darkness, hiddenness and being unseen. Darkness offers a shelter from the gaze of others (‘I have night’s cloak to hide me from their eyes’ (2.2.75)), a visual screen that affords new intimacies of disclosure (‘pardon me, / And not impute this yielding to light love, / Which the dark night hath so discovered’ (2.2.104–6)) and a liminal space in which such disclosures can produce vertiginous effects (‘O blessed, blessed night! I am afeared, / Being in night, all this is but a dream, / Too flattering-sweet to be substantial’ (2.2.139–41)). In Juliet’s famous soliloquy, this emphasis on love emancipated from the strictures of scrutiny takes the form of an apostrophe to ‘cloudy night’: Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night, That runaways’ eyes may wink, and Romeo Leap to these arms, untalked of and unseen. Lovers can see to do their amorous rites By their own beauties; or, if love be blind, It best agrees with night. (3.2.5–10) Blindness, that metaphor Romeo introduced earlier, returns here, but in the allegorical tradition of blind Cupid, the god of love. Cupid’s lack of sight is a kind of randomization device because he cannot perceive where his arrows are going, sparking unaccountable attraction between unlikely partners. Juliet’s embrace of what is ‘unseen’ equates night and blindness not as incapacity or economic loss (as in Romeo’s metaphor) but as the very condition that makes the lovers’ encounter possible. Beyond the lovers, one other figure in the play resists the visual economy of ‘fair’: Mercutio. On the way to the Capulet party, Mercutio calls for a mask: Give me a case to put my visage in, A visor for a visor! What care I What curious eye doth quote deformities? Here are the beetle brows shall blush for me. (1.4.29–32) Romeo has suggested that the mask is a device that contrasts with the beautiful face beneath, but Mercutio collapses the distance between face and mask. Editors gloss his ‘visor’ exclamation as ‘alluding to the proverb “A well-favoured visor will hide her ill-favoured face”’ (1.4.30n30). The proverb is an equally misogynist reversal – here an ugly woman wears a mask that looks beautiful on the outside – but Mercutio

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suggests that there may be no difference between a face and a mask, the ‘beetle brows’ literally meaning thick eyebrows, and figuratively perhaps a ‘deformity’ (also defined as ugliness). ‘Deformity’ is a familiar term from Richard III, as we have seen, where Richard Gloucester uses it to mark his physical difference. Mercutio’s reference to ‘deformities’ does not clarify which (his face or his mask?) because he does not care what people think about how he looks. He rejects the ‘curious eye’ of an onlooker that would ‘quote deformities’ (glossed as ‘point out blemishes’ (n31)). Mercutio, in a comic frame, refuses to participate in what we have identified as the play’s logic of appearances. Mercutio continues to voice this defiance of a collective scrutiny – the instrument of value to which everyone else appeals – for as long as he lasts in the play. As the quarrel with Tybalt is just beginning, Benvolio tries to intervene, entreating the men: We talk here in the public haunt of men. Either withdraw unto some private place, Or reason coldly of your grievances, Or else depart. Here all eyes gaze on us. (3.1.49–52) Benvolio’s consciousness of the social world’s ‘gaze’ is oriented around the worry that their conflict will spark the feud’s snowballing retribution. Mercutio, however, responds: ‘Men’s eyes were made to look, and let them gaze. / I will not budge for no man’s pleasure, I’ (53–4). Mercutio’s refusal to ‘budge’, his defiance of the social code that orders behaviour and values the possibilities of being seen in ‘public’, escalates the conflict into which Romeo will enter, causing Mercutio’s death and initiating the chain of events that confirm the play’s tragedy: revenge, banishment, death. Yet his assertion, ‘let them gaze’, does not aim to negotiate the social scrutiny of the world as much as defy its power. Against Benvolio’s plural pronouns, Mercutio insists on an ‘I’ – twice, to open and close the line – a stance that he will not cede to the collective judgement of the gazing world. Mercutio is a major addition to Shakespeare’s play, not a developed character in the source. Noting this point, Emma Smith asks why Shakespeare adds Mercutio, ‘and why, having invented him, does Shakespeare have to kill him off at this point?’ (2007: 91). Mercutio is a source of comic energy and, as a link between both houses, represents a possible hope for resolution, so that when he dies in 3.1, we lose the chance to avert the tragedy. Locating Mercutio as a figure of resistance to the relentless monetizing and ranking of appearance that pervades the rest of the play, we see that he employs ‘deformity’ not in the negative sense that so often defines how we read bodily difference, but in a generative, creative way. Deformity is an alternative to the visual economy of beauty, a refusal to assent to the proposition that the appearance of a body can certify a person’s value. When the play shuts down the alternative that Mercutio offers, it commits to a tragic future in which this equation of appearance with value persists. Mercutio’s indifference to scrutiny exposes how such social norms naturalize a construction that equates appearance with worth.

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SOMEWHAT FAST: AGE AND TEMPORAL CONTINGENCY We can also ask a second question: what does the representation of disability offer to Romeo and Juliet? How does disability, as a problem of incapacity, enable the play to complicate the moralizing interpretations that Shakespeare inherits from his source, and allow the play to push against the teleological frame of tragedy? Famously, the Prologue barrels toward the ending: despite hesitating over whether their deaths will ‘bury their parents’ strife’ (8), we begin the play knowing how it will end, even before the end of the sonnet. The lovers are ‘star-crossed’ (6) and their ‘death-marked love’ (9) is both doomed by fate and literally contained – at the level of the line – within the enmity of their parents’ feud. This emphasis on fate and strife is notably different from how Shakespeare’s source for the play, Arthur Brooke’s translation of the Italian poem Romeus and Juliet (1562), frames the lesson that readers should learn. Brooke begins with a preface to the reader stating that ‘to this ende (good Reader) is this tragicall matter written, to describe vnto thee a coople of vnfortunate louers, thralling themselues to vnhonest desire, neglecting the authoritie and aduise of parents and friends, conferring their principall counsels with dronken gossyppes and superstitious friers’ (1562: sig. ¶ ii.v). In contrast to Brooke’s moralizing of the young (and Catholic) lovers, Shakespeare’s prologue ‘stresses fortune – the inevitability of what happens’ (Smith 2007: 122). For Smith, the ‘pull of the source’ exerts force, so that the play ‘may seem to buck the moralistic gloss of Brooke’s source poem, but [Shakespeare’s] play still ends in tragedy for the lovers’ (2007: 123). Yet even if the prologue emphasizes fate, the play maintains suspense – it maintains the possibility that things could go otherwise – by opening a field of bodily contingency. This is a register of disability as incapacity, attributable to age and accident. Vulnerable bodies are everywhere in the play, from Romeo’s catching melancholy in the opening scenes, to the bout of plague that prevents Friar Laurence’s explanatory letter from being delivered to Romeo, the contingency of illness that leads to tragedy. The ageing body, specifically, functions to make this fate appear contingent even if it is inevitable. The play’s marked contrast between youth and age appears to challenge tragedy’s telescoping doom. The youthfulness of the lovers, which – in Juliet’s case – Shakespeare’s play emphasizes, looks like an alternative to bodies that are incapable of speed or change because they are old. Ultimately, however, the play employs disability to occlude the social structures that constrain the young lovers, naturalizing tragedy through bodily incapacity. The play measures time through bodies from the very first scene, when Capulet and Montague have made themselves ridiculous by hankering to join the fray. Their evident unfitness for fighting underscores the self-perpetuating quality of the feud, which goes so far back the origin is forgotten, even if the animosity is unforgettable. At the dance, Capulet remarks to his cousin that ‘you and I are past our dancing days’ (1.5.31) and asks, ‘How long is’t now since last yourself and I / Were in a masque?’ (32–3). Bodily posture betrays the effects of time only dimly remembered (the answer is the ‘nuptial of Lucentio’ (35), which turns out to have

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been ‘five-and-twenty years’ (37) and then ‘thirty’ (39) years ago). The young figures on display at the dance become the occasion to mark time passing, registered in what the men can no longer do. These vignettes of age, furthermore, romanticize youthfulness by minimizing the difficulties the lovers face. When Friar Laurence encounters Romeo early in the morning, he makes this contrast explicit: Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye, And where care lodges, sleep will never lie. But where unbruised youth with unstuffed brain Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign. (2.2.31–4) He is wrong, of course, for Romeo has not been sleeping, and he is wrong too when he imagines that the young lovers have ‘unstuffed brains’. Friar Laurence, offering general platitudes, underestimates the fatalities of the ‘care’ that weighs on Romeo and Juliet because of the political division, the feud that will indeed ‘bruise’ them. This contrast between aged figures, associated with plodding wisdom, and youthful figures, associated with swift impetuousness, at first appears as a source of humour in the scenes between Juliet and the Nurse. Their exchanges – first comic and later, tragic reprisal – foreground Juliet’s impatience with the Nurse’s slowness. Juliet exclaims: Had she affections and warm youthful blood, She would be as swift in motion as a ball: My words would bandy her to my sweet love, And his to me. But old folks, many fain as they were dead, Unwieldy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead. (2.2.12–17) Juliet ties her ‘affections’ to ‘warm youthful blood’ and projects the contrast onto the Nurse in the subjunctive. The adjectives in the final line, ‘unwieldy, slow, heavy’, are bodily qualities Juliet associates explicitly with ‘old folks’. These terms are repeated by the Nurse herself when she enters, complaining about her body, from being ‘aweary’ (25), twice referencing her aching bones (26, 63), asserting that she is ‘out of breath’ (30) and that her ‘head aches’ (48) and exclaiming, ‘My back a’ t’other side, ah, my back, my back!’ (50). The Arden edition of the play follows Q2 (as is typical), which extends Juliet’s inventory of the Nurse’s body as the reason for delay, beginning with Juliet’s exclamation, ‘O she is lame’ (2.5.4). Lameness is an unwished-for slowness, the body that hampers the fulfilment of Juliet’s wishes. In Q1, this line is, ‘Oh, she is lazy’, which asserts a moral failing rather than physical incapacity. Either the Nurse cannot or will not keep the pace Juliet desires. This ‘lame’/‘lazy’ crux produces an uncomfortable equation between physical disability and moral fault. Perhaps ‘lame’ even makes Juliet’s exclamation more palatable than ‘lazy’, letting Juliet off the hook for the ease with which she takes for granted a physical distribution of labour based on status. Juliet’s critique of the Nurse’s pace displaces disability onto the individual body, for the Nurse’s relative freedom arrives

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at the physical cost of her labour for Juliet. Juliet’s own constraints have nothing to do with bodily ability, but this remark on the Nurse’s incapacity, voluntary or involuntary, mystifies – and keeps Juliet from questioning – the gendered restrictions that constrain both female bodies in this patriarchal world. However, this contrast between age and youth also works unpredictably in the play. When Romeo urges Friar Laurence to move forward with their plan, ‘O let us hence, I stand on sudden haste’ (2.3.89), the Friar’s response is: ‘Wisely and slow, they stumble that run fast’ (90). This equation of ‘wise’ and ‘slow’ takes the form of a proverb, an expression that generalizes about bodies in order to make a point. A few scenes later, he will return to a proverbial register again, chastizing Romeo’s speed with a series of metaphors that equate the intensity of youthful love with the explosive power of a fizzling firework: ‘These violent delights have violent ends / And their triumph die, like fire and powder / Which, as they kiss, consume’ (2.6.9–11). This caution is part of a longer speech to warn the lovers away from their speed, and he concludes, ‘Therefore love moderately; long love doth so; / Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow’ (14–15). At this point, Juliet enters with a stage direction that pointedly countermands Friar Laurence’s proverb: ‘Enter Juliet somewhat fast, and embraces Romeo’ (s.d. at 2.6.15). This figure of trusted counsel repeatedly associates a slow pace with age and wisdom, unlike the youthful lovers, identified by the suddenness with which they capitulate to love, the intensity of emotion that hurries the clock on secret marriage, and the haste with which they are capable of moving. The final scene, however, undoes this association. Friar Laurence, ruing his arrival at the vault too late to prevent the deaths that ensue, admits ‘How oft tonight / Have my old feet stumbled at graves!’ (5.3.121–2). The stumble is not due to the ‘haste’ of the lovers but to his age; it is the incapacity of his ‘old feet’. The contrast between age and youth, which seems to privilege proverbial wisdom, cannot bear out the lesson to which these cautions gesture. If the opening of the play invites us to think of fate overriding the choices made by the characters, this proverbial wisdom suggests that the young lovers perhaps could have done something differently, gone more slowly, in order to avert their fate. Yet the human body – subject in this play to age’s aches, to the infection of the plague, to stumbling feet – becomes a figure of chance and constraint. This reading of Romeo and Juliet asks us to understand disability as a problem of agency, expressed in the body’s lapses or the degrading effects of time, which makes the tragedy seem at once avertable and inevitable. As this reading suggests, critical disability studies offers a critique to Shakespeare studies that calls for careful attention to the historical contexts and specificity of ‘disability’ in a moment before a concept of the normal body has been fully elaborated, and it also requires attentiveness to how these norms may be elaborated even without characters who are legibly ‘disabled’. Because early modern writers are working in a culture of near-constant analogies between body and world, these texts also ask us to expand our ideas about how bodies and minds can signify, what disables a person in the first place, and what new forms disability can prompt. Disability theory asks us to historicize the reception of bodily and intellectual difference and invites us to grapple with a world that has been built to exclude and to correct

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people on the basis of such differences. Thinking about disability with and through Shakespeare’s texts is difficult because, as artefacts of an early modernity whose legacy we inherit, they anticipate some of the most virulent strains of normativity in the modern world we inhabit. Yet as we reckon with this difficulty, early modern texts also ask us to think about disability otherwise, to recognize sites of unruly resistance that challenge these normative impulses. Rather than understanding disability in the past through a moral lens or trying to diagnose characters as if such a diagnosis would provide meaningful interpretive insight, approaching Shakespeare’s plays through critical disability studies demands that we question impulses to simplify the knotty, puzzling, contradictory and generative ways disability operates in early modern drama. Shakespeare’s plays offer a compelling inducement to recognize the complexity with which disability is articulated and to recognize how tenuous – and dazzling – our interactions with the texts of the early modern past can be when we approach them through theoretical paradigms of the present.

REFERENCES Adams, R., B. Reiss and D. Serlin, eds (2015), Keywords for Disability Studies, New York: New York University Press. Bearden, E. B. (2019), Monstrous Kinds: Body, Space, and Narrative in Renaissance Representations of Disability, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Bérubé, M. (2016), The Secret Life of Stories: From Don Quixote to Harry Potter, How Understanding Intellectual Disability Transforms the Way We Read, New York: New York University Press. Brooke, A. (1562), The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Iuliet, London: R. Tottel. Davidson, M. (2008), Concerto for the Left Hand: Disability and the Defamiliar Body, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Davis, L. J. (2002), Bending Over Backwards: Disability, Dismodernism and Other Difficult Positions, New York: New York University Press. Gajowski, E. (1992), The Art of Loving: Female Subjectivity and Male Discursive Traditions in Shakespeare’s Tragedies, Newark: University of Delaware Press. Garland-Thomson, R. (1997), Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Disability in American Culture and Literature, New York: Columbia University Press. Hall, K. F. (1995), Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Hall, K. Q., ed. (2011), Feminist Disability Studies, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Hirschmann, N. J. (2012), ‘Disability as a New Frontier for Feminist Intersectionality Research’, Politics & Gender, 8: 396–405. Hobgood, A. P. (2015), ‘Teeth before Eyes: Impairment and Invisibility in Shakespeare’s Richard III’, in S. Iyengar (ed.), Disability, Health, and Happiness in the Shakespearean Body, 23–40, New York: Routledge. Hobgood, A. P. and D. H. Wood, eds (2013), ‘Introduction’, in Recovering Disability in Early Modern England, 1–22, Columbus: Ohio State University Press.

