Grotesque Transformations and the Discourse of Conversion in Robert Greene's Works and Shakespeare's Falstaff
AuthorDiRoberto, Kyle Louise
AdvisorBrown, Meg Lota
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractGrotesque Transformations and the Power of Conversion in Robert Greene's Work and Shakespeare's Falstaff contests readings of Greene's work as autobiography. Rather, it situates Greene's work and Shakespeare's Falstaff in the context of the battle between popular artists and Puritans over the grotesque in art. Taking the part of popular writers, Greene uses sacred parodies of Puritan ideology: grace, election, callings, and conversion narratives, in his late repentance and coney catching pamphlets, to mock Puritans in the carnivalesque style of early reform and to defend the grotesque in art. Critics have focused on Greene's repentance and religious conversion in his late repentance pamphlets as biography, missing these motifs as part of the Puritan satire that characterized Greene's work. Chapter one argues that in Greene's mock repentance, conversion, and rejection of the theater, Greene is mocking specifically the anti-theatrical Puritans Stephen Gosson and Philip Stubbes as hypocrites while drawing attention to Christianity's metamorphic ontology, its resurrections, conversions, and incarnations in defense of the theater. Chapter two contextualizes Greene among other popular writers engaged in the battle with Puritans over the carnivalesque in pastoral, especially Nashe and Jonson. It examines the Harvey brothers' and Edmund Spenser's construction of masculinity and their antifeminism as part of a Puritan anti-Ciceronian reform movement that attempted to purge popular culture of the grotesque, i.e., the erotic in feminine excess and the comedic pleasure in the grotesque body. Specifically, in chapter two, I look at the Puritan Harvey brothers' Plain Perceval, Pierce's Supererogation and Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar. My examination of popular writers include Greene's Quip for an Upstart Courtier, A Disputation, and Menaphon; Nashe's Pierce Penniless, Have with You to Saffron Waldon, and the epistle to Menaphon; as well as Jonson's fragment The Sad Shephard, Finally, in light of Greene's parody of Puritanism, his feminine disorder, and his theatricality chapter three examines Greene's influence on Shakespeare's Falstaff in the Henry plays and the Merry Wives of Windsor.
Degree ProgramGraduate College