"In Shakespeare studies, 'Romance' is widely understood to refer to the plays composed and performed in the waning days of the playwright's career. Romance on the Early Modern Stage introduces a new history for the genre, one that dates back to the first years of the commercial theater in London. These early plays drew on popular stories depicting adventurous travel, imperial conquest, and exploration of new realms. Their staging also altered the practices of the theater, as playwrights embraced a dramatic poetics to accommodate the extravagant narratives of these stories. Romance on the Early Modern Stage aligns such formal alterations in stagecraft with an array of materials drawn from early modern global exploration to argue that dramatic fantasies both reflected and informed England's overseas ambitions. The book revises how romance is understood within the dramatic canon - from romance enabling empire in Henry V and Milton's Comus, to the 'anti-romance' staged in The Tempest." -- Publisher's description.
Introduction: Romance and the Globe -- Romancing Shakespeare -- "Asia of the one side, and Afric of the other": Sidney's unities and the staging of romance -- Imagined empires: the cultural geography of stage romance -- Chronicle history, cosmopolitan romance: Henry V and the generic boundaries of the second tetralogy -- Containing romance and plotting empire in The Tempest and Pericles -- Milton's imperial maske: staging romance on the border of Wales -- Coda: Global romance after Shakespeare
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