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Iyengar, S., ed. (2015), ‘Introduction’, in Disability, Health, and Happiness in the Shakespearean Body, 1–19, London: Routledge. Johnson, H. M. (2005), Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life, New York: Henry Holt. Kafer, A. (2013), Feminist, Queer, Crip, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Linton, S. (1998), Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity, New York: New York University Press. Love, G. (2018), Early Modern Theatre and the Figure of Disability, London: Arden Shakespeare. McRuer, R. (2006), Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability, New York: New York University Press. McRuer, R. (2018), Crip Times: Disability, Globalization, and Resistance, New York: New York University Press. Mitchell, D. T. and S. L. Snyder (2000), Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Mitchell, D. T. and S. L. Snyder (2005), Cultural Locations of Disability, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Nardizzi, V. (2016), ‘Disability Figures in Shakespeare’, in V. Traub (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment, 455–67, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pickens, T. (2019), Black Madness: Mad Blackness, Durham: Duke University Press. Price, M. (2011), Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Puar, J. K. (2017), The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability, Durham: Duke University Press. Quayson, A. (2007), Aesthetic Nervousness: Disability and the Crisis of Representation, New York: Columbia University Press. Row-Heyveld, L. (2018), Dissembling Disability in Early Modern English Drama, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer Nature. Samuels, E. (2014), Fantasies of Identification: Disability, Gender, Race, New York: New York University Press. Schalk, S. (2018), Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction, Durham: Duke University Press. Shakespeare, T. (2014), Disability Rights and Wrongs Revisited, 2nd edn, London: Routledge. Shakespeare, W. (2009), King Richard III, ed. J. R. Siemon, The Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. (2012), Romeo and Juliet, ed. R. Weis, The Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. (2018), King John, eds J. M. Lander and J. J. M. Tobin, The Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Siebers, T. (2010), Disability Aesthetics, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Siebers, T. (2015), ‘Disability Trouble’, in N. J. Hirschmann and B. Linker (eds), Civil Disabilities: Citizenship, Membership, and Belonging, 223–35, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

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Siebers, T. (2016), ‘Shakespeare Differently Disabled’, in V. Traub (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment, 435–54, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Smith, E. (2007), The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Taylor, S. (2017), Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation, New York: The New Press. Williams, K. S. (2009), ‘Enabling Richard: The Rhetoric of Disability in Richard III’, Disability Studies Quarterly, 29. Available online: http://dsq-sds.org/article/ view/997/1181 (accessed 10 February 2020). Williams, K. S. (2019), ‘Demonstrable Disability’, Early Theatre, 22: 185–97. Yergeau, M. (2018), Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness, Durham: Duke University Press.

CHAPTER 5.2

Ecofeminist studies JENNIFER MUNROE AND REBECCA LAROCHE

As we detailed in our recent book, Shakespeare and Ecofeminist Theory, ecofeminist theory, as a way of understanding the world and as an approach to texts, has existed for decades, and while it is part of what we now call ‘ecostudies’, it has its own history and its own trajectory. While ecocriticism and ecofeminism have similar interests – to consider the relationship between humans and nonhumans as a focus for enquiry – ecofeminism looks at this relationship with a particular eye to thinking about gender as well as environmental justice writ large, and it shares things in common with race, class, disability and queer studies. Not surprisingly, early ecofeminists, including Rachel Carson (2002), Carolyn Merchant (1980), Karen Warren (1994) and Val Plumwood (1993; 2009), developed links between environmentalism and feminism. Recent work by Stacy Alaimo (2010) and Donna Haraway (2016) brings those concerns into relief with posthumanist theory. Within the field of early modern studies, ecofeminist theory has gained traction of late, but early modern ecofeminist literary criticism owes itself to those who forged the field going back to the 1980s: Diane McColley (1983), Jeanne Addison Roberts (1994) and Sylvia Bowerbank (2004). For further discussion about more recent developments in early modern ecofeminist work, see Laroche and Munroe (2017: 11–15). With its commitment to thinking broadly about how the relationship between humans and nonhumans is inherently tied to gender and other social inequalities, ecofeminist theory asks us to think about multiplicity. To this end, we build on Alaimo’s ‘transcorporeality’ (2010) and Haraway’s notion of the ‘tentacular’ (2016), with their emphasis on interconnection, and a term that links for us ecofeminist theory and Shakespeare’s Pericles: refuge. This chapter, introducing readers to ecofeminist theory and its dialogue with Shakespeare studies, meditates on the circulation of the word ‘refuge’ between the literal constructions of spaces remote and safe, impermeable and pristine, and those figurative attempts to protect the inner human world from difficulties even when those difficulties are manifest everywhere beyond our fleshy selves. It considers those who/that move through and around these places, as transcorporeal, in transit, those who/that inhabit, and are, the void, and those who/which negotiate and escape, only to have to negotiate again at the boundaries of being elsewhere. ‘Transcorporeality’ emphasizes such permeability and movement across boundaries, where ‘the human is always intermeshed with the more-than-human-world … By underscoring that

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trans indicates movement across different sites, trans-corporeality opens up a mobile space that acknowledges the often unpredictable and unwanted actions of human bodies, nonhuman creatures, ecological systems, chemical agents, and other actors’ (Alaimo 2010: 2). Drawing in part, then, on such movement across, beyond and through, this chapter looks at those who negotiate and work around the boundaries of refuge and at others who ironically hold to the idea that refuge exists even as bodies are kept from entering or those who seek safety within are deemed unworthy of protection. Illustrative of this precarity is Rob Nixon’s Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (2011), which, along with so many news stories of late, reminds us that such violence enacted on the planet disproportionately affects the most vulnerable of peoples, including women, the poor and ethnic minorities – the ‘disposable people’ often silenced and rendered invisible in the face of the destructive effects of climate change. Nixon details a violence that ‘occurs gradually and out of sight, a violence of delayed destruction that is dispersed across time and space, an attritional violence that is typically not viewed as violence at all’ (4, 2). As our twenty-first-century planet becomes increasingly hot, and biodiversity is in peril, ecofeminist theory’s understanding of the link between people and planet – in particular, its emphasis on how such a link is not universal but rather affects humans and nonhumans in grossly unequal ways – might serve as a useful redress for the consequences of humaninduced climate change. By developing a reading of the concept of ‘refuge’ in this context for us today, we demonstrate how ecofeminist theory makes possible an interrogation of its conception for privileged readers of Shakespeare’s works and the dominant culture represented therein. Before turning to Shakespeare, however, we look to two ecofeminist authors for fuller conceptions of the ‘refuge’ we seek to interrogate. In her memoir, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, conservationist Terry Tempest Williams ruminates on the relationship between women and landscape, both scarred and damaged (1991). Tempest Williams writes of the breast cancer visited upon the women in her family and its origins in the nuclear testing that took place in the Nevada desert in the 1950s. This ‘Clan of One-Breasted Women’ to which Tempest Williams belongs evokes a sense of both betrayal and belonging, and it links the bodies of the women and the land with which they dwell: ‘We spoke of rage. Of women and landscape. How our bodies and the body of the earth have been mined’ (10). This ‘clan’, comprised of the broken bodies of her mother, grandmothers and aunts, whose ‘contaminated breasts’, like the ‘contaminated cows’ whose ‘contaminated milk’ nourishes and destroys the offspring who consume it, provides a sense of continuity and lineage even as it evokes the bodies of the women, the animals and the landscape forever fractured by the military industrial complex. These various ‘bodies’, that is, all serve as reminders of this ‘deceit’: refuge is not what it had been claimed to be. In Staying with the Trouble, Donna Haraway elaborates on this linkage as it relates to a different sense of refuge, not so much a specially designated area but something more (2016). For Haraway, ‘refugia’ connotes a (re)valuing of ‘diverse species assemblages’ over the way industry during the period we call the ‘Anthropocene’ (our current epoch, thus named to mark how human activity has

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altered the planet) has treated the nonhuman world as a collection of easy resources. She calls for an urgent reckoning, an acting upon the premise that ‘cheapening nature cannot work much longer to sustain extraction and production in and of the contemporary world because most of the reserves of the earth have been drained, burned, depleted, poisoned, exterminated, and otherwise exhausted’ (100). Refugia, for Haraway, is the resistance to such exploitation, an embrace of diversity that, as she writes, existed in the past and to which we might return: [Anna] Tsing argues that the Holocene was the long period when refugia, places of refuge, still existed, even abounded, to sustain reworlding in rich cultural and biological diversity. Perhaps the outrage meriting a name like Anthropocene is about the destruction of places and times of refuge for people and other critters. I along with others think the Anthropocene is more a boundary event than an epoch … The Anthropocene marks several discontinuities; what comes after will not be like what came before. I think our job is to make the Anthropocene as short/thin as possible and to cultivate with each other in every way imaginable epochs to come that can replenish refuge. Right now, the earth is full of refugees, human and not, without refuge. (100) Rather than a cordoned-off space that presumes to protect a pristine, seemingly untouched nonhuman Other, then, Haraway answers this loss of refuge by learning to ‘think differently’. Thinking differently, as she proposes, entails a turn from understanding our past, present and future in relation to the ‘Anthropocene’, a term she argues is inherently patriarchal, or from the Capitalocene, which accounts for the relationship between resource depletion and the uneven socio-economic particulars of capitalism. Instead, for Haraway, and for us here, refugia is made possible by re-orienting our (human) selves to a way of thinking predicated on our webbed interrelation and ‘becoming with’ the nonhuman that stems from thinking about our period as the Chthulucene. Haraway’s Chthulucene emphasizes understanding the world in terms of the ‘tentacular’ web that accounts for a union of self and other, human and nonhuman, in ‘kinship’ but that also articulates the uneven experiences of life on this planet. In this spirit, she advocates, ‘One way to live and die well as mortal critters in the Chthulucene is to join forces to reconstitute refuges, to make possible partial and robust biological-cultural-technological recuperation and recomposition’ even as we also acknowledge how such ‘recuperation and recomposition’ plays out in uneven ways for different human and nonhuman creatures and other living (and inanimate) things on this planet (101). The ecofeminist theory we propose here, at its core, assumes a permeability of boundaries and aims to re-orient us to such ‘becoming with’ at the same time as it seeks to redress the sort of inequities described by Nixon and the uneven experiences of ‘kinship’ characterized by Haraway. The space between self and other is a fiction as thin as our skin. In this perception, borders and walls are crossed, crawled under, flown over. Holes are discovered, made bigger; doors are left ajar, and pollen, houseflies, even bats wing their way in. The current conception of ‘a refuge’ as a circumscribed geographical space, we show, is patriarchal by definition, and, as Tempest Williams illustrates, all are subject to dominance in such

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conceptualizations. Within tentacular and transcorporeal articulations, though, all of earth may be a refuge.

REFUGE IN/FROM THE PATRIARCHY By focusing on a term like ‘refuge’, therefore, we elaborate on the premise that the line between an ‘us’ and a ‘them’ is far more blurred than distinct. ‘Refuge’ suggests an intended place of protection from danger or scarcity, even as its very existence (imagined or real) suggests the precarity from which one aims to flee. Its usage in Shakespeare’s day as well as in ours evokes how unpredictability, unwanted actions and movement all create the potential for both safety and precarity. Refuge, however, also denotes a space set apart from the dominant, normative structures. Refuges are established in geographic space by humans with economic and cultural power ostensibly for the powerless, often those endangered by the actions of the powerful. The clearest example of this dynamic is the establishment of the National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) System as white human occupation spread westward in the United States, and it is in the tentacular blurring of the boundary between human and nonhuman that we can read the implications for human refugees, both political and ecological, in the current global system. Thus the setting up of refuges or the taking in of refugees addresses the problem at one end while the same entities may be contributing to the problem, or simply delaying solutions, at the source. For instance, as Denver’s population has ballooned in the past decade, properties near Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal have become attractive real estate not only because of easy highway access but also because of the open acreage of the NWR and its hiking trails. This development then heightens the need for the refuge at the same time as it brings human populations closer to the superfund site’s historic toxicity. Similarly, sanctuary cities within the United States, unlike their nationalist counterparts, at least acknowledge the imbrication of Central American poverty and political upheaval with US relative prosperity, but those cities still thrive on the foundation of exploitative global markets. Of course, Shakespeare knew of none of this, but what he can give us is a means of acknowledging, articulating and perhaps enacting this complexity in ways that can be culturally productive and allow us to think differently in the ways that Haraway envisions. In what remains of this chapter, we turn to Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre. We place ecofeminist writing in dialogue with that play and consider how such juxtaposition might shed light not only on the concept of refuge but also on how ecofeminists – those who are members of the dominant culture that is imbued with Shakespeare – might face what promises to be a challenging, if not futile, future of ecological and economic instability, where extreme weather, disappearing shorelines and mass migration will make ‘refuge’ that much more important and that much more difficult to come by. Ecofeminist theory asks us to think about the margins, the vulnerable humans/ nonhumans; when we turn to a play like Pericles, then, we necessarily turn our focus from Pericles to Marina and the specific spaces she inhabits, with an eye

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to the vulnerabilities exposed there and how those vulnerabilities are coded by gender as well as by race and class. We focus on the way Marina voices the complex intersections where the fragility of both ecological systems and (female) human bodies and non-dominant cultures are magnified at the same time as her ability to voice these difficulties sets her apart. To this end, and mindful of the introductory nature of this chapter, we focus on how two scenes in which the play strives toward resolution enact the central tensions of a white ecofeminist consciousness that at once exposes its value and its limits, and we suggest how a fuller ecofeminist reading may exist at the margins. After all, Marina, while subjected as female body, remains a princess, and to forget this point in our analysis would be to forget the comfort of our own position. The scenes in question, however, are also moments in which she – as exemplary subject among voiceless others – articulates a collective subjugation while resisting the forces that subject her to their excesses.

CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION Our first reading embraces the focus of Shakespearean Blue Studies (which turns from land to the planet’s waterways) in its repeated characterization of Marina as ‘sea-born’ (Mentz 2009), while our second instance may problematize such readings. The first moment takes place when she is most subjugated, having been kidnapped (arguably sexually assaulted; cf. Palfrey 2007), sold into a slave market and thrust into a brothel. At this lowest point, a moment when she is most susceptible to powers outside her, Marina is able to articulate her imperilled position and thus free herself from it. Bought and sold, Marina is so effective because she makes her future customers see her as subject and subjected and in return look at themselves. For Simon Palfrey, she provides a ‘meta-generic rebellion … not because she is a puritan, but because she bears and recognizes … the repetitions she endures’ (2007: 149). Romance repeats violent episodes to prove the heroine’s exemplarity through her escape from that violence. In this fictionalized setting, romance’s violence, unlike real-world slow violence, cedes to a quick resolution. In our reading, Marina’s ‘meta-generic’ capacity – by communicating her endurance and transforming other characters (and the audience) through her interrogation of them – allows for a more general commentary on modes of consumption. Her questioning makes even the most elite customer of the brothel and governor of the island (and thus the embodiment of dominant forces), Lysimachus, enunciate both the object of his consumption and his unthinking relationship to that consumption. She asks him the following questions: ‘What trade, sir? … Do you know this house to be a place of such resort, and will come into’t? … Who is my principal?’ (4.5.72, 84–5, 89). In requiring him to name her trade rather than ceding to his allusive language, she is placing her proposed degradation back where it should be, in his hands, not allowing the consumer to escape that consumption’s hidden costs.

