“Packed with solid information and penetrating criticism . . . [with] often brilliant analyses of individual works.” ―Hubert M. English, Jr., University of MichiganThis book begins with a background on expository books about melancholy in the Renaissance with chapters on the literary uses of melancholy, Marston and melancholy, Melancholy and Hamlet, and the anatomy of melancholy as literature. When Shakespeare, Burton and other Renaissance writers gave melancholy the complex meanings and associations it has in their work, they were drawing on a tradition that had been developing throughout classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, and whose diverse origins made it an especially fruitful subject for literature.