Environmental Degradation in Jacobean Drama

Environmental Degradation in Jacobean Drama

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In Environmental Degradation in Jacobean Drama, Bruce Boehrer provides the first general history of the Shakespearean stage to focus primarily on ecological issues. Early modern English drama was conditioned by the environmental events of the cities and landscapes within which it developed. Boehrer introduces Jacobean London as the first modern European metropolis in an England beset by problems of overpopulation; depletion of resources and species; land, water and air pollution; disease and other health-related issues; and associated changes in social behavior and cultural output. In six chapters he discusses the work of the most productive and influential playwrights of the day: Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Fletcher, Dekker and Heywood, exploring the strategies by which they made sense of radical ecological change in their drama. In the process, Boehrer sketches out these playwrights' differing responses to environmental issues and traces their legacy for later literary formulations of green consciousness.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1139149970
  • 9781139149976

Review quote

'This book is an impressive work of social history offering excellent chapters on Shakespeare's extra-theatrical business endeavours and Middleton's civic pageantry ... Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty.' A. Moore, Choice 'By a series of incisive and sensitive critical readings Boehrer shows that we can see and hear how early moderns reacted to the same problems we are facing today. The resulting book is ecocriticism of the highest order.' Gabriel Egan, Renaissance Quarterly '... Boehrer's study contains fascinating material ... It will force its readers to think about what ecocriticism can and should be.' Anna Swardh, Studia Neophilologica
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Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Middleton and ecological change; 2. Jonson and the universe of things; 3. Shakespeare's dirt; 4. John Fletcher and the ecology of manhood; 5. Dekker's walks and orchards; 6. Heywood and the spectacle of the hunt; Conclusion.
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