Any recent works on Elizabethan revenge tragedy?
May 20, 2008 1:45 PM   Subscribe

ElizabethanDramaFilter. I'm considering doing a PhD (because apparently I'm a masochist who doesn't have quite enough student loan debt yet), and my area of emphasis is Elizabethan/Jacobean revenge tragedies. I'm trying to find a book on the comprehensive history of the form, but the most recent one I've been able to find is Fredson Bowers' Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy, 1587-1642 from around 1940. Does anyone know of something similar that was written in the last fifteen years or so?
posted by Mr. Bad Example to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
no books I'm afraid, but lots of feminist articles in this field like these. might be lucky and do what every PhD has dreamt of..... write THE textbook in your field!
posted by Wilder at 2:10 PM on May 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

I don't think there has been off the top of my head, and I can't find anything more recent with a search of worldcat that's as focused. There are more recent comprehensive histories on Elizabethan drama in general, and there are tons of good thematic studies.

You might try Kerrigan, John. Revenge Tragedy: Aeschylus to Armageddon. Oxford University Press, USA, 1998.

Which however, looks like a genre study across time periods.
posted by LucretiusJones at 2:13 PM on May 20, 2008

Yep, looks like nothing. I'm a PHD student in Ren Drama and have written many, many essays on revenge tragedies (which I love!). On my library's website, we have Jacobean Revenge Tragedy and the Politics of Virtue, by Eileen Allman (1999), but I've never read it and it doesn't sound quite what you want (a bit too specific). There's The Revenger's Madness: A Study of Revenge Tragedy Motifs by Charles A. Hallet and Elaine S. Hallett, which I have read and never found really all that great (a retread of Bowers, if I remember correctly). It's also from 1980.

As the others have said, try the specific thematic studies. For the Shakespeare revenge tragedies, use the World Shakespeare Bibliography to track down studies.
posted by pised at 4:11 PM on May 20, 2008

(Free advice that doesn't answer your question: do not take out student loans to cover the cost of a PhD in a humanities field. Either go to a program that will give you funding (maybe through letting you teach), or wait another year to apply so that you can get funding. If you need small incidental loans ok, but you should have tuition+stipend or tuition+guaranteed teaching through your program.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:58 PM on May 20, 2008

Oh, for the love of god, do NOT borrow money for a PhD program in the humanities! The job market is dismal and if you already have debt.. well, even if you get that elusive job in the field you won't make much money.

"Thomas Benton" writes some interesting columns in the Chronicle of Higher Education..
Is Graduate School a Cult?
So You Want to Go to Grad School?

I'm just saying, please do lots of research and think long and hard about what you'd be getting into. Do you hate writing term papers now? How do you feel about spending many many long hours in the library, living on a very small stipend, trying to deal with byzantine departmental politics, lots of stress, a massive workload..? For your entire career? If you liked the subject as an undergrad that's not a good reason.
posted by citron at 9:07 PM on May 20, 2008

I checked the MLA Bibliography and found "Revenge Tragedy" edited by Stevie Simkin from 2001. That may not be comprehensive, as it sounds like it's probably a collection of essays. Have you looked at the "Norton Anthology of Renaissance Drama"? It has a very well-written and comprehensive general introduction, as well as introductions for various plays. You also might be able to get some leads from its bibliography.

And, yeah. Don't go into debt for a PhD.
posted by apricot at 9:27 PM on May 20, 2008

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