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Lysimachus is no more depraved than any other man in Mytilene’s market; rather, in this reading, he becomes the every-human consumer, and, more pointedly, Marina becomes our Shakespearean Interlocutor for the climate extremes now confronting modern shoppers with the ecological tolls of their purchases. In her interrogation, we may hear the voices of workers enmeshed in poverty to sustain an expanding global market, or the voice of Hurricane Maria as it confronts us with our latest travels. Lysimachus, esteemed in Mytilene but morally bored, comes to represent all ‘honourable’ humans who enter the market unthinkingly. As a result of this dramatic interchange, in a kind of reparative gesture that does not benefit those who have truly been destroyed by previous coercions, Lysimachus gives her the money he would have used in subjugating her, and, as a result, she is given refuge. Thus escaping the threat of sexual servitude, Marina’s release from Mytilene punctuates the way that the margins of both her body and the island she inhabits serve to protect and to reflect vulnerability, all at the ‘island’s side’. As Mytilene is previously equated with both the brothel and the slave market, her new home is only described: ‘all happy as the fairest of all, / And with her fellow maid is now upon / The leafy shelter that abuts against / The island’s side’ (5.1.41–4). No longer subject to potential rape, her body is sheltered, both against the elements and against men. It is Marina’s position at the ‘island’s side’ that we focus on in this chapter, as she occupies, in her nature, the space between land and sea, between subjugation and true freedom. Steve Mentz’s extensive reading of the play highlights the relationship between Marina and the oceanic environment through which she travels, but his emphasis at this point in the play remains on how Marina might conform to the ocean’s bounds: ‘Her solitary life and rise to fortune … suggests that living in an oceanic world may be possible, but also that the usual supports of human culture, from family to nation, provide little help’ (2009: 69). It is where ocean meets land that the play meditates on a sense of refuge, in all its safety and precarity, shared by women and the earth, but the fact that she is not allowed to stay in this in-between state and must instead return to ‘human culture’ highlights a central tension within the conception of refuge. Her refuge is, perhaps, one of our modern making, one that protects women who may otherwise be subjected to violence (OED 5b); however, while Marina’s position is vulnerable throughout the play, her vulnerability is different from the other women she encounters, those for whom sex slavery and rape is an ongoing reality. While the unnamed women of the brothel remain chained to its trade, their bodies trafficked and commodified, Marina’s noble birth and whiteness insulate her from real danger. Called ‘fair one’ twice by Lysimachus after her escape (5.1.58, 63) and before her abduction by pirates, Marina, along with her (notably named) maid Phileton, employs her ‘white’ fingers to weave ‘the sleided silk, / With fingers long, small, white as milk’ (4.Chorus.21–2). These markers of race and economic status distinguish her and those intimate with her from others who have had to submit to the same cultural torments, and because of her distinction, she escapes.1 In his reading of Marina’s rape by the pirates, Palfrey has brilliantly articulated how ‘cruelty can be both accumulated and tucked away, be at once mentally acknowledged and exactly in the acknowledgement, emotionally’ released (2007:

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142), and the brothel may be seen as a cynical exploitation of this generic mode. As Marina leaves the city, the cruelty remains in Mytilene beyond the scope of the audience’s witnessing. Even as the play cocoons itself within a romance conclusion, the cycle of cruelty is only seemingly interrupted by an insistence that Marina deserves to be exempt because she is exceptional. The subject of Palfrey’s analysis, Marina’s possible rape, speaks directly to how this aestheticized cruelty is heaped upon female bodies in particular, but his analysis does not, though it could, consider how Marina’s exceptionalism is clearly racialized, an important aspect given the presence of the slave trade in the play. Thus while Marina serves as a dramatic interlocutor for unvoiced entities subjected to the traumas that facilitate the safety and happiness-pursuits of others, her trauma is not the same as theirs. The fates of the unseen ‘baggage’ of the brothel, treated, as it is, as ‘rotten’, nonhuman goods not even fit for consumption (not to mention the other humans figured as nonhuman ‘commodity’ sought in the Mytilene market), does not seem to be eventual freedom. ‘The one and the many’, Marina voices and embodies the tensions of such dramatic maneuverings (Palfrey 2007: 150). Ecofeminist theory, too, considers the voiceless in moments of repetitive cruelties (think mass shootings, think forest fires, think mega-storms), yet it simultaneously acknowledges the tensions in providing words for them. As ecofeminist scholars, we are committed to redressing these silences, but at the same time we acknowledge that as white women in academia our ability to do so is inherently limited; our subject position limits us. We are thus keenly aware that we cannot speak for the unimagined Others; we aim to listen to and for what they might yet have to say and acknowledge the existences that we have erased/ignored and the silences we have allowed to go unrecognized.

PRIVILEGE AND THE DISCOMFORT OF BETWEENNESS In being betwixt and between, Marina is neither and both; that is, she cannot escape who she is, daughter of ‘colonizer’ Pericles (Mentz 2009: 71); at the same time she has not occupied the privilege her title affords for much of the play. This, it seems, is the white professional ecofeminist’s dilemma – particularly, for instance, one who uses air travel to attend conferences and wears out computers to confront and change the paradigms in front of her. While she points to the problem, she must simultaneously other herself from it and acknowledge her complicit position in relation to it. Perhaps paradoxically, the theoretical frame is her mindful refuge, a place to be both inside and outside the spaces of toxic consumption, her own ‘island’s side’. We have been fortunate in this analysis to be in dialogue with Debapriya Sarkar’s suggestive work on islands and shores as a means of interrogating the limits and radical possibilities within romance as a genre. Shakespeare’s Pericles ostensibly features multiple shorelines, but a closer look reveals that the movement in the play transpires more specifically to and from coastal cities (Antioch, Tyre, Tarsus, Pentopolis, Ephesus), the places where sea and land meet in transcorporeal exchange that is both indicative of geographical location and evocative of human

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bodily boundaries. Thus a play that appears to be about the ocean, and one that is featured in analyses by scholars of Blue Studies, might arguably be said to be even more about the boundary between land and sea, and the same marks as well the permeable boundary of the human body. Thus we build on Sarkar’s analysis of how islands and shores mark a place ‘between inland and ocean, between calm and chaos, and … between fiction and actuality, [that] enables writers to reflect on facets of the natural world’ (Sarkar forthcoming). She cites the articulation by John Gillis of ‘islophilia’, which considers islands as the ‘archetypal ecotone, where marine and terrestrial ecosystems meet’ (2014: 155, quoted in Sarkar forthcoming). Sarkar takes Gillis’s analysis one step further to consider shores within the conception, discussing how this in-between space allows us to ‘explore questions of alterity and difference, and demarcate the power of alternate worlds to shape physical reality’. Following Sarkar’s conception, we want to consider Marina as primarily inhabiting such spaces, first on the shore of Tarsus, then on the island of Lesbos, and, the last time we see her, located in her namesake, a harbour – in Italian, marina – a refuge from the torments of the sea that is yet still part of it. While those in Blue Studies see her most aligned with the sea, it is her unaligned position, then, with any land or oceanic space that most defines her. By understanding Marina in this way, our ecofeminist approach differs from Mentz’s reading of Marina as primarily oceanic, ‘a maritime human’, ‘Shakespeare’s aquaman’ (2009: 69). And, we argue, her unaffiliated, unaligned status is underscored by her multiply marked identity as simultaneously female and nonhuman, simultaneously born to a position of power yet estranged from it. This does not, however, make her position in the brothel that of the ‘beached whale’ denied ‘mobility and power’ of Mentz’s Melvillean-infused analysis (2009: 78), let alone the whale forced to perform at Sea World for human amusement. Amphibious, she cannot thrive if exclusively in either element. Marina, in her position as both and neither, asks the questions facilitated by her geographic betweenness at the same time as the world she inhabits is eerily this one. The scene that most brings this understanding into light is the second we consider in this chapter. Having survived the assaults on her virtue, Marina leaves the brothel and is never seen in Lesbos again. Her position on the ‘island-side’ is discussed, but when next on stage, she is aboard her father’s ship, where she has been brought to dislodge Pericles from his despair, ‘to make a battery through his deafened ports, / Which now are midway stopped’ (5.1.39–40). When Marina is brought out of her shelter onto a ship in Mytilene’s harbor, Pericles puts to her the same question about her identity that Lysimachus had asked of his captain. Unlike Pericles, she does not have a ready answer, a kingdom, to which she belongs: pericles 

Pray you, turn your eyes upon me. You are like something that – What countrywoman? Here of these shores? marina  No, nor any shores: Yet I was mortally brought forth, and am No other than I appear. (5.1.92–6)

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Although we are reminded, then, that Marina’s name evokes her sea-birth (5.1.145– 7), the repeated identification of Marina not with the sea but with coastal regions underscores her existence as purely neither of land nor sea. From her birth, Marina has been in transit, in between her homeland and another, born halfway between her mother’s birthplace, Pentapolis, and her father’s, Tyre. The only home she has known is her place of fostering, Tarsus, and while her end there is hostile, her time seems to be as Caliban’s, knowing the corners of the island and where its herbs and flowers grow. We first see her as a young maiden, at one with Tellus, carrying a bouquet of mourning – Ophelia resurrected but sane – walking along the coast and looking out to sea. As a result, she is forever a migrant, even in her return to her fatherland. It is this migratory aspect that has inspired such representations as ‘The Marina Project’ that fashion her as a Middle Eastern immigrant, but her return to privilege at the end of the play may attenuate such one-to-one correspondences (Craik and Fernie 2018). On board a ship for the third time in her life, she names herself, provides her parentage. In this way, she is both other and not, as she is estranged from her location at the same moment as she gains legitimacy in the terms of the play. The tension of this move, moreover, is not to be underestimated; after all, at the time of Shakespeare’s writing, marina, in the Italian not yet appropriated into English, meant both harbour and coastal region, again, neither land nor sea and yet both at the same time. Marina’s response to Pericles’ question ‘Where do you live?’ is ‘But where I am a stranger’, and her explanation, ‘from the deck / You may discern the place’ (5.1.104–6), also points to the elusiveness of both her origin and her site of habitation. Given that while delivering this explanation the actor is probably pointing out toward the audience, the act of estrangement is projected outward at those who become less innocent bystanders and more participants in her commodification. In identifying those who watch the play with the occupants of Mytilene, the ‘gallants’ and the pandars, she removes herself from their market forces and as a result causes a similar estrangement for those watching; by watching her, they are made to confront their own complicity. Then, in ‘report[ing] her parentage’ within twenty lines (5.1.120), she resituates herself within the larger global structures in which Pericles rules. In returning to govern Tyre with a husband thrust upon her who embodies those structures, she is wedded to the very market forces she had seemed to escape, albeit conscientiously reformed. Thus married, she may become the moral arbiter of global trade at the same time as she abandons Mytilene to its exploitative ways.2 As Marina leaves Mytilene, we might keep in mind the otherwise forgotten women who remain in the brothel. In a play that features so much movement, these women cease to move, and as they do, they cease to matter. These nameless women, like the ‘unimagined communities’ Rob Nixon describes in Slow Violence, are victims of a sort of ‘spatial amnesia’, but whereas Nixon’s ‘unimagined communities’ are ‘physically unsettled and imaginatively removed’, turned compulsory refugees as they are ‘evacuated from place and time and thus uncoupled from the idea of both a national future and a national memory’ (Nixon 2011: 151), the Mytilene

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women are left behind, erased and rendered silent in the service of state, familial and economic alliances. While of course Shakespeare’s Pericles is not the post-industrial, neoliberal context that Nixon describes, Shakespeare’s Mytilene, with its focus on global maritime trade and the sex trade, represents a similar amnesia. Although the women of Mytilene are more mired to place than evicted and removed, then, their absent presence at the end of the play (and throughout it) underscores the sort of amnesia Shakespeare’s play ultimately embraces: while Marina’s royal lineage allows her mobility and visibility, the women of the Mytilene brothel remain silent chattel – their bodies bearing the mark of the global exchange of goods – as men cross land and sea. They are thus erased from the audience’s memory as quickly as from Marina’s. Even as such erasure is more imagined in the play than physically manifest – they are not removed, but we simply neglect to recognize that they matter – any celebration of Marina’s escape while others remain the brothel’s prisoners renders us complicit in the sort of ‘amnesia’ it makes possible. While we may wish to see Marina as an ecofeminist icon of sorts, therefore, such identification also exposes the paradoxes of our own privileged position. That same privileged position, while it may allow us to sympathize with those who remain subjected to Mytilene’s toxic economic systems, means that even as we focus on Marina’s exceptional escape, we also participate in the unimagining of the women left behind.

RETURN TO REFUGE In 2018, ‘one in every 108 people [about 70.8 million] were displaced’, made refugees by political, economic and ecological instability, and that figure will only increase in the coming years (Ratcliffe 2019). These refugees, like the anonymous women in the Mytilene brothel, remain largely nameless and faceless figures, often accounted for by Western journalists with regard to their movement and its potential consequences for the consumer comforts of the United States and Europe more than to their particular circumstances or suffering. Such migration, however, also exposes the fantasy of discrete boundedness – whether in terms of geopolitical borders or the boundaries between human and nonhuman bodies, as nonhuman migration is deeply affected by similar instabilities. And so we return to refuge, where we began this chapter, with Haraway’s characterization of the ‘discontinuities’ we face now and will face in the future, the notion of ‘refugees … without refuge’, and a turn from shoreline to desert. As we discussed earlier in the chapter, Haraway writes, ‘Right now, the earth is full of refugees, human and not, without refuge’ (2016: 100). If, as Haraway also writes, refuge, or her term ‘refugia’, is to be the space of ‘diverse species assemblages’, then it is to be so because of a mingling that discrete boundaries aim to thwart. That is, our current climate crisis, and that which ecofeminist theory aims to redress, is the destruction of that biodiversity, the catastrophic rejection of our intraconnection with the nonhuman. A recognition of the tentacular in which we coexist necessarily separates us from the assumptions of that crisis at the same time as we are thoroughly engulfed by it.

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As an example of the tentacular in action, in January 2019, numerous news agencies reported on a court case in which five women from a group named No More Deaths were arrested after leaving food and water in the Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge in Arizona, where migrants are known to pass through from Mexico into the United States. The women were charged with (and later convicted of) ‘entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit and abandonment of property’. In his ruling, Judge Velasco underscored the multiple valences of the term refuge that we have detailed here, its promise as a place of safety as well as its attendant precarity. At the same time as he argued that the water and food left by volunteers ‘erode the national decision to maintain the Refuge in its pristine nature’, he also wrote that the refuge itself is ‘littered with unexploded military (ordnance), the detritus of illegal entry into the United States, and the on-road and off-road vehicular traffic of the US Border Patrol’ (‘Volunteers Face Prison’ 2019). What, then, does refuge aim to protect, and for whom? That the Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge could be, for Velasco, an exemplar of ‘pristine nature’ even as it is marred by its usage by the military industrial complex underscores how refuge itself signals in multiple and contradictory ways. While the ruling aims to demarcate the geopolitical boundaries between inside and outside of the refuge (between the United States and Mexico and between the (acceptable) ‘litter’ of military material and the ‘detritus’ of the men and women who traverse its border without permission), such transgressive movement by the humans who leave food and water and those for whom they leave it simultaneously exposes the fantasy that the border represents. The women convicted of illegal entry, like those who illegally cross into the refuge, enter the space that is both/and a desert where bodies and the land itself exist in precarious relation. It is a space of loss even as it is a space of hope for a better future. It is a space where not all are equally protected (‘Activist Arrested’ 2019). Tempest Williams, again in Refuge, meditates on how the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in the Utah desert, at a time when its bird population was declining, might nevertheless serve as a place of healing, made possible by confronting the loss it also evokes and embracing the shared vulnerability of the human and nonhuman populations that inhabit and travel through it: ‘When most people had given up on the Refuge, saying the birds were gone,’ she writes, ‘I was drawn further into its essence. In the same way that when someone is dying many retreat, I chose to stay’ (1991: 4). This shared sense of vulnerability, for Tempest Williams, derives from an understanding of the way that the refuge, like the Clan of the One-Breasted Women in her family, both experience fragmentation and loss. Tempest Williams, like the members of No More Deaths and the migrants who dare traverse the desert at great risk, points to our embeddedness, our tentacularity, with the other; as Haraway’s Cthulucene also foregrounds, in our tentacularity we exist in that space across and in-between, embracing both its promise and its peril. Ultimately, it is important to realize that while women from No More Deaths risked going to prison to help those crossing the dangerous terrain, they have a home to return to, and Tempest Williams, while her family suffered – and continues to suffer – as collateral damage from nuclear testing, is still a white woman of

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relative privilege. In fact, responding to the call to certain actions, as we have here and others do every day in their activism, is often an act that is possible because of relative privilege even as we recognize our shared (and unique) suffering. It is thus important not simply to fall into the romance paradigm, making the privileged women who disrupt the dominant narrative of refuge as exemplars deserving of praise; rather, we must also return to the sources of our estrangement from our own cultural power at the same time as we keep watch for those enslaved, endangered, abandoned by the mechanisms that should bring them safety.

NOTES 1. We are inspired here by David Sterling Brown’s plenary paper delivered at the Shakespeare Association of America in 2019. 2. For fuller considerations of Pericles in global terms, consider Morrow (2009), Ormsby (2017) and Taff (2019).

