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184 Comparative Drama ludes (1976) and that of David Parry and Kathy Pearl for Poculi Ludique Societas at Toronto (1978). Neither of these is mentioned or consulted. Tennenhouse’s text is virtually identical with the PLS one, and both are quite readable, although I find the explanatory notes of the PLS performing text more helpful. There is more justification for a new edition of Impatient Poverty, as the most recent generally available text is that of R. B. McKerrow in the Materialen series (1911). But McKerrow’s text is so carefully edited that one would expect a replacement for it to be pristine. Such, alas, is not the case: I counted at least seventeen typographical errors in the text of Impatient Poverty alone, and more casually noticed several others in the notes. The regularizing of entrances and speech headings and the modern­ izing of spelling and punctuation make this edition far easier to read than older ones. Tennenhouse does not modernize the spelling of words at the ends of lines when the rhyme would be affected by doing so. For instance, “relesse” is retained to rhyme with “express” instead of being changed to “release.” This practice, while inconsistent, makes good sense. But I was puzzled by a few of the modernized spellings within the lines. To cite one example, “lefull” is changed to “leful” instead of “lawful,” a change of no particular assistance to a modern reader. One emendation in the text of Nice Wanton is confusing and is not explained in the textual notes. The line, “Wilt thou hang my lord, thou whoreson noddy?” is changed to “Wilt thou hang, my lord whoreson noddy?” The PLS edition gives persuasive reasons for retaining the original reading, which is usually emended to “Wilt thou hang, my lord, this whoreson noddy?” Tennenhouse’s change forces the actor to address the line to Ismael in­ stead of to the jury foreman who has just pronounced sentence on Ismael; I can find no justification for this. At least there should be a note on it. The end notes by Tennenhouse, incidentally, are usually quite clear and helpful. What Tennenhouse has given us, in short, is a very readable text but one less carefully prepared for publication than we have a right to expect. JOHN WASSON Washington State University Jonathan Dollimore. Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology and Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries. Chicago: Univer­ sity of Chicago Press, 1984. Pp. 312. $20.00. This is a provocative, far-ranging, and sometimes enlightening, but also very frustrating book. According to the publisher’s blurb, Dollimore’s main argument is that the tragedies of Shakespeare’s time were “much more radical and subversive than has hitherto been allowed.” Dollimore finds these tragedies—it is not clear whether he means all or some of them—questioning and undermining the providentialist claims in religion, attacking the official ideologies, and ridiculing and opposing the power structure that manufactures the religious and political orthodoxies. Dolli- Reviews 185 more is nothing if not radical: he opposes the whole tradition of modem literary criticism which shows at least a trace of idealism— and that in­ cludes just about every critic of Shakespeare and Elizabethan drama— and he seeks to disprove their positions. In his final chapter, he attempts to displace the essentializing humanistic criticism of the past and present with a materialist and anti-humanistic critique founded on the “decentred­ ness” of man, which was discovered in the Renaissance. With this critical revolution, the way will be free for the joyous affirmation Derrida evokes as a distant possibility in a visionary moment. Whatever will happen to criticism, we can be sure that Derrida will not arrive at this nirvana. It is good to see a critic make his position and its antecedents clear, but I know of no other book on tragedy with such heavy ideological undergirding. Dollimore may be said to have written two books in one, a book on his radicalism and another on the tragedies as viewed by it, and the former threatens to overwhelm the latter. He takes his reader on a dizzying journey through a jungle of ideas, listing other tour guides and fellow travelers...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 184-187
Launched on MUSE
2018-07-11
Open Access
No
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