A Place in the Story: Servants and Service in Shakespeare's Plays

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University of Delaware Press, 2005 - Drama - 339 pages
This book explores the virtues Shakespeare made of the cultural necessities of servants and service. Although all of Shakespeare's plays feature servants as characters, and many of these characters play prominent roles, surprisingly little attention has been paid to them or to the concept of service. A Place in the Story is the first book-length overview of the uses Shakespeare makes of servant-characters and the early modern concept of service. Service was not only a fact of life in Shakespeare's era, but also a complex ideology. The book discusses service both as an ideal and an insult, examines how servants function in the plays, and explores the language of service. Other topics include loyalty, advice, messengers, conflict, disobedience, and violence. Servants were an intrinsic part of early modern life and Shakespeare found servant-characters and the concept of service useful in many different ways. Linda Anderson teaches at Virginia Polytechnic University.

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Contents

The lives of other Introduction
19
What duty is Service as Ideal and Indignity
30
The need we have to use you Uses of Servants
63
The mere words a slave Language and Service
88
If I last in this service Loyalty and Disloyalty
116
Good counsel Servants Advice and Commentary
143
Messengers
158
Tis proper I obey him but not now Conflicts of Service
177
Every good servant does not all commands The Duty to Disobey
200
Duty in his service perishing Servants and Violence
219
Remember I have done thee worthy service Conclusion
237
Notes
243
Bibliography
313
Index
331
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Page 31 - That to the observer doth thy history Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings Are not thine own so proper, as to waste Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee. Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves ; for if our virtues Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike As if we had them not.
Page 113 - But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks! It is the east, and Juliet is the sun ! — Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief, That thou her maid art far more fair than she...
Page 159 - Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless, So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone, Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night...
Page 58 - Tis not the balm, the sceptre and the ball, The sword, the mace, the crown imperial, The intertissued robe of gold and pearl, The farced title running 'fore the king...
Page 6 - The loyalty well held to fools does make Our faith mere folly : yet he that can endure To follow with allegiance a fall'n lord Does conquer him that did his master conquer, And earns a place i
Page 91 - Set you down this; And say besides, that in Aleppo once, Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk Beat a Venetian and traduced the state, I took by the throat the circumcised dog, And smote him, thus.
Page 177 - O Cromwell, Cromwell, Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served my king, he would not in mine age Have left me naked to mine enemies.
Page 186 - We few, we happy few, we band of brothers ; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother ; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition...
Page 33 - O good old man, how well in thee appears The constant service of the antique world, When service sweat for duty, not for meed...
Page 98 - The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre, Observe degree, priority, and place, Insisture, course, proportion, season, form, Office, and custom, in all line of order...

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