Short Notices Hebrew scripture; the Jewish woman was represented as a text that could not be understood. The first four chapters of the book are devoted to little-known dramatic adaptations of the Biblical stories of Deborah, Esther, Rebecca, Susannah and Jephthah. It is in light of these performances that Ephraim then turns her sharp critical gaze to the famous `Jewish daughters' in the plays of Marlowe and Shakespeare. This elegant structure encourages the reader to understand Shakespeare and Marlowe as part of a wider dramatic movement that sought to explore the Protestant relationship to Hebrew scripture through the figure of the Jewish woman. In the epilogue, Ephraim provides a brief analysis of the works of Elizabeth Cary and Aemilia Lanyer to propose that it is through the figure of the Jewish woman that these female authors asserted a uniquely feminine literary and religious authority. This is a particularly interesting argument and it is unfortunate that it is not developed further in this study. The depth of its research and the elegance of its expression distinguish this highly scholarly work. There can be no doubt that it will make a valuable contribution to the study of Early Modern drama.
Parergon – Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)
Published: Jan 21, 2009
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