• Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology and Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

    Contributor(s): Terry Eagleton
    Pages: 416
    Sales/Territorial Rights: North America Only
  • Cloth: $99.95 - In Stock
  • Paperback: $28.95 - In Stock
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Acknowledgments ix

    Foreword / Terry Eagleton x

    Introduction to the Third Edition xiv

    i September 1914 xiv

    ii September 2001 xvi

    iii September 1939

    iv Art and Humanism xxii

    v Humanism and Materialism xxv

    vi Returns xxvi

    vii Knowledge and Desire xxx

    Notes xxxv

    Bibliography xxxvii

    Introduction to the Second Edition xli

    Part I: Radical Drama: Its Contexts and Emergence

    1. Contexts 3

    i Literary Criticism: Order versus History 5

    ii Ideology, Religion and Renaissance Scepticism 9

    iii Ideology and the Decentering of Man 17

    iv Secularism versus Nihilism 19

    v Censorship 22

    vi Inversion and Misrule 25

    2. Emergence: Marston's Antonio Plays (c. 1599-1601) and Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (c. 1601-1602) 29

    i Discontinuous Identity (1) 30

    ii Providence and Natural Law (1) 36

    iii Discontinuous Identity (2) 40

    iv Providence and Natural Law (2) 42

    v Ideology and the Absolute 44

    vi Social Contradiction and Discontinuous Identity 47

    vii Renaissance Man versus Decentered Malcontent 49

    Part II: Structure, Mimesis, Providence

    3. Structure: From Resolution to Dislocation 53

    i Bradley 53

    ii Archer and Eliot 56

    iii Coherence and Discontinuity 59

    iv Brecht: A Difference Reality 63

    4. Reniassance Literary Theory: Two Concepts of Mimesis 70

    i Poetry versus History 71

    ii The Fictive and the Real 73

    5. The Disintegration of Providentialist Belief 83

    i Atheism and Religious Scepticism 83

    ii Providentialism and History 87

    iii Organic Providence 90

    iv From Mutability to Cosmic Decay 92

    v Goodman and Elemental Chaos 99

    vi Providence and Protestantism 103

    vii Providence, Decay and the Drama 107

    6. Dr. Faustus (c. 1589-92): Subversion Through Transgression 109

    i Limit and Transgression 110

    ii Power and the Unitary Soul 116

    7. Mustapha (c. 1594-6): Ruined Aesthetic, Ruined Theology 120

    i Tragedy, Theology and Cosmic Decay 120

    ii Mustapha: Tragedy as Dislocation 123

    8. Sejanus (1603): History and Realpolitik 134

    i History, Fate, Providence 134

    9. The Revenger's Tragedy (c. 1606): Providence, Parody and Black Camp 139

    i Providence and Parody 139

    ii Desire and Death 143

    Part III: Man Decentered

    10. Subjectivity and Social Process 153

    i Tragedy, Humanism and the Transcendent Subject 156

    ii The Jacobean Displacement of the Subject 158

    iii The Essentialist Tradition: Christianity, Stoicism and Renaissance Humanism 161

    iv Internal Tensions 163

    v Anti-Essentialism in Political Theory and Renaissance Skepticism 169

    vi Renaissance Individualism? 174

    11. Bussy D'Ambois (c. 1604): A Hero at Court 182

    i Shadows and Substance 182

    ii Court Power and Native Noblesse 185

    12. King Lear (c. 1605-6) and Essentialist Humanism 189

    i Redemption and Endurance: Two Sides of Essentialist Humanism 191

    ii King Lear: A Materialist Reading 195

    iii The Refusal of Closure 202

    13. Antony and Cleopatra (c. 1607): Virtus under Erasure 204

    i Virtus and History 206

    ii Virtus and Realpolitik (1) 207

    iii Honour and Policy 213

    iv Sexuality and Power 215

    14. Coriolanus (c. 1608): The Chariot Whell and its Dust 218

    i Virtus and Realpolitik (2) 218

    ii Essentialism and Class War 222

    15. The White Devil (1612): Transgression Without Virtue 231

    i Religion and State Power 231

    ii The Virtuous and the Vicious 232

    iii Sexual and Social Exploitation 235

    iv The Assertive Woman 239

    v The Dispossessed Intellectual 242

    vi Living Contradictions 244

    Part IV: Subjectivity: Idealism versus Materialism

    16. Beyond Essentialist Humanism 249

    i Origins of the Transcendent Subject 250

    ii Essence and Universal: Enlightenment Transitions 253

    iii Discrimination and Subjectivity 256

    iv Formative Literary Influences: Pope to Eliot 258

    v Existentialism 262

    vi Lawrence, Leavis and Individualism 264

    vii The Decentered Subject 269

    Notes 272

    Bibliography of Works Cited 290

    Index of Names and Texts 307

    Index of Subjects 311
  • Terry Eagleton

  • “A welcome new edition of a pathbreaking book complete with a brilliantly incisive and thought-provoking introduction that will enthuse a new generation of students. With an iconoclastic energy all too rare in academic circles, Dollimore fearlessly revalues his own project and poses questions central to the larger critical, cultural, and philosophical debates within English Studies, to which Radical Tragedy continues to make a major scholarly contribution.”—John Drakakis, University of Stirling — N/A

    “I put this book right at the top. I read it with excitement and sustained interest throughout.”—David Bevington, University of Chicago — N/A

    “Prefaced by a powerful, provocative essay that brings its argument bang up to date, this splendid new edition of Radical Tragedy puts its status as a classic of cultural-materialist criticism beyond question.”—Kiernan Ryan, Royal Holloway, University of London — N/A

    “Some critical studies are full of insight, but not many of them are necessary. Radical Tragedy ranks among the necessary critical interventions of our time.”—Terry Eagleton, from the foreword — N/A

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).


    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    When it was first published, Radical Tragedy was hailed as a groundbreaking reassessment of the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. An engaged reading of the past with compelling contemporary significance, Radical Tragedy remains a landmark study of Renaissance drama. The third edition of this critically acclaimed work includes a new foreword by Terry Eagleton and an extensive new introduction by the author.

    About The Author(s)

    Jonathan Dollimore is Professor of English at the University of York. His books include Death, Desire, and Loss in Western Culture; Sex, Literature, and Censorship; Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism (with Alan Sinfield); and Sexual Dissidence: Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault.

Explore More

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.

Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu