Rewriting the Renaissance
by Margaret W Ferguson, Maureen Quilligan and Nancy Vickers
This contains a particularly important essay by Louis Montrose called ‘Shaping Fantasies’ which is about A Midsummer Night’s Dream. What was new about it was the way that Montrose brought A Midsummer Night’s Dream into contact with Elizabeth I. I think once you start thinking of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in relation to Elizabeth the play looks quite different and it gives you a new insight into how people were feeling about her at the time. This was a new move that Montrose made in the 80s which has been hugely influential and has led to lots of other readings of Shakespeare’s plays to shed light on her reign.
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“This is an essay collection from the mid 1980s and it exemplifies the movement known as new historicism, which was a new development which tried to bring together history and literary criticism in a new dynamic way, to show the way that literature is situated in history and history is made up of texts and always open to interpretation.” Read more...
Helen Hackett, Historian