Breaking new ground in the study of tragedy, early modern theatre, and literary London, Metropolitan Tragedy demonstrates that early modern tragedy emerged from the juncture of radical changes in London's urban fabric and the city's judicial procedures. Marissa Greenberg argues that plays by Shakespeare, Milton, Massinger, and others rework classical conventions to represent the city as a locus of suffering and loss while they reflect on actual sources of injustice in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century London: structural upheaval, imperial ambition, and political tyranny. Drawing on a rich archive of printed and manuscript sources, including numerous images of England's capital, Greenberg reveals the competing ideas about the metropolis that mediated responses to theatrical tragedy. The first study of early modern tragedy as an urban genre, Metropolitan Tragedy advances our understanding of the intersections between genre and history.
Marissa Greenberg is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of New Mexico.