REFERENCES ‘Activist Arrested for Giving Migrants Food and Shelter Faces Retrial’ (2019), The Guardian, 22 January. Available online: www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/02/ activist-helped-migrants-retrial-scott-warren (accessed 2 July 2019). Alaimo, S. (2010), Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self, Indianapolis: University of Indiana Press. Bowerbank, S. (2004), Speaking for Nature: Women and Ecologies of Early Modern England, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Brown, D. S. (2019), ‘White Hands: Gesturing toward Shakespeare’s Other Race Plays’, paper delivered at Shakespeare Association of America, Washington, DC, 19 April. Carson, R. ([1962] 2002), Silent Spring, Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Craik, K. A. and E. Fernie (2018), ‘The Marina Project’, in P. Edmondson and E. Fernie (eds), New Places: Shakespeare and Civic Creativity, 109–25, London: Arden Shakespeare. Gillis, J. R. (2014), ‘Not Continents in Miniature: Islands as Ecotones’, Island Studies Journal, 9: 155–66. Haraway, D. (2016), Staying with the Trouble, Durham: Duke University Press. Laroche, R. and J. Munroe (2017), Shakespeare and Ecofeminist Theory, London: Arden Shakespeare. McColley, D. (1983), Milton’s Eve, Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Mentz, S. (2009), At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean, London: Continuum. Merchant, C. (1980), The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution, New York: Harper and Row. Morrow, D. (2009), ‘Local/Global Pericles: International Storytelling, Domestic Social Relations, Capitalism’, in J. G. Singh (ed.), The Global Renaissance: English Literature and Culture in the Era of Expansion, 355–77, Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

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Nixon, R. (2011), Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Ormsby, R. (2017), ‘Global Cultural Tourism at Canada’s Stratford Festival: The Adventures of Pericles’, in J. C. Bulman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Performance, 568–83, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Oxford English Dictionary Online (oed.com), ‘refuge’ n. and ‘marina’ n. Palfrey, S. (2007), ‘The Rape of Marina’, in G. Bradshaw, T. Bishop and T. Kishi (eds), The Shakespearean International Yearbook, vol. 7, 140–51, Aldershot: Ashgate. Plumwood, V. (1993), Feminism and the Mastery of Nature, London: Routledge. Plumwood, V. (2009), ‘Nature in the Active Voice’, Australian Humanities Review, 46: 113–29. Ratcliffe, R. (2019), ‘More Than 70 Million People Fleeing Conflict and Oppression Worldwide’, The Guardian, 19 June. Available online: www.theguardian.com/globaldevelopment/2019/jun/19/more-than-70-million-people-fleeing-conflict-oppressionworldwide (accessed 21 July 2019). Roberts, J. A. (1994), The Shakespearean Wild: Geography, Genus, and Gender, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Sarkar, D. (forthcoming), ‘Islands and Shores: Early Modern Islomania’, in S. Mentz (ed.), A Cultural History of the Sea in the Renaissance, London: Bloomsbury. Shakespeare, W. (2004), Pericles, ed. S. Gossett, Arden Shakespeare Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Taff, D. J. (2019), ‘Precarious Travail, Gender, and Narration in Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre and Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World’, in P. Akhimie and B. Andrea (eds), Travel and Travail: Early Modern English Drama and the Wider World, 273–91, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ‘Volunteers Face Prison after Leaving Food and Water in Desert Where Migrants Died’ (2019), CNN, 22 January. Available online: https://m.cnn.com/en/article/h_3645ee2f9 5403591ffb9f860408eeb8c (accessed 5 July 2019). Warren, K. J. (1994), Ecological Feminism, New York: Routledge. Williams, T. T. (1991), Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, New York: Second Vintage.

CHAPTER 5.3

Posthumanist studies KAREN RABER

Sometime after 1490, Leonardo da Vinci sketched the image of a body that exemplified the perfect proportions according to Vitruvius’s architectural theories. The figure stands with two sets of limbs sketched in, arms and legs extended to form upper and lower Vs as well as arms outstretched horizontally and legs placed together vertically. The naked male figure is inscribed within both a square and a circle, forming the anchor for both geometric forms. Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man embodies Renaissance humanist ideas about the symmetry of God’s cosmos, reflected in all things, but always with the human being at its centre. The image has become iconographic, even a cliché, having passed into media and imagination as a touchstone for Renaissance thought. It is now much spoofed, satirized, reproduced and imitated. Rosi Braidotti includes it in her 2013 work on posthumanism, reproducing it along with a version on a Starbucks cup and images of ‘New Vitruvian Woman’, ‘Leonardo Da Vinci’s Dog’, ‘Vitruvian Cat’ and a Vitruvian robot (2013: 14, 21, 63, 72–3, 91). For Braidotti, da Vinci’s image is in some fundamental way humanism epitomized, not just because of the details of the image or the artist’s theory but because it makes visible humanism’s fundamental assertions: that ‘man’ is perfect, or at least perfectible; that he is the centre of creation and dominates the cosmic order second only to God; that morality and aesthetics are universal; and that reason is the supreme human characteristic, as evidenced in the way da Vinci mobilizes both mathematics and art to further knowledge and truth. As Braidotti notes, man as the humanist ‘standard of both perfection and perfectibility … was literally pulled down from his pedestal and deconstructed’ by antihumanist theory  – by feminism, Marxism, postcolonialism, poststructuralism and other radically sceptical methods of the mid to late twentieth century (2013: 64, 16–25). Braidotti’s series of visual iterations makes clear that Vitruvian man excludes a whole cast of characters, including women, nonwhite and non-Western men, animals and all other nonhuman entities. But there is a little bit of slippage happening here: da Vinci’s humanism is not identical with the Enlightenment project that antihumanists interrogated. Indeed, Enlightenment thinkers rejected the premodern dominance of religion and myth, or any other authority external to human reason, although these things were integral to Renaissance humanism. The autonomous rational agent celebrated in Enlightenment thought was one that dwelt in a new world purged of childish primitivisms. In Bruno Latour’s description, the Enlightenment mission, to become ‘modern’, required the purification of categories

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and the enforcement of boundaries: thus science and the social or political, or nature and culture, could not, should not, overlap, since each was a discrete means for creating knowledge or action. Da Vinci’s Renaissance blending of religion, mathematics and art marks him as anything but modern in such a schema. But Latour points out that the schema is and always has been utterly fictional – a constant process of affirming an artificial divide that insists that ‘we’ are not whatever the ‘they’ of the past were. Poor Vitruvian Man thus serves as what Joseph Campana and Scott Maisano call ‘Vitruvian straw man’ (2016: 3).1 He stands in for a heterogeneous humanism that does not always reduce to the simple contours of the figure’s interpretive history and facilitates a fabrication about modernity. I begin with Vitruvian Man because the premises and problems inherent in this figure correspond to those that inform posthumanist theory and its application to Shakespeare’s works. In what follows, I will trace some of those premises and problems and offer an example of how posthumanist theory might influence our responses to Shakespeare’s oeuvre. Posthumanist theory describes an array of theoretical positions emerging from philosophy, science, literary studies, sociology, and communications and media theory. Its primary characteristic is epistemological and ontological antianthropocentrism: posthumanist theory resists the division of the human subject from the natural world, the human from the animal, the body from the mind, and any related binarisms. The human subject in posthumanist theory is an embodied, embedded, entangled effect of many processes and phenomena, distributed across these and indistinct from other taxonomical groupings like ‘animals’ or ‘machines’. It arose initially in the twentieth century among thinkers and writers in the antihumanist tradition; the first mention of the term ‘posthuman’ as part of a critical apparatus is usually credited to Ihab Hassan (1977), who locates it as the inevitable culmination of Western metaphysics, although it took the subsequent thirty years for the wider array of posthumanist positions to coalesce. Scholars and philosophers who were becoming increasingly attuned to the profound damage humanism’s anthropocentrism had wreaked on the environment and nonhuman populations, and frustrated by the failure of past modes of inquiry to disrupt or address the sources of this damage, sought new avenues of inquiry and extended, rediscovered or realigned the trajectories of old avenues. The relationship between posthumanist theory and the practices and methodologies that preceded it can be vexed. The antihumanist agenda of twentiethcentury criticism grew out of the work of figures ranging from Freud and Marx to Louis Althusser, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault, among others, and focused on critiquing Enlightenment versions of the human condition by calling out exclusions based on gender, ability, race, sexuality, class and so on. Human beings were repositioned as products of discourse, of history, of economic and political systems or institutions. Antihumanism challenged humanism for what it failed to do or acknowledge, but antihumanist theory often seemed to end up in the same place as humanism itself. In some cases, theory shifted boundaries to include previously excluded others in the coveted category, while at other times it described operations of rhetoric and language without necessarily dislodging the manner in which these

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produced ‘the human’. Decentring white, male, European, Christian, property-owning ‘Man’ was thus the goal of antihumanists, but this often seemed to happen only in the interests of a more powerful or widely applied version of humanity and humanism. It is possible to characterize posthumanist theory as a break with humanist, Enlightenment and even antihumanist methods and philosophy, but it is equally possible to argue that it completes or carries those methodologies to their logical conclusion. You might find a posthumanist theorist embracing a formerly marginalized figure like Henri Bergson, or challenging Kant, or furthering Foucault, or doing both with Husserl and Heidegger. As Cary Wolfe notes, Foucault himself suggested that the problem with Enlightenment philosophy was that it failed to perceive that in accepting the dogma of a universal, autonomous, unified human subject, it fell prey to the very dogmas and superstitions from which it sought to break free (2010: xiv). Dislodging and decentring the human would, then, presumably finish the job Enlightenment philosophy started. Likewise the antihumanism of the twentieth century, while it addressed social and economic oppression and cast that subject as the product of history or discourse, had not yet apprehended the consequences of ecological crisis, species exploitation and extinction, technological transformation and other harms attendant on both humanist and Enlightenment anthropocentrism. However, if my account so far seems to indicate a historical trajectory, one that also seems built-in to the idea of ‘postness’, Wolfe – as do many others – cautions against an absolute sense of historical progression (xvii). Any genealogy of posthumanist theory should acknowledge that, as in Foucault’s observation of Enlightenment philosophy, the seeds have perhaps been there waiting to emerge and grow in the tensions that attend attempts to represent the ‘human’ subject. The work of posthumanist theory is diversely sheltered in multiple disciplines and often accomplished across disciplines or schools of thought. Wolfe clarifies the nature of that work: [W]hen we talk about posthumanism, we are not just talking about a thematics of the decentering of the human in relation to either evolutionary, ecological, or technological coordinates (though that is where the conversation usually begins and, all too often, ends); rather, I will insist that we are also talking about how thinking confronts that thematics, what thought has to become in the face of those challenges. (xvi) Posthumanism, Wolfe insists, is not only about outcomes but about starting points, about systems of thought and their methodological implications. Posthumanist theory thus has a number of origins in specific practices or approaches and is irreducibly heterogeneous; it is therefore hard to summarize without simplifying. Science and technology have a fundamental role in defining it, having complicated the landscape of human identity and subjectivity through advances in genetics, computing, the environmental sciences and cognitive theory. In How We Became Posthuman (1999), N. Katherine Hayles challenged the utopian fantasy of disembodiment that was characteristic of transhumanist theory, which proposed that human beings might transcend the body to become pure information. Hayles recognized in this fantasy a repetition of Western humanism’s dichotomizing

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of mind and body and its devaluation of the flesh, as if thought could occur outside of the context of the body and its environment. Cognitive theories agree that mind and body cannot be disentangled, and they further demonstrate that what we think of as the ‘mind’ or ‘thought’ is a distributed, extended phenomenon reliant on multiple external elements (that is, intelligent behaviour emerges from the interactions of multiple points and entities, many of which are outside both brain and body).2 The new materialisms rejected the epistemological trap of most Western philosophy after Descartes – the problem that the question of what exists always seems to be hijacked by the question of how one knows what exists – as well as the limitations of social constructionist theories for their privileging of language, culture and representation over somatic experience. Drawing from physics (Barad 2007), social sciences (Latour 1993; Bennett 2010; Kirby 2013), philosophy (Meillassoux 2008; Harman 2002), the philosophy of science (DeLanda 2006) and feminist theory (Braidotti 2013; Grosz 1994), the new materialisms reject the endless problematizing of ontology. Object Oriented Ontology (OOO), for instance, asserts that objects exist whether (human) minds appreciate them or not in a rejection of the Kantian premise that phenomena must conform to what the mind can apprehend (Harman 2002; Bryant 2011; Bogost 2012). OOO also works with a ‘flat’ model of ontology in which no thing has any greater degree of beingness than any other object; through their relations, objects show agency, influencing one another, whatever their category – thus one could argue that humans are no more or less capable of agency than rocks, since rocks can instigate all kinds of responses in the world, thereby troubling not only the distinction between living and dead but between an object and its ecosystem. An ecofeminist materialist like Donna Haraway, for instance, argues that humans are already entangled beings, fully incorporate whether with technological prostheses or with the animals alongside which they dwell. If a human and a dog share a sloppy kiss, Haraway points out, they also from that moment forward share DNA (2003: 1–2). Stacy Alaimo (2010) and Jane Bennet (2010) would add that both dog and human bodies are porous, transected and influenced by environmental matter: the toxins we pour into our world shape what our bodies are, what they can or cannot do, down to the molecular level. The only way to fully acknowledge reality is, Haraway advises, to think ‘tentacularly’, meaning complexly, thickly, feelingly, humbly, in terms of webs and connective tissues and all the stickiness of the world modernity has tried to pack instead into rigid boxes (2016: 30–57). Imagine: Vitruvian Spider. Sticky thinking applied to Shakespeare can have wildly novel results – and can disrupt the discourses of posthumanism that imagine the theory as presentist in orientation. Henry Turner, for example, asks whether the early modern theatre was not itself a kind of machine for creating artificial, and so posthuman, life. Shakespeare’s inventions do not so much trouble the distinction between art and nature as render it irrelevant: what is a character, after all, but the effect of an assemblage of factors – from actor’s bodies and voices to the author’s lines, to props, to stage architecture, audience assumptions – and yet one that doesn’t exist at all? Supremely natural (Turner quotes Pope on Shakespeare’s ability to conjure nature, 2009: 203) yet entirely artificial, theatre’s ‘human’ creations are like androids or

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cyborgs, yet more compellingly viscous (adherent to their environments, including their readers) than either. Hamlet, humanist paragon, is at once humus or soil (named for a form of human settlement) and (pre)occupied by hordes of creatures great and small (DeGrazia 2007: 23–44; Raber 2015: 103–25; MacInnes 2003). The monumental experience of King Lear is, Craig Dionne argues, in large part driven by proverbial thinking, a kind of memory code that is specifically designed to transcend the individual yet stay with audiences like Fukushima’s memory stones (2016). As Campana and Maisano point out, ‘backdating’ aspects of posthumanism to the Renaissance, ‘finding Renaissance or earlier iterations of computers, viruses, cyborgs, and codes, or … indicat[ing] the fuzzy contours of the so-called human in premodern eras’ (2016: 8) seems at times only a frustratingly obvious starting point – but, as Wolfe might point out, the repetition of such gestures has the potential to change thinking itself, until it more closely resembles the tentacles that Haraway favours. In what follows I give a reading of one Shakespeare play, The Comedy of Errors, that touches on a number of the coordinates of posthumanist theory. In so doing, I rely heavily on the work of many humanist and antihumanist scholars who have analysed the play before me; my goal is simply to turn their insights to new ends, to give the outlines of a practice that engages on all sides with the play’s language and imagery, with past criticism and with humanism itself in both its Renaissance and its Enlightenment forms. I also engage with a select few specific components of posthumanist theory: I attend to human and nonhuman forces that disrupt individual agency and identity, I discuss embodied experience and human/ animal indistinction in the play and I consider the cognitively distributive nature of communally determined realities. There are many, many more ways a posthumanist scholar could approach this or any Shakespeare play, but to my mind these are the aspects the play itself most clearly invites.

