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Military culture of Shakespeare's England

Seo, Dong Ha (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the development of military culture in, and its effects on, early modern English society. Militarism during the late Elizabethan and early Stuart periods was not reinforced by military institutions directly interfering with the private lives of individuals, or by controlling the thoughts and actions of the whole nation. It was, however, strongly influenced by the culture of a military elite, represented by leading noblemen such as Leicester, Sidney, Essex, and Prince Henry, who paid considerable attention to the theatrical aspects of formal and ceremonial occasions and how their military role was portrayed in art and literature.

Unlike the usual traditional portrayal of these prominent figures as incompetent military leaders who rushed blindly forwards in pursuit of military glory, we will see that through their aristocratic patronage of various art forms they promoted their image as competent Protestant warriors, and helped the public to be receptive to a variety of military ideas.

The principal motivation of this study is to consider a multiplicity of perspectives on how a military culture was constructed, through a variety of genres, and how particular views on military matters were integrated into popular culture. Literary critics and historians have previously examined certain aspects of militarism in this period but this study aims to take a holistic view of how the military culture developed and affected the public sphere.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Jowett, John and Wilcher, Robert (1942-)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Shakespeare Institute
Subjects:PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
PR English literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:2976
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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