Reading Politics in 1562: Arthur Brooke’s Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet Reconsidered

Frazer, Paul (2020) Reading Politics in 1562: Arthur Brooke’s Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet Reconsidered. Cahiers Élisabéthains. ISSN 0184-7678 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/0184767819897080

Abstract

The English Romeo and Juliet tradition is seldom read in a political light. This essay reconsiders the political status of the story’s first English adaptation by Arthur Brooke (which Shakespeare would later borrow heavily from) by reading it against a large dataset of 1562 printed texts. I contend that we should read this poem politically because that is what its readers, including Shakespeare, would almost certainly have done. Arguing against dominant scholarly assumptions of the poem and author’s anti-Catholic bias, I explain how The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet resists religious persecution, instead emphasising tolerance and inclusivity across religious and political divides.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: literature and politics, reading, print, Arthur Brooke, William Shakespeare, censorship, Littérature et politique, lecture, imprimerie, censure
Subjects: Q300 English studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2018 11:34
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 12:28
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/36048

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