ERROR, PAGE NOT FOUND He that commends me to mine own content Commends me to the thing I cannot get: I to the world am like a drop of water That in the ocean seeks another drop; Who, falling there to find his fellow forth Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself. (1.2.33–8)3 Thus soliloquizes Antipholus of Syracuse in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. Seeking his long-lost twin brother and having determined ‘I will go lose myself’ in Ephesus while awaiting news, Antipholus of Syracuse meditates on his longing for union, his sense of being still adrift, though no longer at sea, and unwittingly predicts the experiences he is about to have while mistaken for his twin, Antipholus of Ephesus. This speech, however, uses an ambiguous term: ‘content’ is glossed by

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Kent Cartwright in the Arden edition as referring to pleasure or contentment (2017: 15). However, Cartwright also notes that it might be used in the sense of a container, or the contents of a vessel, and so refers to the identity that Antipholus of Syracuse feels he lacks while singular in the world. I would suggest an additional meaning, one that, while possibly merely accidental, has the weight of history behind it. By far the oldest meaning of the term as cited in the OED refers to the material within a book, as in a table of contents (first use of the word comes in 1481 in Caxton; all other meanings date from the early sixteenth century, and most from much later). From content as emotional condition, to content as subjective identity, to content as the inscription within or on an object, these definitions trace a trajectory that thingifies Antipholus: ‘the thing’ he cannot get turns out to be selfhood, the sense of organic unity that selfhood implies. In my reading, then, all three meanings work to suggest that The Comedy of Errors might well serve as a master text for exploring posthumanist theory’s place in Shakespeare studies. Antipholus of Syracuse reflects in his soliloquy on his restlessness and suffering while divided from his other self, but he also signals that he can find no stable sense of identity in that absence. Readers, of course, recognize that the two Antipholi share not merely a face, as identical twins, but also a name and servants who are themselves identical twins also both named the same (Dromio). The only distinction between the two sets of twins is location, since they were divided by a storm at sea – hardly a recipe for the restoration of difference should they find one another. The play toys with the social and economic environments that define the self in such a way as to undermine the prospect of individuation altogether. In her analysis of what this play might have to say about race, Patricia Akhimie argues that the experiences of the two sets of twins, especially the Dromios, who are repeatedly beaten for the confusions that ensue, demonstrate the ‘flawed logic of a racialized system of differentiation, illustrating the process by which large numbers of people may be grouped together solely on the basis of shared somatic markers, and made subject to the sweeping generalizations of racial prejudice’ (2016: 188). ‘If skin were a parchment and the blows you gave were ink, / Your own handwriting would tell you what I think’ says Dromio – in other words, if you want to know what I think, if you want to know my interior, read my outside and the wounds you’ve inscribed on it (3.1.13–15).4 In the bodily marks, the bruises on the much-abused Dromios, Akhimie finds evidence that the duplication and consequent indistinction of these twins exposes the fact that identity is fully external. The true ‘weirdness’ of the play, she points out, is not in the twinning itself, but rather in the exposure of this fact. Although Akhimie writes specifically as a critic of race in Shakespeare’s plays, her argument looks beyond plays in which black-skinned characters appear, thus rejecting the narrow idea that race involves only those with black bodies, and she does not conclude with the reinstantiation of something that can be called a human subject possessing rational autonomy.5 Rather, she sees race as a fundamental problem about how identity is tied to the ways communities forcibly mark bodies in ‘wholly arbitrary and … dangerous’ ways. Bodies, like faces where identical twins are concerned, are failed or erroneous tables of contents, as it were.6 Yet, if so, they

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do not denote something ‘within’ a book of the human; rather, they mislead readers into believing such a thing exists at all. The initiating event that creates the confounding events of the play is a storm. While only reported rather than experienced firsthand by characters, the shipwreck forces Egeus and his wife to divide the two sets of twins: ‘My wife, more careful for the latter-born, / Had fastened him unto a small spare mast … To him one of the other twins was bound, / Whilst I had been like heedful of the other’ (1.1.78–82). The sea’s continuing role in the play is attested to not only by the speech with which I began but by repeated references throughout. Perplexed by a husband whom she loves excessively but who fails to recognize her, Adriana laments: Do not tear away thyself from me! For know, my love: as easy mayst thou fall A drop of water in the breaking gulf, And take unmimgled thence that drop again Without addition or diminishing, As take from me thyself, and not me, too. (2.2.130–5) As Steve Mentz observes, Shakespeare here uses the ‘spar rescue topos’ that became popular in accounts of shipwreck (2009: 39), which Mentz points out symbolizes the ‘failure of human technology in rough seas’ (40). The sense that human beings are somehow akin to drops of water, as both speeches suggest, confirms Dan Brayton’s assertion that there is ‘an ontological connection between humans and the sea … Even if human lives transpire on land, nothing about them truly stands on solid ground’ (2012: 143). In Brayton’s and Mentz’s writings, Shakespeare seems to anticipate modern science’s conclusion that the human body is mainly water, with far-reaching consequences for what Shakespeare proposes is the ‘nature’ of humans and ‘the human’. Mentz, for instance, argues that the play offers the ocean as a redemptive force, if one that threatens vulnerable bodies with erasure. One major use of water in the play, he notes, is a domestic one – cleaning the kitchen wench Nell’s greasy face. The domestic in this instance offers a buffer against ‘the shock of immersion’ (41, 42) that is otherwise associated with watery experiences. When Antipholus of Syracuse falls instantly madly in love with Luciana, the sister of Adriana, wife of Antipholus of Ephesus, he pleads: O train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note, To drown me in thy sister’s flood of tears: Sing, siren, for thyself and I will dote. (3.2.45–7) His conventional language of drowning in love and (as he does in the lines that follow) of lying in the lap of the lover buoyed up by an ocean of love add up to more than a conventional result. The foundation of domestic harmony is love, which washes away the self as much as does finding one’s long-lost twin. Though ‘warmer, more hospitable’, this ocean, too, obliterates individual identities. Watermarked humans exist under conditions of perpetual erasure.

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ANIMALS AT THE TABLE The Comedy of Errors is no more ‘about’ the ocean than it is ‘about’ race, and yet it registers the ways both of these phenomena challenge the autonomy, reason and agency of the putative ‘self’ that modern human beings so insistently claim to experience as the cognitive and phenomenological byproduct of existence and time. But it is possible to say that the play is ‘about’ something aside from its obvious story of two sets of separated twins confused for one another. It is a play about failing to arrive at, answer a summons to or join others in eating dinner. Most if not all of the errors, mistakes and unfounded assumptions of the play revolve around a series of meals: the play contains more than forty direct mentions of dining, eating, feasting, food. This is, of course, because the play concerns the farce initiated when the wrong Antipholus is urged to return to his household for dinner: his mistress, says Dromio of Ephesus, is ‘hot because the meat is cold. / The meat is cold because you come not home’, and so ‘the capon burns, the pig falls from the spit’ (1.2.46–8, 43). Antipholus of Ephesus expects to host his creditor Balthazar at his home: ‘O signior Balthazar, either at flesh or fish, / A table full of welcome makes scare one dainty dish’ (3.1.22–3), but he is turned away because Antipholus of Syracuse dines within. Enraged, he turns instead to a courtesan his wife has often suspected, vowing to have his meal there (3.1.111–14). Finally, when all is resolved, the Abbess (the Antipholus twins’ mother) invites the whole company to a ‘gossips’ feast’ (5.1.405) to celebrate the new ‘birth’ of the two lost children. And if this were not enough, Adriana refers to herself as ‘starved’ for her husband’s affection, while Antipholus of Syracuse calls Luciana his ‘food’ (2.1.87, 3.2.63). Clearly, food is on the table. But what might this network of references to communal eating, usually treated mainly as a social practice, have to do with posthumanist theory?7 While critics don’t necessarily conclude that the play is ‘about’ dinner, they have certainly noted the play’s numerous references to animals, and that’s where the problem of eating aligns with a posthumanist reading. Cartwright observes that the theme of Circean metamorphosis from man to beast is part of the play’s connective tissue (2017: 23–8). At the end of the play, the Duke summarizes the chaos of the various parties: ‘I think you all have drunk of Circe’s cup’ (5.1.271). Antipholus of Syracuse resides at an inn called The Centaur, referencing a hybrid of human and animal, and is fearful of Ephesians for their reputation as sorcerers – indeed, as we’ve seen, he is transformed by Luciana, suddenly ‘mated’ (a play on both madness and sex) by and with her (3.2.54). Brayton remarks that both Antipholi could be considered ‘mermen’ of a sort, having ‘been transformed by the cosmic energy of the sea’ (143–4). The Dromios most famously believe themselves transformed into animals: s No, I am an ape. ant. s If thou are changed to aught, ’tis to an ass. dromio

dromio s

’Tis true; she rides me, and I long for grass. ’Tis so, I am an ass, else it could never be But I should know her as well as she knows me. (2.2.204–8)

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And again, as if to confirm his transformation, Dromio of Syracuse claims ‘I am an ass’, having been greeted by the kitchen wench who wanted to transform him ‘to a curtal dog’ (3.2.67, 151). His twin undergoes a similar metamorphosis: ‘I am an ass,’ he echoes his brother, ‘you may prove it by my long ears’ (4.4.30). In these moments, Cartwright argues, the play expresses anxiety about the ‘borders between humans and animals’ (24), which is certainly true. But I think we can connect all these possible anxious moments of border-confusion to the play’s insistent use of dinner as its organizing plot principle. What is dinner, after all, but the main event at which humans and animals show up at the table to establish their differences, one by eating the other? Dining and feasting are quintessentially ‘human’ social behaviours, and thus a favourite topic for cultural critics. Shakespeare’s use of food and banqueting has sustained excellent work in this vein. David Goldstein, for instance, notes that eating is always relational, locating the eater in the context of all the components that generate a meal: a diner thus is always necessarily a member of a larger community – ‘the humans who grew and prepared his food … the earth that nurtured both the food and the people’ – and eating is therefore always an ethical act (2013: 2–3). At its root, however, lies the open maw of hunger, which at the same time that it opens the body to community through eating also threatens to banish ethics in favour of individual indulgence, with the triumph of the inhospitable ‘belly god’ (15–17). Goldstein does not gather animals into that community of relations at the dining table (although there is no absolute reason why his analysis couldn’t extend that far), but I think The Comedy of Errors asks that we do exactly that. Who, after all, is being invited into the kitchen and dining room of Antipholus of Ephesus’s household if not various species of nonhuman creatures? Dromio  – the ass, the ape, the curtal dog  – and Antipholus  – the ‘unruly deer’ who ‘breaks the pale / And feeds from home’ (2.1.100–1) – enact something like a double inversion of the usual division of animal and human that eating enforces. Food animals are supposed to be served, dead and cooked; in this play, the allegedly human company that arrives to dine finds itself transposed with its culinary object, made wild or bestial by identity confusion of multiple kinds. Meanwhile, those who prepare the food find themselves changing places with the animals that aid in cooking (the curtal dog who turns the spit on which capon and pig are roasting), as if to suggest there is no actual species division in the kitchen at all. If Antipholus of Syracuse seems to fare best because he is offered a good meal by Adriana, he is nonetheless represented in her mind as a prey animal most often hunted for its meat. Nell the kitchen wench only enlarges the assemblage that comprises the community of the meal by incorporating not just animals – she is ‘greasy’ and filthy, not unlike the burning pig that is the result of Antipholus’s absence – but candles and lamps, ells of land, armadas, gems, even whole countries (3.2.95–145). She is, as Dromio of Syracuse puts it, ‘spherical, like a globe’ (3.2.116). At the play’s conclusion, once the existence of the two sets of twins is revealed and the mystery of their survival resolved, the Abbess, who it turns out is in fact their mother Emilia, invites the company to a ‘gossips’ feast’, the celebration of a baptism for her newly restored children, a baptism that overwrites the deathly

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one conferred by the storm at sea (5.1.405). Egeus is saved from execution, the two sets of twin brothers are reunited, Emilia is discovered to be still alive – all are resurrected in a general ‘nativity’ (5.1.404, 406). To Dromio of Syracuse’s relief, the kitchen wench is translated from potential wife to sister-in-law, and so he does not have to marry the globe; he can find a woman more to his liking. Antipholus of Syracuse is free to ‘mate’ with Luciana in a human wedding. In fact, all seem returned to their proper boxes, made human again. The gossips’ feast that promises the redistribution of animal and human characteristics, however, is not such a simple affirmation. The most crucial aspect of the communal celebration of a christening is the role of multiple, often otherwise disempowered, members of a community, mainly women, who are present to verify parentage, affirm appropriate conduct and police the other practices involved in a birth.8 The community, that is, decides who the child is and whether it can be accepted into the collective. Likewise The Comedy of Errors’ denouement relies on multiple perspectives, multiple tales and multiple identities – not just the twins, but the many lives and identities of Emilia and Egeus that are required for a happy ending, for instance, or the various stories of encounters with fellow traders or even a prostitute that are related. Richard Ashby argues that even in this conclusion, The Comedy of Errors maintains the contingency of identity (2018: 1241), and Douglas Lanier insists on the ‘provisional’ quality of the final sortings. No one character, not even the Duke, the supposed guarantor of order, is given absolute authoritative agency (Lanier 1993: 99). We might summarize the drift of these insights by concluding that identity, whether individual or species, is a distributed, decentred, unruly phenomenon that can’t be recuperated as a singular or internal process. Ephesians and Syracusians are, we might say, caught in the tentacles of many worlds, grasped, shaped and fabricated by diverse forces and entities. This farcically error-full play, in Lanier’s view, ‘portrays a world not of humanist spirit and motive but a world ruled by the collisions and confusions of things, a rigorous and often alien calculus’ (1993: 112) that reveals human character, and by extension the human being who exhibits it, to be a thing – a matter of externalities, of objects, of indistinguishable faces, of marked bodies, of communal agreements and testimonies. Character is also animal; the hides and flesh of humans are transpositive with those of animals where the dinner table is concerned, meaning the social structures that define and delimit identity cannot distinguish between kinds of flesh or behaviour. Errors in the play are generative, but not of individual ‘human beings’, whatever those might be. Knowledge resides not within a character but is created among and between characters, no one of which could do the work alone or without all the nonhuman items involved, from the ocean, to the jewelry Antipholus of Ephesus commissioned, to the pig on his household spit. In short: Shakespeare’s humans turn out to be anything and everything but humanist paragons. Vitruvian Man, we might recall, is nothing without the lines and angles of the inscribed square and circle that contain him, nothing without the paper and ink of his creation, nothing without the cognitive aid of one writer’s book on architecture supporting another artist’s skill with drawing.

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NOTES 1. Renaissance humanism was, as Campana and Maisano point out, ‘never a coherent or singular worldview, much less a rallying cry for “man as the measure” – or the center – “of all things”’ (2016: 2). They take to task figures like Braidotti and Wolfe for a misreading that substitutes a set of caricatures (‘posterboys for anthropological optimism’, writes one of the authors in their collection (Gouwens 2016: 39)) for the full range of early humanist ideas and positions. Wolfe, however, does parenthetically credit Foucault for registering ‘the sheer heterogeneity of the historical varieties of “humanism”’ (Wolfe 2010: xiv), and Braidotti’s account of what Vitruvian Man has come to mean is not wrong, just inattentive to the tensions of the Renaissance humanist values it now emblematizes. 2. See, for instance, Clark and Chalmers (1998) and Lakoff and Johnson (1999) for variations on the issue of cognition. 3. All citations of the play are to the Arden Third Edition (2017). 4. Douglas Lanier says of Antipholus of Syracuse’s image of Dromio as an almanac that it is ‘as if his servant were a text – the last he has left – in which he can confirm his being’ (1993: 93). 5. David Sterling Brown (2019) has discussed the value of articulating the construction and function of race in plays that are not usually considered ‘race plays’ (i.e. Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Titus Andronicus), arguing as does Akhimie that restricting the discussion only permits whiteness to remain the default condition of ‘the human’. 6. On the face as a site of posthumanist analysis, see Raber (2018: 74–87) and Yates (2002: 28–62). 7. Candido (1997) writes at length about the role of food in the play and its source, Plautus’s Menaechmi. In his analysis, Antipholus of Syracuse’s receptivity to meals with strangers signals their capacity to soothe his sense of isolation; in general, the play ‘posits a social reality in which a genuine and strongly felt causal relationship exists between the abandoned meal and intimate moral and marital concerns’ (206). Antipholus of Ephesus’s absence from meals is thus a sign of his failure to attend to his marital and sexual obligations, while his preference for all-male meals indicates that his withdrawal from marital society is a gendered thing. Adriana’s scolding by Emilia also, in Candido’s reading, is just since she too has failed to make meals a healing event for both herself and her husband (217–18). 8. See Luttfring (2015), for instance, on gossips’ roles and communal empowerment (125– 64).

