Shakespeare, Sex and the Print Revolution

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A&C Black, Jan 1, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 274 pages
This book investigates how the sexual element in Shakespeare's works is complicated and compromised by the impact of print. Whether the issue is one of censorship and evasion or sexual redefinition, the fact that Shakespeare wrote in the first century of popular print is crucial. Out of the newly-accessible classical canon he creates a reconstituted idea of the sexual temptress; and out of the Counter-Reformation propaganda he fashions his own complex thinking about the prostitute. Shakespeare's theatrical scripts, meeting-ground fro the spoken and written word, contribute powerfully to those socio-sexual debates which had been re-energized by print.

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Contents

The Shakespearean Reputation
7
Performance versus Text
14
Censorship and Evasion
25
The First Print Era ReaderSpectator as Voyeur
46
Shakespeare and the Classics
57
Roman Rapes
59
Sexual Temptresses
74
Trojan Whores
99
Introduction
147
The Education of Women Textual Authority or Sexual Licence
151
Othello Cuckoldry and the Doctrine of Generality
173
Class and Courtship Ritual in Much Ado
195
Honest Whores or the State as Brothel
209
Conclusion
227
Notes
232
Select Bibliography
263

CupidAdonis Prettie Boyes and Unlawfull Joyes
119
Pox and Gold Timons New World Heritage
129
The Sexual Reformation
145

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About the author (1996)

Dr. Williams teaches at the University of Wales, Lampeter.

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