Chapter

The Abandoned Soldier

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/9780748627653.003.0009
The Abandoned Soldier

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This chapter reviews something of how some of the arguments about how to interpret early modern representations of warfare have a resonance in the present. Shakespeare balances the pity of war against its perceived necessity whilst paying attention to what he seems to think of as its aesthetics. On the other hand, he shared with many of his contemporaries an obligation to reflect the interest some of his audience may have had in refusing the imposition of war in the name of God and nation. The figure that emerges most commonly from the military prose and fictional texts is the masculine heroic warrior. The compelling aspect of the drama of the early modern period is that it came at a crossroads for the emerging nations.

Keywords: warfare; Shakespeare; God; nation; military prose; fictional texts; masculine heroic warrior

Chapter.  3236 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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