REFERENCES Akhimie, P. (2016), ‘Bruised With Adversity: Reading Race in The Comedy of Errors’, in V. Traub (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment, 186–96, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Alaimo, S. (2010), Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

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Ashby, R. (2018), ‘Face-Off: Defacement, Ethics and the “Neighbor” in The Comedy of Errors’, Textual Practice, 32: 1255–75. Barad, K. (2007), Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, Durham: Duke University Press. Bennett, J. (2010), Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, Durham: Duke University Press. Bogost, I. (2012), Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Braidotti, R. (2013), The Posthuman, Cambridge: Polity. Brayton, D. (2012), Shakespeare’s Ocean: An Ecocritical Exploration, Lexington: University of Virginia Press. Brown, D. S. (2019), ‘White Hands: Gesturing toward Shakespeare’s “Other Race Plays”’, paper presentation, Shakespeare Association of America annual meeting, Washington, DC, 18 April. Bryant, L. R. (2011), The Democracy of Objects, Ann Arbor: Open Humanities Press. Campana, J. and S. Maisano, eds (2016), Renaissance Posthumanism, New York: Fordham University Press. Candido, J. (1997), ‘Dining Out in Ephesus: Food in The Comedy of Errors’, in R. S. Miola (ed.), The Comedy of Errors: Critical Essays, 199–225, New York: Garland. Cartwright, K., ed. (2017), ‘Introduction’, in The Comedy of Errors, Arden Third Series, 1–132, London: Arden Shakespeare. Clark, A. and D. Chalmers (1998), ‘The Extended Mind’, Analysis, 58: 10–23. De Grazia, M. (2007), Hamlet without Hamlet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DeLanda, M. (2006), A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity, London: Continuum. Dionne, C. (2016), Posthuman Lear, Punctum. Feerick, J. and V. Nardizzi, eds (2012), The Indistinct Human in Renaissance Literature, New York: Palgrave. Goldstein, D. (2013), Eating and Ethics in Shakespeare’s England, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gouwens, K. (2016), ‘What Posthumanism Isn’t: On Humanism and Human Exceptionalism in the Renaissance’, in J. Campana and S. Maisano (eds), Renaissance Posthumanism, 37–63, New York: Fordham University Press. Grosz, E. (1994), Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Haraway, D. (2003), The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Haraway, D. (2016), Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Cthulucene, Durham: Duke University Press. Harman, G. (2002), Tool Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects, Chicago: Open Court. Hassan, I. (1977), ‘Prometheus as Performer: Toward a Posthumanist Culture?’, The Georgia Review, 31: 830–50. Hayles, N. K. (1999), How We Became Posthuman, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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Kirby, V. (2013), Quantum Anthropologies: Life at Large, Durham: Duke University Press. Lakoff, G. and M. Johnson. (1999), Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought, New York: Basic. Lanier, D. (1993), ‘Stigmatical in Making: The Material Character of The Comedy of Errors’, English Literary Renaissance, 23: 83–112. Latour, B. (1993), We Have Never Been Modern, trans. C. Porter, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Luttfring, S. (2015), Bodies, Speech and Reproductive Knowledge in Early Modern England, New York: Routledge. MacInnes, I. (2003), ‘Mastiffs and Spaniels: Gender and Nation in the English Dog’, Textual Practice, 17: 21–40. Meillassoux, Q. (2008), After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency, trans. R. Brassier, New York: Continuum. Mentz, S. (2009), At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean, London: Continuum. Raber, K. (2015), Animal Bodies, Renaissance Culture, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Raber, K. (2018), Shakespeare and Posthumanist Theory, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. (2016), The Comedy of Errors, ed. K. Cartwright, Arden Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Tuner, H. (2009), ‘Life Science: Rude Mechanicals, Human Mortals, Posthuman Shakespeare’, South Central Review, 26: 197–217. Wolfe, C. (2010), What Is Posthumanism?, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Yates, J. (2002), Error, Misuse, Failure: Object Lessons from the English Renaissance, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

CHAPTER 5.4

Cognitive ethology studies CRAIG DIONNE

Hamlet’s problem in the famous graveyard scene is that he cannot recognize the skull he is holding. ‘Whose do you think it was?’ the Gravedigger asks. ‘Nay, I know not’ (5.1.174–5). Aside from minor differences, most human skulls look alike. Yorick’s, King Alexander’s, yours, mine. Why would Hamlet recognize this one? Hamlet tells us he is ‘abhorred’ at the very thought of comparing the image of someone laughing and telling jokes with the stony remnant he holds in his hands. His ‘gorge rises’ – he involuntarily gags – at the thought of articulating Yorick’s ardour in the context of his fossil remains. Shakespeare does not shy away from the gothic resonance of the scene. ‘Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till ’a find it stopping a bunghole?’ (5.1.201–3). What does it mean, Hamlet asks, that human reason can do this, go to such an imaginative distance, trace the biological process of decomposition and perceive how our bodies break down to inanimate material, to dust, loam, and eventually into the clay used to stop barrels? It’s an uncannily scientific reflection on the many uses of human reasoning. Why may not imagination be used thus? Hamlet comes eerily close to expressing the idea that human consciousness itself – at least in this instance, the act of seeing one’s future self as dust – is absurdly superfluous to life itself, as if to say, we’re given the faculty of imagination and this is what we do with it? Stephen Jay Gould makes a similar argument about the human brain when he claims that many of our mental operations may not have anything to do with natural selection; that is, the very things that humanists use to claim our species as exceptional – reason, language, culture – might be merely a happy accident or ‘nonadaptive side consequence’ of the history of our species (1997: 50). In many ways, the graveyard scene can symbolize for Shakespeare scholarship the ecological imperative that motors the current posthuman turn in literary criticism. Standing there amidst the decaying remnants of the dead, Hamlet asks questions about the limits of human imagination and stands wistful and amazed at the contrasting thoughts about the potential of human intellection in the face of its imminent demise. In the following I want to outline what I see as the broader ecological context of cognitive ethology that marks out an interest in the objective life of human ontology through the merging of the twin fields of cognitive studies and ethology, the latter of which posits instincts and behaviours as adaptive evolutionary traits. In the new materialism there is an interest in the inter-related, enmeshed condition of existence, a model that posits the web of connections between human life and those systems of interconnected causes that affect its development. Evolutionary theory has its

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own language to think about how the physiology of any living creature expresses the traces of its interaction with multiple forces, as its anatomy and behaviour reflect the adaptations to selection pressures in its longer history on this planet. Yorick’s skull does not bear witness to the singular life he lived as a jester – Hamlet cannot see evidence of this life at all – but each feature of the modern human skull with its orbital plates, large maxillas and coronal sutures bears witness to the species’ co-evolved mammalian physiology. The morphological development of the chin, for example, Yorick’s detached chaps, distinguishes the Homo sapiens’s use of fire to tenderize its food and thus live without the larger muscles and jaws used by its primate cousins (Matthen 2011: 337–56). In this sense, the evolutionary history of any species’ survival – its thousand natural shocks borne through time – is already present in its fossilized remains and tells the story of adapting to constraints within a fixed environmental setting. Hamlet cannot see this deep history in the skull because he is not looking for it. Rather he is looking for Yorick’s individual history, what biologists would call the ‘ontogeny’ – the development of a single organism from its fertilization to its maturity – and not his ‘phylogeny’, the history of a species’ changing morphology through lineages as it develops through a larger scale of time. As literary scholars attuned to questions about how and why Shakespeare’s plays are changed to accommodate different cultures through time, the idea of adaptation is not new to us. But from the perspective of evolutionary biology, of course, the word has an entirely different sense. In his landmark essay ‘Climate of History: Four Theses’, in Critical Inquiry, Dipesh Chakrabarty calls for scholars in the humanities, particularly those committed to historicism, to take the risk of thinking collectively about humanity’s place in the era of the Anthropocene by listening carefully to how science charts our place in the web of life. Chakrabarty explains: ‘The task of placing, historically, the crisis of climate change thus requires us to bring together intellectual formations that are somewhat in tension with each other: the planetary and the global; deep and recorded histories’ (2009: 213).1 The difference between the two measures of time – ontogenetic and phylogenetic – can serve as a useful analogy, then, of the different approaches to history in Shakespeare criticism between historicism and cognitive ethology.2 For some time now both memory studies and cognitive approaches to literature have been speculating about human practices or adapted behaviours but often from different angles.3 Following the work of Joseph Carroll’s Literary Darwinism (2004), there emerged a school of adaptionist evolutionary theory applied to literary criticism, the most recent example found in Donald Beecher’s scholarship (2016). The central question of the Darwinian approach is how literature helps us discuss what aptitudes and reflexes reflect natural selection and modification through descent. This approach to art and literature was partially motivated to unseat the social construction model of hermeneutics that defines culture as a shaping influence on consciousness. One way to reconcile the divide is to imagine that both camps are interested in uncovering the forces that shaped human consciousness; while historicism focuses on the finer influences of language and culture to discuss the shaping motors of historical development, the adaptionist approach focuses on the deeper cognitive mechanisms that allow humans to be so conditioned in the first place. Karen Raber has recently

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persuaded posthumanism to consider cognitive ecology and memory studies as offering an important model to understand the machinic operations of rationality and consciousness. ‘Although theories of embodied cognition and extended mind are not always identified explicitly with posthumanism,’ she explains, ‘when incorporated into approaches to Shakespeare’s plays they do establish a resonance between early modern concerns with minds and bodies, and posthumanist agendas’ (2018: 72–3). Like Hamlet in the graveyard scene, the answer to our species’ deep history was staring us in the face all along. Early modern science wondered at the implicit animal origins of humanity. In reflecting on the ‘biformed’ nature of all creatures, Francis Bacon, in his Wisdom of the Ancients (1609), questioned the Renaissance ideal of human beings having a celestial nature by suggesting that their corporeal forms are compromised by the ‘pertubations and unconstant motions’ of their history: By reason of their pulchritude and equability of motion, and constancy and dominion over the earth and earthly things, is worthily set out by the shape of man [who is] as it were participated and compounded of two; as for example, man hath something of a beast, a beast something of a plant, a plant something of inanimate body, of all natural things are in very deed biformed, that is to say, compounded of a superior and inferior species. (1851: 291) In reflecting on this passage, Robert Watson avers that evolutionary biologists are now seeing evidence of the common ancestry of all living things, through the presence of shared DNA sequences in the genomes of animals and plants … [I]t was already widely believed in Shakespeare’s time that the human soul had within it, along with our identifying rational soul, the living legacy of the creatures made in the days before humankind. (2011: 51–2) In the Renaissance, the dividing line between the human and the animal was not fixed. In Brutal Reasoning, Animals, Rationality, and Humanity in Early Modern England, Erica Fudge argues that the moralists imagined a sliding scale where humans could descend to a beastly state through immoral behaviour. ‘As the possibility that human as category is constructed and not natural – that humans may cease to be human … and may revert back to their natural sensuality’ (2006: 60). The awareness that there is a potential biformed state within the human haunts some of the humanist pedagogy manuals of the sixteenth century that articulated the same idea that young students were eminently mouldable because they possessed eerily tractable memories.

THE LARDER HOUSE OF INVENTION Throughout his On Education (1531), Juan Vives explains how important mimetic practice is to the student’s journey: The boy should have a larger book in which he can put all the notes expounded and developed at length by the teacher … Let the memory be exercised at an early

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age: it improves with practice; let many facts be recommended to its care; For that age is not so fatigued by remembering, because it has no labor of reflection … Memory consists of two factors: quick comprehension and faithful retention; we quickly comprehend what we understand, we retain what we have often and carefully confided to our memory. Both are helped by arrangement of facts, so that we can recall what has passed away; this is just that art of memory which beasts are said to lack … In the same way we remember better what we have heard from others than what we have heard ourselves … (1913: 108–9) On the surface it seems that Vives constructs a human exceptionalism based on the idea of superior memory rather than moral or rational dispositions. But does he protest too much? At the heart of sixteenth-century humanism is the preoccupation of mimicry as mechanical operation intimated as a primate behaviour (Gouwens 2010: 523–45). The ape is depicted in Renaissance art holding a mirror to symbolize mimicry as a primitive nonhuman behaviour but also to symbolize that humans are mirrored by what was perceived as the ape’s mindless impersonation of action. Consider how, in his The Schoolmaster (1570), Roger Ascham defined the child’s memory as curiously malleable: And wit in children by nature, namely memory, the only key and keeper of all learning, is readiest to receive and surest to keep any manner of thing that is learned in youth … Every man sees (as I said before) new wax is best for printing, new clay fittest for working, new shorn wool aptest for soon and surest dyeing, new fresh flesh for good and durable salting. And this similitude is not ruse, nor borrowed of the larder house, but out of his schoolhouse of whom the wisest in England need not be ashamed to learn. (1967: 34) Wax, clay, wool, salted meat; the students’ wit was seen as the product of a domestic process associated with animals. Ascham continues: Young grafts grow not only soonest but also fairest … whelps learn easy to carry; young popinjays learn quickly to speak – and so, to be short, if in all other things, though they lack reason, sense, and life, the similitude of youth is fittest to all goodnesse, surely nature in mankind is most beneficial and effectual in this behalf. (1967: 34–5) This is a nervous recognition that the faculty of invention may be indistinguishable from mechanical recitation, that human intellection shares a biformed zoology.4 To insist on a hierarchy that elevated a Cartesian reason over the automaton of mindless recall would call for a kind of repression of the vegetative ‘grafts’ and beastly ‘popinjay’ at the centre of rational man; here the human-animal divide is repressed or closeted in a larder house. The student’s brain was the product of a peculiarly repetitive language factory, the humanist classroom, that plied its capacities by releasing the inherited proclivity to mirror gestures and social cues. Consider Richard Lanham’s description of Renaissance humanism as a Latourian ethnography of the laboratory, an operation manual of the sixteenth-century classroom:

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Stress memory in a massive almost brutalizing way, develop it far in advance of conceptual understanding … From the beginning, stress behavior as performance, reading aloud, speaking with gesture, a full range of histrionic adornment. Require no original thought. Demand instead an agile marshaling of the proverbial wisdom on any issue. Categorize this wisdom into predisgested units, commonplaces, topoi. Develop elaborate memory schemes to keep them readily at hand. Teach, as theory of personality, a corresponding set of accepted personality types. A taxonomy of impersonation. Drill the student incessantly on correspondences between verbal style and personality type, life style. Nourish an acute sense of social situation. Let him, to weariness, translate, not only from one language to another, but one style to another. (1976: 2) The irony is that such psychological hazing aims to shore up the human, an act of compensation meant to celebrate the celestial invention of authors from the past broken into ritualized forms of veneration and codified subroutines shaped by prescribed regimens of rhetorical performance. Through routine, our brains can go off line, and the stamped nature honed out of implicit behavioural cues can take over and operate through fairly high-level functions. John Tooby and Leda Cosmides have described this capacity for unconscious action as enabled by ‘evolved inference engines’ that ‘operate so automatically, we remain unaware of them and their ceaseless, silent, invisible operations’ (1997: xi–xvii). If humans figure in the deep history of evolution as exhibiting a plasticity that enables us to adapt to many environments with different selection pressures, then it is because our capacity for self-reflection has enabled us to charge our habitual memory to work toward an endless set of adaptive goals across a range of environments.5 Renaissance humanism seems, from this perspective, not so much the birth of the human as the return of a set of co-evolved cognitive attributes released through rote literacy practices. How do we get at the pliancy of mind that sits under the conscious production of figures? Randall Martin has asked a similar question in his recent essay, ‘Evolutionary Naturalism and Embodied Ecology in Shakespeare’s Performance’. Martin explains how Darwin used references to Shakespeare in his The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1873) to chart his theory of involuntary emotional expressions. Darwin ‘seems to have recognized that the playwright’s work could serve as a wideranging source for the physical language of emotion’ (Martin 2018: 148). In turn, Darwin’s work was used as a manual for naturalizing modes of ‘natural involuntary expressions’. Martin’s major claim is that Shakespeare’s depiction of gestures and what he terms ‘pre-discursive dialogue’ unhinges the verbal language as a ‘supreme sign of human rationality’. Martin concludes that ‘Shakespeare’s attention to these ecologies of co-extensive emotion and belonging reorients audience away from the false notion that humans respond to environmental conditions in exceptional ways that justify their exclusive dominion of the planet’ (2018: 163). An ethological approach to Shakespeare would frame some of these formal ‘pre-discursive’ features of his writing as a window onto the systemic process the mind goes through in naturalizing its world.6

