Read online or download a free book: The Rest Is Silence: Death As Annihilation In The English Renaissance
Publisher: University of California Press: New edition edition (4 Oct. 1999)
By: Robert N Watson (Author)
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How did the fear of death co-exist with the promise of Christian afterlife in the culture and literature of the English Renaissance? This book exposes a sharp edge of blasphemous protest against mortality that runs through revenge plays such as 'The Spanish Tragedy' and 'Hamlet', and through plays of procreation such as 'Measure for Measure' and 'Macbeth'. Tactics of denial appear in the vengefulness that John Donne directs toward female bodies for failing to bestow immortality, and in the promise of renewal that George Herbert sets against the threat of closure. Placing these literary manifestations in the context of specific Jacobean deathbed crises and modern cultural distortions, Watson explores the psychological roots and political consequences of denying that death permanently erases sensation and consciousness.
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