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Tragedies of the English Renaissance

An Introduction

Goran Stanivukovic, John H. Cameron

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Explores popular Renaissance tragedies through a chronological commentary of political, social, cultural and aesthetic factors

This book covers the development of tragedy as a dramatic genre from its earliest examples in the 1560’s until the closure of the theatres in 1642. It traces the astonishingly diverse range of tragedies as they were influenced by the growth of public and private theatre venues in London. Tragedy was the most popular and the most diverse of theatrical genres during the English Renaissance; it was also the most disruptive and subversive. For Shakespeare and his contemporaries, tragedy reaches kings and queens and everyday person alike. Tragedy has rules, but these were rules that playwrights were ready to trouble and transform to meet changes in society and politics, in theatre venue, and in audience demand.

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Note on citation
1. The Emergence of Elizabethan Tragedy and the London Stage
2. Late Elizabethan Tragedy
3. Early Jacobean Tragedy
4. Late Jacobean Tragedy
5. Caroline Tragedy

About the Author

Goran Stanivukovic is Professor of Early Modern English Literature and Chair of Department of English Language and Literature at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada. His most recent publications include, as author, Knights in Arms: Prose Romance, Masculinity, and Eastern Mediterranean Trade in Early Modern England, 1565-1655 (University of Toronto Press, 2016); as editor, Queer Shakespeare: Desire and Sexuality (Bloomsbury, 2017) and Timely Voices: Romance Writing in English Literature (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017).

John H. Cameron teaches English Literature at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax. His primary research and teaching interests are early modern English drama. His most recent publications include book chapters on Spenser’s The Faerie Queene and Robert Louis Stevenson, as well as encyclopedia entries on Mario Vargas Llosa and on Julio Cortáar. He is currently preparing two monographs, one a history of Shakespeare’s reception in France and the other a critical history of Hamlet.


Stanivukovic and Cameron’s history of tragedy in early modern London playing spaces offers an admirably clear introduction to a complex genre. It is particularly good on the relation of tragedy to the religious uncertainty of the period. Sound, scholarly, and detailed, this is a book that will be invaluable to students.

- Lisa Hopkins, Sheffield Hallam University

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