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PALEO HAMLET: THE STAMP OF NATURE In what follows, I would like to return to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This tragedy figures in the literary canon as a kind of commonplace book of invention, if not a symbol of word-play and linguistic self-making; nonetheless, it could be argued that the play stages language as a product of involuntary action and biformed cognitive traits. The Hamlet-Osric exchange reveals the tragic hero’s facility with language and in particular his mastery of courtly epideictic rhetoric, the highly stylized praise through flattery and adulation. Osric says Laertes is an ‘absolute gentleman, full of most excellent differences’. hamlet 

Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you, though I know to divide him inventorially would dozy th’arithmetic of memory, and yet but yaw neither, in respect of his quick sail. But, in the verity of extolment, I take him to be a soul of great article; and his infusion of such dearth and rareness, as, to make true diction of him, his semblable is his mirror and who else would trace him his umbrage, nothing more. (5.2.114–22)

Our attention is drawn to Hamlet’s own dizzying language and word play, which is meant to show up Osric’s dull wit. Hamlet shows he is no stranger to the rhetoric of extolment. ‘To divide [Laertes] inventorially,’ Hamlet explains, ‘would dizzy the arithmetic of memory.’ The contradiction here is that the duel of words between Hamlet and Osric is meant to display the prince’s wit but the very language of praise is discussed as a tabulated system whose primers and handbooks create a drop-file of possible executed retorts. In his On Education (1531), Vives offers a standard pedagogy for writing instruction: the student must keep a notebook with ‘separate divisions … history, anecdotes, clever expressions and weighty judgment’ to recite later: ‘It is a very useful practice to write down what we want to remember’ (1913: 108). The routine of transcribing in this context becomes part of the priming of the involuntary associative process of the human brain to link word phrases and hand movements with particular tonal inflections. Procedural memory, sometimes called implicit memory, is that form of long-term memory that is responsible for internalizing complicated procedures and skills ‘without thought’, as it is sometimes said. Vives deduces that this routine of copying to remember is a ritual requiring habituated patterns of repetition associated with animal mimicry. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that students were often called ‘student apes’, ‘parrots’ or simply ‘mimic apes’ (Enterline 2012: 34–5; Gouwens 2010).7 Consider the most famous example of the student ape found in the play Pilgrimage to Parnassus, performed in London by the boys company from St John’s between 1598 and 1602. This mock morality play satirizes the humanist enterprise. Offering words of warning, the character Ingenioso turns to the fellow student Philomusus – who has recently rejoined his mission to climb the allegorical hill of hard study through the trivium – and warns of the life of poverty awaiting him at the top of the mountain. ‘Alas, Apollo is backroute, there is nothing but silver words and golden phrases for a man’ (Pilgrimage to Parnassus 1876: 663). Ingenioso imagines the fruitless journey in key terms: the

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FIGURE 5  Aap met Spiegel in Johann Theodor de Bry’s Emblemata Saecularia, c. 1596. Courtesy of Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.8

result of your hard labour will be to play out the ritual of reciting from the non-sense book Pueriles Confabulations ‘to a company of seven-year-old apes’. This incidental passage digs at the zoomorphic anxiety elicited in Vives’s comment that memorywork marks human exceptionalism. To get to Parnassus, a mountain in the early modern imaginary that symbolized the magnificence of mythic gods, one trudged up the footpath through emulation.

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This satire provides clues to Hamlet’s structured anxiety around his own student identity. Aren’t his newly patronized players in Elsinore refugees from the popularity of London’s children’s theatre? Haven’t they been run out of town by precisely this kind of language machine? ‘Do the boys carry it away?’ Hamlet asks, surprised at the gossip (2.2.344). Hamlet’s mind immediately moves to the double image of his father and Claudius to make a point of theatre’s fickle crowd, but the image is visited by a flash of linked associations; miniature portraits whose likeness troubles the face of the real sovereign subject. Children wearing rapiers ‘but afraid of goose-quills’, Rosencrantz quips. Hamlet thinks through a series of comparisons: children writing, children growing up to become common players, exclaiming against ‘succession’, the fickle taste of mimics in the court. A thirty-year-old boy. A little picture of the king. ‘It is not very strange; for mine uncle is king of Denmark, and those that would make mouths at him while my father lived give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats apiece for his picture in little. ’Sblood, there is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out’ (2.2.362–9). There is an eerie intertextual history that the First Quarto shares with that of the Children’s Companies whose players were taken from the grammar schools. Q1’s title page advertises that the play was performed ‘in the two universities Cambridge and Oxford’, which probably took place around 1601 when the Parnassus plays were performed in London. If we consider that Shakespeare’s tragedy may have been originally performed on tour for students, this scene reminds us that the player’s entrance to Elsinore in Hamlet works to produce a spectral echo. Hamlet’s preoccupation with mimicry crops up in another pivotal scene within the tragedy. At that moment when Hamlet meets with Gertrude to restore her virtue – the infamous closet scene – the hero proposes a strategy not of dissimulation but of mimicry with Claudius. Hamlet conjures the primal scene of his mother’s sexual encounters with Claudius – ‘pinch wanton on your cheek’, ‘reechy kisses’, ‘paddling in your neck’. Hamlet immediately thinks of the proverbial ape who tried to follow the birds freed from the roof-top basket and whose mimicked flight leads to his death: Make you to ravel all this matter out That I essentially am not in madness, But mad in craft. ’Twere good you let him know; For who that’s but a queen, fair, sober, wise, Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib, Such dear concernings hide? who would do so? No, in despite of sense and secrecy, Unpeg the basket on the house’s top. Let the birds fly, and, like the famous ape, To try conclusions, in the basket creep, And break your own neck down. (3.4.188–98) Hamlet’s view of the ape is conventional: automatically following the bird’s actions, the ape reaches beyond and breaks his neck. But Hamlet’s use of the second person

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‘your’ bewilders: whose neck? Who is the ape in this passage? Is ‘your’ meant to conjure the idea that his mother is placed in the role of the student? Perhaps it is not a coincidence that Hamlet’s imaginary is haunted by the iconographic image of the student ape because his own instruction to his mother mirrors the basic tenet of humanism. Through the repetition of an action comes the simulacrum of moral growth. His advice to his mother is predicated on the idea that routine in action not only ‘mirrors’ but produces more than the sum of its arithmetic: Assume a virtue, if you have it not. That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat Of habits evil, is angel yet in this, That to the use of actions fair and good He likewise gives a frock or livery, That aptly is put on. Refrain tonight, And that shall lend a kind of easiness To the next abstinence: the next more easy; For use almost can change the stamp of nature. (3.4.162–70) Hamlet must face his mother’s sexuality, but so too the very contradiction at the heart of humanism’s fantasy of habituated behaviour. The repetitive action of priming procedural memory is perceived as a biformed angelic monster – both animal and Neoplatonic Homo creator – a gradual process, an ‘easiness’ of donning a frock an ape might wear to mime an assumed virtue that through reiteration stamps one’s nature. Here the habit-wearing ape follows Vives’s dream, where, in terms of evolutionary psychology, implicit memory shapes one’s character by mirroring the storehouse of affective postures and routines that lead to the restoration of the human subject. ‘Let them be bidden to produce whatever words they think they have noted among their own exercises,’ Vives instructs. ‘Then let them change the words and keep the same idea’ (1913: 108). Free now to follow the birds. ‘A livery aptly put on … a kind of easiness / To the next abstinence: the next more easy.’ Hamlet’s existential crisis of identity can trace as one of its many well sources the conundrum of the paleo-lithic divide between the student ape and its tables of saws. But finding the dividing line between this doubling mirror that reflects and/or shines forth would be to unpeg the basket of Homo sapiens’s illusory exceptionalism. Hamlet instructs his mother that habit through routine becomes virtue, a freedom from the animal but through mimicry. Like Hamlet, perhaps, we search for ourselves by returning home to selfinvention and discover, like another famous Gertrude, that ‘there is no there there’ (Stein 2004: 298). We are reminded of this irony when we remember that the ape in Renaissance iconography is not always looking at himself in the mirror but holding the glass back at us, and, as in de Bry’s image, we try our own conclusions and see ourselves wearing the ruff. (see Figure 5). The limbic structure of the brain is the product of adapted behaviours carved out of the human encounters with different environments, what Daniel Lord Smail terms a ‘neurophysiological ecosystem’ that ‘generates new neural configurations’ copied or stamped into the behavioural traces inherited by our species (2008: 155).

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Though the tragedy Hamlet delves into our simian being, the play does offer ironic figures of a mental plasticity that exceed a posthuman flat ontology. Let us return to the scene where Hamlet and Horatio laugh at Osric’s lack of wit. One interesting metaphor is used by Hamlet to imagine the nature of Osric’s rote memory and its role in shaping one’s intellect. It is meant as a slur. Horatio says: ‘His purse is empty already; all’s golden words are spent.’ Hamlet says: A did comply with his dug before a sucked it. Thus has he – and many more of the same bevy that I know the drossy age dotes on – only got the tune of the time and, out of an habit of encounter, a kind of yeasty collection, which carries them through and through the most fanned and winnowed opinions; and do but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are out. (5.2.187–95) In the sixteenth century the housewife would make the day’s beer by using yesterday’s yeast in the newly made wort. It was never, in a sense, ‘out’. Yeast keeps reproducing – machine like – ad infinitum, millions of cells a day. Buried in this metaphor of the yeasty collection is Shakespeare’s divided response to his own humanist education. The extended conceit is supposed to be a negative image. Light. Frothy. Osric’s tablet of memory is finite and rather shallow. ‘Blow them to their trials, the bubbles are out.’ This image of yeast suggests, however, that Shakespeare sees a potentially self-generating force within the rote practice of memorizing maxims and integrating them into one’s own conversation, a fixed set of words that grows and grows into something more than the sum of its parts. The image of yeast as potentially regenerative lives on in an interesting theory about human invention. Shakespeare intuits one of the key features of classical humanism’s use of schema as a process of releasing the potential of merging combinations of rehearsed syntactical units ad infinitum. Linguistic theory discovers in human language the unbounded nature of recursion, following Noam Chomsky’s famous description that language, though composed of finite syntax phrases, leads to an infinite horizon through the embedding of previous statements as quotation. For linguists, recursion is a sequence formula that requires its output as a component of its first step, hence the popular analogy of sourdough yeast (you need sourdough to make sourdough; or in our context you need a yeast batch to make new ale).9 As defined by Michael Corballis in The Recursive Mind, ‘one of the characteristics of recursion is that it can take its own output as the next input, a loop that can be extended indefinitely to create sequences or structures of unbounded length or complexity’. Corballis continues, ‘human thought is generated by a Merge operation, applied recursively. That is, units are merged to form larger entities, and the merged entities can be themselves merged to form larger entities, and so on’ (2011: 7). Frederick L. Coolidge et al. have provided a useful overview of the implications of recursion theory. They state, ‘the cognitive act of recursion entails holding in mind the relation between the two elements or thoughts, as well as realizing the modification that one element or thought has upon the other’ (2011: 549). Compare this with Mark Turner’s cognitive theory that the human brain functions as a machine that can blend one input with another: ‘In a double-scope integration network, the two inputs have different (and often clashing) organizing frames, and

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the blend has an organizing frame that received projections from each of those organizing frames’ (2006: 107). ‘Sharp differences between the organizing frames of the inputs offer the possibility of rich clashes. Far from blocking the construction of the network,’ Turner suggests, ‘such clashes offer challenges to the imagination’ (2006: 107). Like the metaphor of yeast suggests, this process of blending leads to the production of more combinations that, bubble-like, expand as new associative links demand different ‘rich clashes’. Renaissance rhetorical phrasebooks could be seen as schematic tables meant to organize the recursive nesting of mental expressions into patterns that release the unbounded nature of language by triggering these new combinations.10 We get a fitting representation of the regenerative capacity of our protagonist’s recursive mind in the graveyard scene when Laertes’ exaggerated performance of mourning for Ophelia triggers in Hamlet an emotional tempest. Laertes’ demonstrative reactions, both for his father’s death and in this scene with Ophelia, mark him as suspiciously free from angst, if not melodramatically hyperbolic. In the graveyard scene Shakespeare stages Hamlet’s reach for Parnassus through rhetorical augmentation, what Maynard Mack identified famously as overstatement (1960: 10–41). ‘O, treble woe / Fall ten times treble on that cursed head’ (5.1.230–1). Lost in anaphora (repetition) and hyberbole, Laertes continues after jumping in the grave: ‘Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead, / Till of this flat a mountain have you made / To o’ertop old Pelion, or the skyish head / Of blue Olympus’ (5.1.249–52). Puttenham himself cautioned against the use of hyperbole for amplification, as he associated it with dissimulation, to be used ‘very discreetly, or it will seem odious’ (2007: 276). Laertes’ performative gestures seem too simian, too put on, and awaken in Hamlet a newly rejuvenated fury, as if provoked into an exalted rhetorical register freed from his earlier contemplative palaver. Hamlet’s response properly identifies this as a game of mimicry: What is he whose grief Bears such an emphasis, whose phrase of sorrow Conjures the wand’ring stars and makes them stand Like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I, Hamlet the Dane. (5.1.252–6) Is not Laertes’ language another reminder of Hamlet’s own training in rhetorical primers? ‘Emphasis’, ‘phrase of sorrow’, ‘prating of mountains’. Hamlet seizes upon the conceit of piling dirt for expressing grief, as the rhetorical magnification itself grows so high as to make the mythic mountain top a ‘wart’ by comparison. Recursion finds an apt symbol for an ever-growing mountain of Hamlet’s unleashed imagination, as Hamlet’s ‘million of acres’ brings us back to the image of the ape trudging up Mount Olympus: Dost thou come here to whine? To outface me with leaping in her grave? Be buried quick with her, and so will I:

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And, if thou prate of mountains, let them throw Millions of acres on us, till our ground, Singeing his pate against the burning zone, Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, and thou’lt mouth, I’ll rant as well as thou. (5.1.277–84) In his most profoundly self-reflexive play, Shakespeare explores the thin line that separates the human from its imagined primate original. And in the graveyard, one of the set pieces of the play, it is hard not to see the ‘prating’ and ‘ranting’ of its two central heroes behaving like hooting monkeys throwing handfuls of dirt in their rhetorical pantomimes. It is interesting to consider in conclusion that the most distinguishing rhetorical figure used throughout his career as a poet and playwright is the hendiadys, an antiquated Virgilian trope that all but disappeared through the medieval period. Hendiadys involves the simple joining of two phrases with the word ‘and’ to suggest a parallel meaning but in a way that distorts the comparison. The most common example cited is ‘to drink from cups and gold’. Both terms joined by the conjunction are not exactly comparable and force an uneasy analogy. Shakespeare uses the figure so often that it forms something of an involuntary poetic tic, his evolved inference engine – ‘voice and yielding’, ‘fashion and a toy’, ‘encompassment and drift’, ‘abstracts and brief’, ‘griefs and clamour’, ‘thews and bulk’. As described by George Wright, the figure enacts ‘an encounter between two mismatched and incommensurable forces’ (Wright 1981: 181). While the mind attempts to force a parallel between the two ‘inputs’, a deeper and more puzzling meaning results, ‘a double-scope integration’ that leads to a more disorienting frame, a distended bubble. It is interesting, then, to note that if indeed this is the signature rhetorical device chosen by the ‘poet of the planet of the apes’,11 it is one that resists the simple aim of magnifying through repetition, as if Shakespeare is trying to break free from his own yeasty collection the constraints of the notebook method and its translations, to make Ossa a wart. As a rhetorical gesture that is ingested in the imagination, the hendiadys works magically, endlessly, to produce further rumination and enact within the minds of the audience such ‘form and pressure’, the unbounded recursive feature of limbic plasticity.

NOTES 1. See Davies (2016: 53–60). 2. See Massumi (2014) on instincts. 3. See Helfer (2017), Tribble and Keene (2011) and Carroll’s chapter ‘Literary Study and Evolutionary Theory’ in Literary Darwinism (2004: 45–62). For a review of the perceived conservatism of Carroll’s work, see Adams (2011). On Shakespeare’s comedy of survival, see Meeker (1997). 4. Compare Ascham’s recognition of the vegetative-animal process as the heart of wit with Dennett’s critique of intentionality as automata (1996: 398).

