Republicanism and stoicism in Renaissance neo-Senecan drama.

CADMAN, Daniel John. (2011). Republicanism and stoicism in Renaissance neo-Senecan drama. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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This study will focus upon the dramas of Mary Sidney, Samuel Daniel, Samuel Brandon, William Alexander, and Elizabeth Cary, as well as the Roman tragedies of Thomas Kyd and Ben Jonson, which are characterised, to varying degrees, by their appropriation of continental models of neo-classical tragedy practised by the French tragedian Robert Gamier. The idea, promulgated by several early twentieth century critics, that many of these plays are linked by a common anti-theatrical agenda has been roundly rejected by more recent critics. This thesis will offer a new perspective on these plays by arguing that the recent criticism which distances them from the anti-theatrical agenda has served to repress the intertextual affinities that exist between them. These are characterised by their common interests in such humanist outlooks as republicanism and stoicism. Classical authorities, including Seneca and Tacitus, as well as contemporary theorists, such as Niccolo Machiavelli and Justus Lipsius inform these discourses. This form of drama also offered the authors a space to interrogate the practical utility of a number of theories from a variety of perspectives, indicating that the plays are in dialogue with one another rather than offering a single uniform outlook. As a related issue, the study will consider the various ways that the engagement with these theories affects the representation of a number of features in these plays, such as the dramatisation of key historical events, the representation of exemplary figures like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, and the plight of the individual in a tyrannical society, as well as their response to topical events such as the accession of James I. Such features, this study will argue, provide evidence of how this form of drama was appropriated to address the concerns of a politically disenfranchised group of writers during the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean eras, as well as revealing the commitment of the writers to a form of humanist dramatic authorship.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Steggle, Matthew [0000-0001-8958-8055]
Thesis advisor - Hopkins, Lisa
Thesis advisor - Rutter, Tom
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2011.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:18
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:05

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