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Land Politics in English Renaissance Drama

Grant number: 16/23470-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2017
Effective date (End): September 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Modern Foreign Literatures
Principal researcher:John Milton
Grantee:Régis Augustus Bars Closel
Supervisor abroad: John Denham Jowett
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Birmingham, England  
Associated to the scholarship:16/06723-2 - Arden of Faversham: Study and Translation, BP.PD

Abstract

Several plays in the English Renaissance, from the anonymous Arden of Faversham (1592) to Richard Brome's A Jovial Crew (1641), depict land-related problems. These involve the enclosure of the common fields, the dissolution of the monasteries, and the commodification of land. The last aspect, which is the focus of this research abroad project, is most visible in plays that take place in the city, like those by Thomas Middleton, Thomas Dekker, and Ben Jonson. However, most Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Carolinian dramatists have relied on civic topics and their intrigues. Although these land-related problems are often in the background of the action, they provide fuel for the action and conflicts. They portray an important early modern transformation of economic thought: the shift from essence-value objects to use-value commodities, or, according to Aristotle's Politics, the shift from an economic household model (oikos, as he referred to it) to a market-oriented model (chrematistics, in Aristotle's terms). Land, once a resource for household existence, has become a new commodity for the rising classes, who took their chance when the traditional and major landowners were forced to sell part of their dominions or when the crown sold what had, during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, been monastic property. The commodification of land, along with the commodification of two other components of everyday life-money and labour-was paramount to a break in a period of time in which humanity and nature shared their space. Shakespeare and his contemporaries put their efforts into exploring the changing relationship between public and private, into the conflict between a custom-based world and an exchange-based world. Some plays written or co-authored by Thomas Middleton reveal an exaggerated preoccupation with inheritance, lands and their associated revenues, dwelling on the spheres of social displacement and the exploitation of women.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CLOSEL, REGIS AUGUSTUS BARS. Whose tragedy is this? Translating Arden of Faversham. CAHIERS ELISABETHAINS, v. 106, n. 1, p. 59-74, NOV 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.
BARS CLOSEL, REGIS AUGUSTUS. Utopia and the Enclosing of Dramatic Landscapes. RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION, v. 41, n. 3, SI, p. 67-92, SUM 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.