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5. Compare to Kahneman’s theory of priming and the ‘associative machine’ (2011: 19– 38). 6. See also Dionne (2016). 7. See also Wiseman (1995) and Dugan (2013). 8. Available online: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.360168 (accessed 18 August 2019). 9. Wikipedia uses this metaphor on yeast. Available online: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Recursion (accessed 7 February 2019). 10. See Parish (2014: 127–39). 11. This phrase was coined by Maisano (2013).

REFERENCES Adams, J. (2011), ‘Value Judgments and Functional Roles: Carroll’s Quarrel with Pinker’, in N. Saul and S. J. James (eds), The Evolution of Literature: Legacies of Darwin in European Cultures, 155–70, Amsterdam: Rodopi. Ascham, R. ([1570] 1967), The Schoolmaster, ed. L. Ryan, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Bacon, F. ([1609] 1851), Wisdom of the Ancients, in The Works of Francis Bacon, vol. 1, ed. B. Montague, Philadelphia: Carey and Hart. Beecher, D. (2016), Adapted Brains and Imaginary Worlds: Cognitive Science and the Literature of the Renaissance, Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. Carroll, J. (2004), Literary Darwinism: Evolution, Human Nature, and Literature, New York: Routledge. Carroll, J. (2011), ‘Intentional Meaning in Hamlet’, in Reading Human Nature: Literary Darwinism in Theory and Practice, 123–50, Albany: SUNY. Chakrabarty, D. (2009), ‘Climate of History: Four Theses’, Critical Inquiry, 35: 197–222. Coolidge, F. L., K. Overmann and T. Winn (2011), ‘Recursion: What Is It, Who Has It, and How Did It Evolve?’, Semantic Scholar, 2: 547–54. Corballis, M. C. (2011), The Recursive Mind: The Origins of Human Language, Thought, and Civilization, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Davies, J. (2016), The Birth of the Anthropocene, Oakland: University of California Press. De Bry, T. (1596), Aspice vt Ingentes Svspenda Simia Rvgas, in Emblemata Secularia, Frankfurt. Available online: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aap_met_ spiegel_ASPICE_VT_INGENTES_SVSPENDAT_SIMIA_RVGAS_(titel_op_object)_ Emblemata_Saecularia,_1596_(serietitel),_RP-P-BI-5189.jpg (accessed 20 April 2020). Dennett, D. (1996), Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Life, New York: Simon and Schuster. Dionne, C. (2016), Posthuman Lear: Reading Shakespeare in the Anthropocene, Santa Barbara: Punctum. Dugan, H. (2013), ‘“To Bark with Judgment”: Playing Baboon in Early Modern London’, Shakespeare Studies, 41: 77–93. Enterline, L. (2012), Shakespeare’s Classroom, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

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Fudge, E. (2006), Brutal Reasoning: Animals, Rationality, and Humanity in Early Modern England, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Gould, S. J. (1997), ‘Evolution: The Pleasures of Pluralism’, New York Review of Books, 26 June: 47–52. Gouwens, K. (2010), ‘Erasmus, “Apes of Cicero”, and Conceptual Blending’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 71: 523–45. Helfer, R. (2017), ‘The State of the Art of Memory and Shakespeare’s Studies’, in A. Hisock and L. P. Wilder (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Memory, 315–28, New York: Routledge. Kahneman, D. (2011), Thinking Fast and Slow, New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux. Lanham, R. (1976), Motives of Eloquence: Literary Rhetoric in the Renaissance, New Haven: Yale University Press. Mack, M. (1960), ‘The Jacobean Shakespeare: Some Observations on the Constructions of Tragedies’, in J. R. Brown and B. Harris (eds), Jacobean Theater, vol. 1, 10–41, Stratford: Stratford-upon-Avon Studies. Maisano, S. (2013), ‘Rise of the Poet of the Apes’, Shakespeare Studies, 41: 64–76. Martin, R. (2018), ‘Evolutionary Naturalism and Embodied Ecology in Shakespearian Performance (With a Scene from King John)’, Shakespeare Survey, 71: 147–63. Massumi, B. (2014), What Animals Teach Us about Politics, Durham: Duke University Press. Matthen, M. (2011), ‘Review of Dennis Dutton’s Art Instinct’, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 41: 337–56. Meeker, J. (1997), The Comedy of Survival: Literary Ecology and a Play Ethic, Tuscon: University of Arizona Press. Parish, A. C. (2014), Adaptive Rhetoric: Evolution, Culture, and the Art of Persuasion, New York: Routledge. Pilgrimage to Parnassus ([1598] 1876), ed. W. D. Macray, Oxford: Clarendon. Available online: https://archive.org/details/pilgrimagetoparn00macruoft/page/n35 (accessed on 23 January 2019). Puttenham, G. ([1589] 2007), Art of English Poesy, ed. F. Whigam and W. Rebhorn, Cornell: Cornell University Press. Raber, K. (2018), Shakespeare and Posthumanist Theory, London: Arden Shakespeare. Shakespeare, W. ([1623] 2011), Hamlet, ed. Ann Thompson, David Scott Kastan and Richard Proudfoot, in The Arden Shakespeare Complete Works, Third Series, London: Arden Shakespeare. Smail, D. L. (2008), On Deep History and the Brain, Berkeley: University of California Press. Stein, G. ([1937] 2004), Everybody’s Autobiography, New York: Exact Change. Tooby, J. and L. Cosmides (1997), ‘Foreword’, in S. Baron-Cohen (ed.), Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind, Cambridge: MIT. Tribble, E. and N. Keene (2011), Cognitive Ecologies and the History of Remembering, New York: Palgrave. Turner, A. (2006), ‘The Art of Compression’, in M. Turner (ed.), The Artful Mind; Cognitive Science and the Riddle of Human Consciousness, 93–114, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Vives, J. L. ([1531] 1913), On Education: A Translation of ‘De Tradendis Disciplinis’, ed. F. Watson, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Watson, R. (2011), ‘The Ecology of the Self in Midsummer Night’s Dream’, in L. D. Bruckner and D. Brayton (eds), Ecocritical Shakespeare, 33–55, Farnham: Ashgate. Wiseman, S. (1995), ‘Ape-Human Transformations in Hobbes, Bulwer, Tyson’, in S. Wiseman, E. Fudge and R. Gilbert (eds), At the Borders of the Human: Beasts, Bodies and Natural Philosophy, 215–38, New York: St Martin’s. Wright, G. (1981), ‘Hendiadys and Hamlet’, PMLA, 96: 168–93.

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APPENDIX A

TIMELINE OF SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS EVELYN GAJOWSKI 1947 International Shakespeare Conference (ISC) founded in Stratford  upon-Avon, England 1948 Shakespeare Survey, annual journal, launches in England 1950 Shakespeare Quarterly, journal, launches in the USA 1972 Shakespeare Association of America (SAA) founded Shakespeare Studies, annual journal, launches in the USA 1975 Société Francaise Shakespeare (SFS) founded 1976 Shakespeare and the Nature of Women, authored by Juliet Dusinberre,   first feminist monograph, published 1st ISA World Shakespeare Congress (WSC) convenes in Washington,   DC, USA 1977 New Accents Series, edited by Terence Hawkes, launches with the   publication of Structuralism and Semiotics, authored by Terence   Hawkes 5th SAA annual meeting convenes in New Orleans, LA, USA 1980 Critical Practice, authored by Catherine Belsey, published The Woman’s Part: Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare, co-edited by   Carolyn Ruth Swift Lenz, Gayle Greene and Carol Thomas Neely,   first collection of feminist essays, published Representing Shakespeare: New Psychoanalytic Essays, co-edited   by Murray M. Schwartz and Coppelia Kahn, first collection of   psychoanalytic essays by Shakespeare scholars, published Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare, authored by   Stephen Greenblatt, first new historicist monograph, published 1981 2nd ISA WSC convenes in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 1982 Homosexuality in Renaissance England, authored by Alan Bray, first   monograph by a gay-identified author, published The Power of Forms in the English Renaissance, edited by Stephen   Greenblatt, who coins the term new historicism, published 10th SAA annual meeting convenes in Minneapolis, MN, USA 1984 Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology, and Power in the Drama of   Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, authored by Jonathan   Dollimore, first cultural materialist monograph, published

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1985 Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism, co-edited by Jonathan   Dollimore and Alan Sinfield, first collection of cultural materialist essays,   published Alternative Shakespeares, edited by John Drakakis, published 1986 3rd ISA WSC convenes in Berlin, Germany 1987 Textual Practice, the first British journal devoted to literary theory, launches 15th SAA annual meeting convenes in Seattle, WA, USA Australian New Zealand Shakespeare Association (ANZSA) founded Shakespeare Reproduced: The Text in History and Ideology, co-edited by   Jean E. Howard and Marion F. O'Connor, published 1989 Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory at Cardiff University, Cardiff,   Wales, founded 1990 Spanish and Portuguese Society for English Renaissance Studies (SEDERI)   founded SHAKSPER: A Global Listserv launches ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 1991 4th ISA WSC convenes in Tokyo, Japan 1992 Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeare’s Plays,   ‘Hamlet’ to ‘The Tempest’, authored by Janet Adelman, published 20th SAA annual meeting convenes in Kansas City, KS, USA ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 1993 Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft (founded in 1864) reunified following a   30-year split 1994 Women, ‘Race’, and Writing in the Early Modern Period, co-edited by Margo   Hendricks and Patricia Parker, first collection of essays on race, published ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 1995 Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern   England, authored by Kim F. Hall, published Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare’s England: A Cultural Poetics, authored   by Bruce R. Smith, published 1996 Shakespeare’s Universal Wolf: Studies in Early Modern Reification, authored   by Hugh Grady, who applies the term presentism to Shakespeare studies,   published 5th ISA WSC convenes in Los Angeles, CA, USA ‘Shakespeare – Post-coloniality – Johannesburg, 1996’ conference       convenes in Johannesburg, South Africa ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 1997 25th SAA annual meeting convenes in Washington, DC, USA 1998 European Shakespeare Research Association (ESRA) founded ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 1999 Accents on Shakespeare Series, edited by Terence Hawkes, launches with   the publication of Shakespeare and Appropriation, co-edited by Christy   Desmet and Robert Sawyer 1st ESRA Congress convenes in Murcia, Spain 2000 Shakespeare and Masculinity, authored by Bruce R. Smith, published A Feminist Companion to Shakespeare, edited by Dympna Callaghan,   published ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England

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2001 Shakespeare Criticism in the Twentieth Century, authored by Michael   Taylor, published 6th ISA WSC convenes in Valencia, Spain 2nd ESRA Congress convenes in Basel, Switzerland 2002 Shakespeare in the Present, authored by Terence Hawkes, first monograph   on presentism, published Shakespeare Jungle Fever: National-Imperial Re-Visions of Race, Rape, and   Sacrifice, authored by Arthur L. Little, Jr, published Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism, authored by Ania Loomba, published The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England, authored by   Valerie Traub, first monograph on lesbianism, published British Shakespeare Association (BSA) founded 30th SAA annual meeting convenes in Minneapolis, MN, USA ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 2003 3rd ESRA Congress convenes in Utrecht, The Netherlands 2004 Shakespeare: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory 1945–2000, edited by   Russ McDonald, published Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation,   co-edited by Christy Desmet and Sujata Iyengar, launches in the USA ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 2005 Shakespeare and Women, authored by Phyllis Rackin, published Shakespeare: The Journal of the British Shakespeare Association, launches 4th ESRA Congress convenes in Krakow, Poland 2006 Green Shakespeare, authored by Gabriel Egan, the first ecocritical   monograph, published 7th ISA WSC convenes in Brisbane, Australia ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 2007 Presentist Shakespeares, co-edited by Hugh Grady and Terence Hawkes,   the first collection of presentist essays, published 5th ESRA Congress convenes in Iasi, Romania 35th SAA annual meeting convenes in San Diego, CA, USA 2008 Italian Association of Shakespearean and Early Modern Studies (IASEMS)   founded ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 2009 Presentism, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare, edited by Evelyn   Gajowski, the second collection of presentist essays, published 6th ESRA Congress convenes in Pisa, Italy 2010 Shakespeare and Literary Theory, authored by Jonathan Gil Harris,   published ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 2011 8th ISA WSC convenes in Prague, Czech Republic 7th ESRA Congress convenes in Weimar, Germany 2012 40th SAA annual meeting convenes in Boston, MA, USA ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 2013 8th ESRA Congress convenes in Montpellier, France

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2014 Asian Shakespeare Association (ASA) founded ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England 2015 Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series, edited by Evelyn Gajowski, launches   with the publication of Shakespeare and Economic Theory, authored   by David Hawkes, Shakespeare and Psychoanalytic Theory, authored   by Carolyn E. Brown, and Shakespeare and Ecocritical Theory,   authored by Gabriel Egan 9th ESRA Congress convenes in Worcester, England 2016 The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment, edited by Valerie   Traub, published 9th ISA WSC convenes in Stratford-upon-Avon and London, England,   commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death 2017 Shakespeare and New Historicist Theory, authored by Neema Parvini,   published Shakespeare and Ecofeminist Theory, authored by Rebecca Laroche and   Jennifer Munroe, published 45th SAA annual meeting convenes in Atlanta, GA, USA Shakespeare and Cultural Materialist Theory, authored by Christopher   Marlow, published Shakespeare and Feminist Theory, authored by Marianne Novy, published 10th ESRA Congress convenes in Gdansk, Poland 2018 Shakespeare and Posthumanist Theory, authored by Karen Raber, published Radical Mischief Conference, co-sponsored by the Shakespeare Institute   and the RSC, convenes in Stratford-upon-Avon, England ISC convenes at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England Shakespeare and Presentism Colloquium convenes at Kingston University,   London, England Shakespeare and Race Colloquium convenes at Shakespeare’s Globe   Theatre, London, England 2019 Shakespeare and Postcolonial Theory, authored by Jyotsna Singh, published Shakespeare and Queer Theory, authored by Melissa E. Sanchez, published 11th ESRA Congress convenes in Rome, Italy 2021 12th ESRA Congress convenes in Athens, Greece 10th ISA WSC convenes in Singapore, Malaysia 2022 50th SAA annual meeting convenes in Jacksonville, FL, USA

APPENDIX B

A–Z GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS GARY LINDEBURG adaptation In the biological sciences, the process of change within an organism that allows it to become better suited to its environment. According to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, environments place ‘selection pressures’ on a species that over time affect the morphology and behaviour of a species. Literary critics who identify with ‘Literary Darwinism’ interpret literature and art in the socio-biological context of this deep history of evolution to reveal how the interaction between the reader and the literary text involves involuntary drives, psychological mechanisms or sociological patterns involved in our species’ interaction with changing environments. See cognitive ethology. agency A character’s ability to make choices and ultimately affect her or his outcome within a plot. The question of agency frequently serves as a significant element of literary analysis, as it indicates the character’s placement within the social and power structures within the text. See character studies. algorithm In computational studies, a set of logical instructions or mathematical rules used to perform calculations and problem-solving operations, typically by a computer. See computational studies. anachronism The notion of reading the past through the lenses of the present, positing a past access to ideas, knowledge of things and events, and even the use of objects that would have been unavailable to the period in question because they were developed at a later time. Used by historicism to regulate the disciplinary borders of what counts as historically accurate criticism, the concept has been provocatively appropriated by presentists to uncover the postmodern, and hence anachronistic, foundations of contemporary historicism and to develop a criticism of Shakespeare decidedly centred on the present. See presentist studies. Anthropocene The current biospheric era characterized by human dominance of planetary lifeforms and ecosystems. In literary analysis, the term focuses on the impact of humanity on the natural world as represented in literary or dramatic texts, particularly in relation to settings in which humanity’s influence is not yet recognized. See Chthulucene.

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APPENDIX B

antihumanism The theory that is critical of traditional humanist philosophies of the Enlightenment; antihumanist theory includes structuralist, poststructuralist and deconstructionist approaches to history and metaphysics, united by their emphasis on the premise that subjectivity is determined by forces outside of the human self. anti-pos