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date: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the substantial body of scholarship devoted to the relationship between Shakespeare’s plays and warfare, emphasizing the emphasis of this work on Shakespeare’s history plays, the classical plays and, to some extent, the principal tragedies. It then addresses an obvious gap in this scholarship by studying the ways in which Shakespeare’s comedies engage with past wars or the threat of war, often by presenting figures who have been fashioned either by the experience of war or a frustration over the absence of war. The comedies, in other words, continually hint at violence even as they exploit—by inversion or parody—the tropes of militarism found in the histories, the classical plays, and the tragedies.

Keywords: militarism, early modern warfare, violence, peace, Elizabeth I, artillery

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