Renaissance Drama provides a comprehensive and engaging new account of one of the richest periods of theatre history: the drama of early modern England produced for the professional theatre. It brings new insights to bear by exploring the plays in their relation to the culture and society of the period.
Sandra Clark takes the reader through a compelling examination of how plays participate in and respond to changing anxieties, for instance about English nationhood, the monarchy, or the role of the family, sometimes raising difficult questions or offering challenges to accepted views. Unlike many books on Elizabethan drama, the book is organized so as to cover a wide range of plays, some familiar, many less so, by many playwrights, from Lyly in the 1580s to Shirley in the 1640s. Shakespeare is not foregrounded, but neither is he excluded; a chapter considers his dialogue with contemporaries and also the ways in which later playwrights wrote back to his work.
Renaissance Drama will become standard reading for all students and scholars of English literature or the early modern period.