International Summer School

Shakespeare and His World compulsory reading list

Play texts

  • Shakespeare, William. The Taming of the Shrew  
  • Shakespeare, William. Richard III
  • Webster, John. The Duchess of Malfi

(any modern, scholarly edition of these plays will be appropriate)


Please ensure you have read set primary and secondary texts prior to the appropriate teaching sessions. Relevant texts should also be brought to class.  

'Shakespeare and His World': Suggestions for Secondary Reading By Topic

Please note: this is a preliminary finding-list only and it does not provide full and complete bibliographical references in a standard or uniform style. There are irregularities in the way works have been referenced, so do not use this list as a model for your own Works Cited.

Taming of the Shrew

  • Dolan, Frances E. ‘Household Chastisements: Gender, Authority, and “Domestic Violence”, in Patricia Fumerton and Simon Hunt (eds.), Renaissance Culture andEveryday Life (Philadephia: Univ. Of Pennsylvania Press, 1999).
  • Dusinberre, Juliet. ‘The Taming of the Shrew: Women, Acting, and Power’,  Studies in theLiterary Imagination 26.1 (1993), 67-84.
  • Korda, Natasha ‘Household Kates: Domesticating Commodities in The Taming of the Shrew’, Shakespeare Quarterly 47.2 (1996), 109-131.
  • Parker, Patricia ‘Construing Gender: Mastering Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew’, in Dympna Callaghan (ed.), The Impact of Feminism in English Renaissance Studies(Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp.193-209.
  • Maguire, Laurie. ‘The Naming of the Shrew’, in the Norton Critical Edition, The Taming of the Shrew (ed. Dympna Callaghan, 2009), pp.123-137.
  • Quilligan, Maureen. ‘Staging Gender: William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Cary’, in James Grantham Turner (ed.), Sexuality and Gender in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: CUP,1993).

Richard III

  • Carroll, William C., '"The Form of Law": Ritual and Succession in Richard III', in TrueRites and Maimed Rites, ed. Woodbridge, Linda and Berry, Edward I. (1992).
  • Clemen, Wolfgang H., A Commentary on Shakespeare's Richard III (London: Methuen,1968).
  • Foakes, R. A., Shakespeare and Violence (2003).
  • Garber, Marjorie, 'Descanting on Deformity: Richard III and the Shape of History', inThe Historical Renaissance: New Essays on Tudor and Stuart Literature and Culture, ed.Dubrow, Heather and Strier, Richard (1988).
  • Goy-Blanquet, Dominique, Shakespeare's Early History Plays: From Chronicle to Stage (2003).
  • Hunter, Robert G., Shakespeare and the Mystery of God's Judgments (1976).
  • Moulton, Ian Frederick, ''A Monster Great Deformed': The Unruly Masculinity of Richard III', Shakespeare Quarterly, 47 (1996)
  • Neill, Michael, 'Shakespeare's Halle of Mirrors: Play, Politics, and Psychology in Richard III', Shakespeare Studies, 8 (1975)
  • Rackin, Phyllis, Stages of History: Shakespeare's English Chronicles (1990).
  • Sanders, Wilbur, The Dramatist and the Received Idea: Studies in the Plays of Marloweand Shakespeare (1968).
  • Tennenhouse, Leonard, Power on Display: The Politics of Shakespeare's Genres (1986)

