Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology and Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Jonathan Dollimore, Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology and Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984)

Summary from the Publisher:

When it was first published, Radical Tragedy was hailed as a groundbreaking reassessment of the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. An engaged reading of the past with compelling contemporary significance, Radical Tragedy remains a landmark study of Renaissance drama.

Table of Contents:

Foreword / Terry Eagleton

Introduction to the Third Edition
September 1914
September 2001
September 1939
Art and Humanism
Humanism and Materialism
Knowledge and Desire

Introduction to the Second Edition

Part I: Radical Drama: Its Contexts and Emergence

Literary Criticism: Order versus History
Ideology, Religion and Renaissance Scepticism
Ideology and the Decentering of Man
Secularism versus Nihilism
Inversion and Misrule

Emergence: Marston’s Antonio Plays (c. 1599-1601) and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (c. 1601-1602)
Discontinuous Identity (1)
Providence and Natural Law (1)
Discontinuous Identity (2)
Providence and Natural Law (2)
Ideology and the Absolute
Social Contradiction and Discontinuous Identity
Renaissance Man versus Decentered Malcontent

Part II: Structure, Mimesis, Providence

Structure: From Resolution to Dislocation 
Archer and Eliot
Coherence and Discontinuity
Brecht: A Difference Reality

Renaissance Literary Theory: Two Concepts of Mimesis
Poetry versus History
The Fictive and the Real

The Disintegration of Providentialist Belief
Atheism and Religious Scepticism
Providentialism and History
Organic Providence
From Mutability to Cosmic Decay
Goodman and Elemental Chaos
Providence and Protestantism
Providence, Decay and the Drama

Dr. Faustus (c. 1589-92): Subversion Through Transgression
Limit and Transgression
Power and the Unitary Soul

Mustapha (c. 1594-6): Ruined Aesthetic, Ruined Theology
Tragedy, Theology and Cosmic Decay
Mustapha: Tragedy as Dislocation

Sejanus (1603): History and Realpolitik
i History, Fate, Providence 134

The Revenger’s Tragedy (c. 1606): Providence, Parody and Black Camp
Providence and Parody
Desire and Death

Part III: Man Decentered

Subjectivity and Social Process 
Tragedy, Humanism and the Transcendent Subject
The Jacobean Displacement of the Subject
The Essentialist Tradition: Christianity, Stoicism and Renaissance Humanism
Internal Tensions
Anti-Essentialism in Political Theory and Renaissance Skepticism
Renaissance Individualism?

Bussy D’Ambois (c. 1604): A Hero at Court
Shadows and Substance
Court Power and Native Noblesse

King Lear (c. 1605-6) and Essentialist Humanism
Redemption and Endurance: Two Sides of Essentialist Humanism
King Lear: A Materialist Reading
The Refusal of Closure

Antony and Cleopatra (c. 1607): Virtus under Erasure
Virtus and History
Virtus and Realpolitik (1)
Honour and Policy
Sexuality and Power

Coriolanus (c. 1608): The Chariot Whell and its Dust
Virtus and Realpolitik (2)
Essentialism and Class War

The White Devil (1612): Transgression Without Virtue
Religion and State Power
The Virtuous and the Vicious
Sexual and Social Exploitation
The Assertive Woman
The Dispossessed Intellectual
Living Contradictions

Part IV: Subjectivity: Idealism versus Materialism

Beyond Essentialist Humanism 
Origins of the Transcendent Subject
Essence and Universal: Enlightenment Transitions
Discrimination and Subjectivity
Formative Literary Influences: Pope to Eliot
Lawrence, Leavis and Individualism
The Decentered Subject

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