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Prodigality in Early Modern Drama (Studies in Renaissance Literature)

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en Limba Engleză Hardback – 30 Aug 2019
Why is it bad to spend too much money? In early modern England, the concept of prodigality governed all forms of financial excess and misuse, from gambling away your family estate to buying too much food. To be prodigal was not only to lack self-discipline but to be immorally excessive. Prodigals were foolish, reckless, and sinful, but their lives were also ones of excitement, lust, luxury, and intrigue. Ambivalently positioned between conservative financial ideals and increasingly popular economic indulgences, prodigals embodied a nation's anxieties about the advent of early capitalism.
This book analyses the prodigal youth archetype in early modern drama, examining plays by Shakespeare, Middleton, Jonson, Randolph, Chapman, Marston, Beaumont and Fletcher, Davenport, Gascoigne, Heywood, as well as anonymous works and morality plays. The theatres, which were so often criticised for financial excess, became the perfect setting for the rebellious exploits of prodigal youths, and their rises and falls were dramatised with increasing glamorisation between 1500 and 1642. By discussing humanist education practices, Aristotelian ethics, urban change, cuckoldry, usury, and sex work, the author offers the first examination of prodigality and the ways in which England at first condemned, then tolerated, and then eventually came to celebrate excessive spending.

EZRA HORBURY is a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow in English at University College London.
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ISBN-13: 9781843845423
ISBN-10: 1843845423
Pagini: 288
Dimensiuni: 140 x 220 x 21 mm
Greutate: 0.5 kg
Editura: Boydell and Brewer
Seria Studies in Renaissance Literature