Duchess of Malfi

  • Belsey,C. ‘Emblem and Antithesis in The Duchess of Malfi’, Renaissance Drama, n.s. 11 (1981), 115-34
  • Bergeron David M. ‘The Wax Figures in The Duchess of Malfi,’Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 , Vol. 18, No. 2, Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama (Spring, 1978), pp. 331-339.
  • Berry, R. The Art of John Webster (1972)
  • Bradbrook, M. John Webster: Citizen and Dramatist (1980)
  • Callaghan, D. ‘The Duchess of Malfi and Early Modern Widows', in Early ModernEnglish Drama, ed. Sullivan, Garrett, Cheney, Patrick and Hadfield, Andrew (2006),
  • Daileader, C. Eroticism on the Renaissance Stage (1998), ch. 4
  • Dollimore, J. Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology and Power in the Drama ofShakespeare and his Contemporaries (1989)
  • Lifson, Martha Ronk. ‘Embodied Morality in "The Duchess of Malfi" Pacific Coast Philology , Vol. 23, No. 1/2 (Nov., 1988), pp. 47-59
  • McLuskie, K. ‘Drama and Sexual Politics: The Case of Webster’s Duchess’, inDrama, Sex and Politics, ed. J. Redmond (1985), pp. 77-91
  • Munroe, Lucy "Tragic Subjectivities," and Mike Pincombe's "English Renaissance Tragedy: Theories and Antecedents," _The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Tragedy,_ eds. Emma Smith and Garrett A Sullivan Jr (CUP, 2010), 86-101.
  • Neill, M. Issues of Death: Mortality and Identity in English Renaissance Tragedy(1997), ch. 10
  • Selzer, J. ‘Merit and Degree in Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi’, English Literary Renaissance, 11 (1980). 70-80
  • Tricomi, Albert H., 'The Severed Hand in Webster's Duchess of Malfi', Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, 44 (2004)
  • Whigham, F. 'Incest and Ideology: The Duchess of Malfi (1614)', in Staging the Renaissance: Reinterpretations of Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama, ed. Kastan, David Scott and Stallybrass, Peter (1991)
  • Whigham,F. ‘Sexual and Social Mobility in The Duchess of Malfi’, PMLA, 100 (1985), 167-86

Renaissance Society, Religion and Politics

  • Archer,I. W. The Pursuit of Stability: Social Relations in Elizabethan London.Cambridge, 2002. Book
  • Barry, J. ed. The Tudor and Stuart Town. London: Longman, 1990. Book
  • Braddick M. and J. Walter (eds.), Negotiating Power in Early Modern Society: Order, Hierarchy and Subordination in Britain and Ireland. Cambridge, 2001. Book
  • Collinson, Patrick. The Religion of Protestants: The church in English Society, 1559-1625. Book
  • Coward, Barry Social Change and Continuity: England 1550-1750. London, 1997. Book
  • Cressy. David. Birth, Marriage, and Death: Ritual, Religion, and Life-Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Book
  • Diehl, Hutson. Staging Reform, Reforming the Stage: Protestantism and Popular theatre in Early Modern England. Ithaca: Cornell university Press, 1997. Not currently in stock
  • Dillon, J. Theatre, Court and City, 1595-1610: Drama and Social Space in London (2000) Book
  • Dollimore, Radical Tragedy: Religion, Ideology, Power in the Drama of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1989. Book
  • Greenblatt, Stephen. Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001. Book
  • Hale, J.R., ‘Sixteenth-Century Explanations of War and Violence,’ Past and Present, 51:1 (1971), pp.3-26
  • Harris, Jonathan. Foreign Bodies and the Body Politic; Discourses of Social Pathology in Early Modern England. CUP, 1998. Book
  • Hindle, S. The State and Social Change in Early Modern England. Basingstoke, 2000. Book
  • Howard, J. The Stage and Social Struggle in Early Modern England (1994)     Book
  • Jones, Norman. English Reformation: Religion and Cultural Adaptation. Oxford, 2002. Book
  • Ingram, Martin. ‘From reformation to toleration: popular religious cultures in
  • England,1540-1690’, in Tim Harris (ed.), Popular Culture in England, 1500-1850. Basingstoke, 1995. Chapter Book
  • Leggatt, A. Shakespeare’s Political Drama (1988) Book E-Book
  • Manning, Brian. The English People and the English Revolution. London, 1991. Book Other editions
  • Marshall, Peter. (ed.), The Impact of the English Reformation, 1500-1640. London,1997. Book
  • Marotti, Arthur. Catholicism and Anti-Catholicism in Early Modern English Texts. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999. Book
  • Montrose, L. A. The Purpose of Playing: Shakespeare and the Cultural Politics of the Elizabethan Theatre (1996) Book
  • Norbrook, David. Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance. London: Routledge, 1984. Book Other edition
  • Orgel, S. The Illusion of Power: Political Theatre in the English Renaissance (1975) Book
  • Patterson, Annabel. Shakespeare and the Popular Voice. Cambridge: Blackwell, 1989. Book
  • Sinfield, Alan and Jonathan Dollimore. Eds. Political Shakespeare: Essays in Cultural Materialism. Manchester UP, 1994. Book
  • Smuts,R.M. Culture and Power in England 1585-1685 . Palgrave Macmillan, 1999. Book
  • Thomas, K. Religion and the Decline of Magic. London, 1971. Book Other editions
  • Wrightson, K. English Society 1580-1680. London, 1982; 2nd edition, London 2002. Book E-Book

