Chapter

Gentler Crafts

Simon Barker

in War and Nation in the Theatre of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780748627653
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652228 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627653.003.0007
Gentler Crafts

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This chapter addresses Christopher Marlowe and examines a popular prose work, Thomas Deloney's anti-war narrative The Gentle Craft. Tamburlaine the Great sees Marlowe at the height of his powers, and the lyricism of the poetry soars in response to the atrocities that pile one upon another. The Gentle Craft is a work of fiction, but there is a firm sense of realism that is convincing enough to suggest that this is a fairly authentic encounter with long-dead Londoners, working through their aspirations and setbacks, their petty grievances and their huge desires. The various interweaving stories that make up this text are evidence of the rich mythology and folklore that underpinned the craft of shoemaking. The threat and consequences of warfare were woven into various episodes of this text, threatening individuals and, in the story of Peachey and the two captains, invading the shoemakers' overall community.

Keywords: The Gentle Craft; Thomas Deloney; Christopher Marlowe; Tamburlaine the Great; shoemaking; warfare

Chapter.  10112 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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