Metropolitan Tragedy: Genre, Justice, and the City in Early Modern England

Metropolitan Tragedy: Genre, Justice, and the City in Early Modern England

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Marissa Greenberg
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2015
World Rights
248 Pages 11 Images
ISBN 9781442648807
Published Apr 2015
Online discount: 25%
 $65.00    $48.75
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442617728
Published Mar 2015
Online discount: 25%
Full purchase $65.00

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.


1. Topography, Murder, and Early Modern Domestic Tragedy

2. Translatio Metropolitae and Early English Revenge Tragedy

3. Tyrant Tragedy and the Tyranny of Tragedy in Stuart London

4. Noise, the Great Fire, and Milton’s Samson Agonistes


“Marissa Greenberg’s fascinating exploration of early modern tragedy in the city of London produces fresh and original readings of visual prints, religious and polemical tracts, and literary authors from Shakespeare and Massinger to Milton. Scrupulously researched and lucidly written, the book is an important intervention in scholarship on early modern tragedy, urban geography, and law, justice, and punishment. Greenberg brings a welcome consideration of genre to historicist scholarship and breaks new ground with a series of dazzling juxtapositions of texts and contexts.”

Laura Knoppers, Department of English, University of Notre Dame

Metropolitan Tragedy is a wide-ranging and provocative book that makes major contributions to ongoing critical conversations in space theory, historicist treatments of early modern drama, and genre theory.”

James Mardock, Department of English, University of Nevada, Reno

‘This book will delight anyone who is curious about the early modern history of London, a city that beguiled locals and visitors alike with fantasies of economic opportunity, political freedom and moral reformation.’

Penelope Geng, Renaissance Quarterly vol 68:03:2016

Metropolitan Tragedy is a valuable piece of scholarship… Highly recommended.’

J.D. Sharpe, Choice Magazine vol 53:03:2015