Gender, Sexuality and Desire

  • Breitenberg, Mark. Anxious Masculinity in Early Modern England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Book
  • Daileader, Celia R. Eroticism on the Renaissance Stage: Transcendence, Desire and the Limits of the Visible. Cambridge: CUP, 1998. Book
  • Fisher, Will. Materializing Gender in Early Modern English Literature and Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Book
  • Fletcher, Anthony. Gender, Sex and Subordination in England 1500-1800. New Haven: Yale UP, 1995. Book E-Book
  • Foyster, Elizabeth. Manhood in Early Modern England: Honour, Sex and Marriage. London: Longman, 1999. Book
  • Harvey, Elizabeth, D. Ventriloquized Voices: Feminist theory and English Renaissance Texts. London: Routledge, 1992. Book
  • Jardine, Lisa. Still Harping on Daughters: Women and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare. Brighton: Harvester Press, 1983. Book Other edition
  • Kahn, Coppélia. Man’s Estate: Masculine Identity in Shakespeare. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981. Book
  • Montrose, Louis. “Shaping Fantasies: Figurations of Gender and Power in Elizabethan Culture.” Representations  2 (Spring, 1983): 61-94, Article Journal
  • Newman, Karen. Fashioning Femininity and English Renaissance Drama Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1991. Book
  • Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. NewYork: Columbia UP, 1985 Book
  • Shepard, Alexandra. Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Book
  • Smith, Bruce R. “Making a Difference: Male / Male ‘desire’ in Tragedy, Comedy, and Tragi-Comedy.” Erotic Politics. Ed. Susan Zimmerman. New York: Routledge,1992. 127-149. Book and E-Book
  • ---. Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare’s England: A Cultural Poetics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. Book Other edition
  • ---. “Premodern Sexualities.” PMLA, Vol. 115, No.3 (2000): 318-29. Article Journal
  • Zimmerman, Susan. Ed. Erotic Politics: Desire on the Renaissance Stage. Ed. Susan Zimmerman. New York: Routledge, 1992. Book

The Body

  • Adelman, Janet. “Making Defect Perfection: Shakespeare and the One-Sex Model.” Enacting Gender on the English Renaissance Stage. Eds.
  • Viviana Comensoli and Anne Russell. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999. 23-52 Chapter Book
  • ---. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeare’s Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest. New York: Routledge, 1992. Book
  • Burnett, Mark Thornton, Constructing 'monsters' in Shakespearean drama and early modern culture (Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2002)
  • Butler, Judith. Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex." New York: Routledge, 1993. Book
  • Fissell, Mary. Vernacular Bodies: The Politics of Reproduction in Early Modern England. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. Book
  • Florike Egmond & Robert Zwijnenberg (eds.), Bodily extremities : preoccupations with the human body in early modern European culture (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002)
  • Gent, Lucy and Nigel Llewellyn, eds., Renaissance Bodies: The Human Figure in English Culture c.1540-1660. London: Reakion Books, 1990. Book
  • Gowing, Laura Common Bodies: Women, Touch and Power in Seventeenth Century England. London: Yale UP, 2003. Book
  • Hillman, David and Carla Mazzio. The Body in Parts: Fantasies of Corporeality in Early Modern Europe. London: Routledge,1997. Book
  • Hoeniger, F. David. Medicine and Shakespeare in the English Renaissance. London: Associated University Presses, 1992. Book
  • Laqueur, Thomas. Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1990. Book
  • Paster, Gail Kern. The Body Embarrassed: Drama and the Disciplines of Shame in Early Modern England. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1993. Book
  • Paster, Gail Kern, Humoring the Body: Emotions and the Shakespearean Stage (Chicago and London, 2004) Rutter, Carol Chillington, Enter the body : women and representation on Shakespeare's stage, (London: Routledge, 2001)
  • Sawday, Jonathan. The Body Emblazoned: Dissection and the Human Body in Renaissance Culture. London: Routledge, 1995. Book
  • Schoenfeldt, Michael C. Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Book

