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Shakespeare's History Plays

Rethinking Historicism

Neema Parvini

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A Note on Texts
1. Introduction
2. New Historicism
James I and the Politics of Literature
'Martial Law in the Land of Cockaigne'
3. Cultural Materialism
'History and Ideology, Masculinity and Miscegenation: The Instance of Henry V'
Marginal Politics?
4. An Argument Against Anti-Humanism
Nature and Nurture
Three Types of Determinism
Freedom versus Determinism and Human Agency
5. Solutions
6. Shakespeare's Historical and Political Thought in Context
Sixteenth-century Historiography
Three Strains of Historiography
Shakespeare's Humanist Historiography
7. Personal Action and Agency in Henry VI

Personal Politics: 2 Henry VI
Class Politics: Cade's Rebellion
Power Politics: 3 Henry VI
8 Ideology in Richard II and Henry IV
Cultural Historicism and the Second Tetralogy
Richard II: 'Such is the breath of kings' (1.3.208)
Henry IV: 'God save the King! Will no man say "Amen"?'
9. Conclusion

About the Author

Neema Parvini is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Surrey. His previous books include Shakespeare’s History Plays (EUP, 2012), Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory (Bloomsbury, 2012), Shakespeare and Cognition (Palgrave, 2015) and Shakespeare and New Historicist Theory (Bloomsbury, 2017).