The Third Citizen
Shakespeare's Theater and the Early Modern House of Commons
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
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I am grateful to Princeton University for several grants and fellowships that allowed me to pursue research in England; the kind and helpful librarians and staff at the British Library, the Print Room of the British Museum, the Society of Antiquaries, and the John Rylands University Library of Manchester helped me make the most of my time. The Johns Hopkins University Press has been a generous and supportive ...
Note on References and Abbreviations
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Citations from manuscripts and early printed books generally follow the original spelling, but I have modernized in the cases of u/v, i/j, and f /s and silently amended early modern spellings, contractions, and punctuation that might cause confusion. References to and quotations from Julius Caesar follow T. S. Dorschâs Arden edition; unless otherwise noted, all other references to ...
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Yelvertonâs âmost sacredâ queen would seem an unlikely audience for an encomium to legal codes established by popular consent: before he began his oration, after all, the speaker had âmade . . . 3 reverencesâ to his sovereign, who claimed to rule by divine right (PPE 3:241); he ended it by begging Elizabeth âto geve full life and essenceâ to the bills that had passed both the House of ...
Part One. Parliament in Shakespeareâs England
1. âAn epitome of the whole realmeâ: Absorption and Representation in the Elizabethan and Jacobean House of Commons
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The House of Commons did not have a permanent meeting place until 1549, when Edward VI granted the knights and burgesses the use of St. Stephenâs Chapel in Westminster. One of the earliest descriptions of the Commons in St. Stephenâs comes to us from John Hookerâs The Order and usage of the keeping of a Parlement in England (1572): the Commonsâ chamber, according to ...
2. Cadeâs Mouth: Swallowing Parliament in the First Tetralogy
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Henry VIâs reign was so crowded with cruel misfortunes and gross miscalculations that it would seem impossible to identify any particular event or royal shortcoming as the cause of the kingâs downfall. In the first Henriad, however, Shakespeare makes Henryâs mismanagement of Parliament the positive condition of the Yorkist triumph over the House of Lancaster: in the Parliament ...
Part Two. Political Representation in Shakespeareâs Rome
3. âTheir tribune and their trustâ: Political Representation, Property, and Rape in Titus Andronicus and The Rape of Lucrece
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Shakespeare framed the lurid revenge plot of Titus Andronicus (1594)âthe rape and maiming of Lavinia and her father Titusâs subsequent destruction of Romeâs imperial familyâwith two popular elections: at the beginning of the play, the peopleâs âvoices . . . create / Lord Saturninus Romeâs great emperorâ (1.1.230â32); the play ends when âthe common voiceâ hails Lucius Andronicus ...
4. âCaesar is turnâd to hearâ: Theater, Popular Dictatorship, and the Conspiracy of Republicanism in Julius Caesar
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Gnaeus Pompeyâs conquests in Asia were so vast that even âthe stateliness and magnificenceâ of a Roman triumph proved to be an inadequate showcase for the spoils and prisoners he brought back to the city in 61 b.c.: âalthough he had two dayes space to shew [them],â Plutarch marvels, âyet he lacked tyme: for there were many things prepared for the shew that were not seen which ...
5. âWorshipful mutineersâ: From Demos to Electorate in Coriolanus
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In the corporation records of Elizabethan Warwick, the big town just eight miles up the road from Stratford-upon-Avon, the name Richard Brookes is a talismanic sign of subversion and disorder. Brookesâs early career in Warwick did not promise Marlovian rebellion: a well-connected man of some substance, he became a principal burgess in 1565 (BB 7).1 But in 1582, Brookesâs ...
Epilogue: Losing Power, Losing Oneself: The Third Citizen and Tragedy
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... mechanicals must have electrified at least some of the garlic-eaters in Shakespeareâs audience. When we next see our band of citizens, they are preparing to enjoy the fruits of their rebellion: armed now with voices rather than weapons, the newly enfranchised people await the arrival of Coriolanus, who must solicit their suffrages for the consulship. They are changed men: the same citizens who ...
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Page Count: 328
Illustrations: 9 halftones
Publication Year: 2007
Series Title: Parallax: Re-visions of Culture and Society
Series Editor Byline: Stephen G. Nichols, Gerald Prince, and Wendy Steiner, Series Editors