Writing and Publication

  • Brooks, Douglas. From Playhouse to Printing House: Drama and Authorship in Early modern England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Book
  • Bruster, Douglas. Drama and the Market in the Age of Shakespeare. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. Book
  • Patterson, Annabel, Censorship and Interpretation: The Conditions of Writing and Reading in Early Modern England. Wisconsin: U of Wisconsin P, 1984. Book
  • Stern, Tiffany. Documents of Performance in Early Modern England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Book E-Book
  • Wall, Wendy. The Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English Renaissance. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1993. Book

Performance, Adaptation and Modernisation

  • Aebischer, Pascale, Edward J. Esche and Nigel Wheale, eds. Remaking Shakespeare: Performance Across Media, Genres and Cultures. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Book
  • ---.Shakespeare’s Violated Bodies: Stage and Screen Performance. Cambridge: CUP, 2004. Book
  • Bennett, Susan. Performing Nostalgia: Shifting Shakespeare and the Contemporary Past. London: Routledge, 1996. Book
  • Berry C. Voice and the Actor (London: Virgin Books, 2000)
  • Boose, Lynda E. and Richard Burt, eds. Shakespeare: The Movie: Popularising the Plays on Film, TV, and Video. London: Routledge, 1997. Book
  • Burnett, Mark Thornton and Ramona Wray, eds. Screening Shakespeare in the Twenty-First Century. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2006. Book
  • Cartelli, Thomas and Katherine Rowe. New Wave Shakespeare on Screen. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007. Book
  • Clare, J. ‘Art made tongue-tied by authority’: Elizabethan and Jacobean Dramatic Censorship (1990) Book
  • Dessen, Alan C. Elizabethan Stage Conventions and Modern Interpreters. Cambridge UP, 1984. Book
  • Hattaway, M and A.R. Braunmuller, eds, The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Drama (1990) Book E-Book
  • Gurr, Andrew. Playgoing in Shakespeare’s London. Cambridge, 1987 Book
  • ---, The Shakespearean Stage, 1574-1642 (1992) Book Other edition(Gurr has produced many useful texts on Shakespeare's theatre that are worth finding in the library.)
  • Hodgdon, Barbara. Shakespeare Trade: Performances and Appropriations. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1998. (Chapter on The Taming of the Shrew) Chapter Book
  • Linklater, K. Freeing the Natural Voice (London: Nick Hern Books, 2006)
  • Linklater, K. Freeing Shakespeare's Voice (London: Nick Hern Books, 2010)
  • Purcell, Stephen. Popular Shakespeare: Simulation and Subversion on the Modern Stage. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Book
  • Rodenburg P. The Actor Speaks: Voice and the Performer (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002)
  • Rodenburg P. The Right to Speak: Working with the Voice (London: Methuen Drama, 1993)
  • Rowe, Katherine. Dead Hands: Fictions of Agency, Renaissance to Modern. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2000. Book
  • Thomson, Peter, Shakespeare’s Theatre. Routledge, 1983. Book
  • Weingust, Don. Acting from Shakespeare’s First Folio. Routledge, 2006. Book
  • Worthen, William B. Shakespeare and the Authority of Performance. Cambridge: CUP, 1997. Book.