Search results for: staging-spectatorship-in-the-plays-of-philip-massinger

Staging Spectatorship in the Plays of Philip Massinger

Author : Professor Joanne Rochester
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The playwrights composing for the London stage between 1580 and 1642 repeatedly staged plays-within and other metatheatrical inserts. Such works present fictionalized spectators as well as performers, providing images of the audience-stage interaction within the theatre. They are as much enactments of the interpretive work of a spectator as of acting, and as such they are a potential source of information about early modern conceptions of audiences, spectatorship and perception. This study examines on-stage spectatorship in three plays by Philip Massinger, head playwright for the King's Men from 1625 to 1640. Each play presents a different form of metatheatrical inset, from the plays-within of The Roman Actor (1626), to the masques-within of The City Madam (1632) to the titular miniature portrait of The Picture (1629), moving thematically from spectator interpretations of dramatic performance, the visual spectacle of the masque to staged 'readings' of static visual art. All three forms present a dramatization of the process of examination, and allow an analysis of Massinger's assumptions about interpretation, perception and spectator response.

Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England

Author : S. P. Cerasano
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Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England is an international journal committed to the publication of essays and reviews relevant to drama and theatre history to 1642. This issue includes eleven new articles and reviews of twelve books.

The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Contemporary Dramatists

Author : Ton Hoenselaars
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While Shakespeare's popularity has continued to grow, so has the attention paid to the work of his contemporaries. The contributors to this Companion introduce the distinctive drama of these playwrights, from the court comedies of John Lyly to the works of Richard Brome in the Caroline era. With chapters on a wide range of familiar and lesser-known dramatists, including Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Webster, Thomas Middleton and John Ford, this book devotes particular attention to their personal and professional relationships, occupational rivalries and collaborations. Overturning the popular misconception that Shakespeare wrote in isolation, it offers a new perspective on the most impressive body of drama in the history of the English stage.

The Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature

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Portraits in Early Modern English Drama

Author : Emanuel Stelzer
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Portraits in Early Modern English Drama studies the complex web of interconnections that grows out of the presentation of portraits as props in early modern English drama. Emanuel Stelzer considers this theory from the Elizabethan age up to the closing of the theatres. This book examines how the dramatic text and the subjectivities of the dramatis personae are shaped and changed through the process of observation and interpretation of pictures in the dramatic actions and dialogues. Unlike any previous study, it confronts when a portrait is clearly meant not to be a miniature. This also has bearings on the effect of the picture on the audience and in terms of genre expectation. Two important questions are interrogated in the book: What were the price and value of these portraits? and What were the strategies deployed by the playing companies to show women’s portraits in a theatre without actresses? This book will be of interest to different areas of research dealing with the history of drama and literature, material and visual culture studies, art history, gender studies, and performance studies.

Staging Authority in Caroline England

Author : Jessica Dyson
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Considering plays by Philip Massinger, Richard Brome, Ben Jonson, John Ford and James Shirley, this study addresses the political import of Caroline drama as it engages with contemporary struggles over authority between royal prerogative, common law and local custom in seventeenth-century England. How are these different aspects of law and government constructed and negotiated in plays of the period? What did these stagings mean in the increasingly unstable political context of Caroline England? Beginning each chapter with a summary of the legal and political debates relevant to the forms of authority contested in the plays of that chapter, Jessica Dyson responds to these kinds of questions, arguing that drama provides a medium whereby the political and legal debates of the period may be presented to, and debated by, a wider audience than the more technical contemporary discourses of law could permit. In so doing, this book transforms our understanding of the Caroline commercial theatre’s relationship with legal authority.

Community Making in Early Stuart Theatres

Author : Anthony W. Johnson
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Twenty-two leading experts on early modern drama collaborate in this volume to explore three closely interconnected research questions. To what extent did playwrights represent dramatis personae in their entertainments as forming, or failing to form, communal groupings? How far were theatrical productions likely to weld, or separate, different communal groupings within their target audiences? And how might such bondings or oppositions among spectators have tallied with the community-making or -breaking on stage? Chapters in Part One respond to one or more of these questions by reassessing general period trends in censorship, theatre attendance, forms of patronage, playwrights’ professional and linguistic networks, their use of music, and their handling of ethical controversies. In Part Two, responses arise from detailed re-examinations of particular plays by Shakespeare, Chapman, Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, Cary, Webster, Middleton, Massinger, Ford, and Shirley. Both Parts cover a full range of early-Stuart theatre settings, from the public and popular to the more private circumstances of hall playhouses, court masques, women’s drama, country-house theatricals, and school plays. And one overall finding is that, although playwrights frequently staged or alluded to communal conflict, they seldom exacerbated such divisiveness within their audience. Rather, they tended toward more tactful modes of address (sometimes even acknowledging their own ideological uncertainties) so that, at least for the duration of a play, their audiences could be a community within which internal rifts were openly brought into dialogue.

Literary Communication as Dialogue

Author : Roger D. Sell
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As traced by Roger D. Sell, literary communication is a process of community-making. As long as literary authors and those responding to them respect each other’s human autonomy, literature flourishes as an enjoyable, though often challenging mode of interaction that is truly dialogical in spirit. This gives rise to author-respondent communities whose members represent existential commonalities blended together with historical differences. These heterogeneous literary communities have a larger social significance, in that they have long served as counterweights to the hegemonic tendencies of modernity, and more recently to postmodernity’s well-intentioned but restrictive politics of identity. In post-postmodern times, their ethos is increasingly one of pleasurable egalitarianism. The despondent anti-hedonism of the twentieth century intelligentsia can now seem rather dated. Some of the papers selected for this volume develop Sell’s ideas in mainly theoretical terms. But most of them offer detailed criticism of particular anglophone writers, ranging from Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and other poets and dramatists of the early modern period, through Wordsworth and Coleridge, to Dickens, Pinter, and Rushdie.

Publicity and the Early Modern Stage

Author : Allison K. Deutermann
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What did publicity look like before the eighteenth century? What were its uses and effects, and around whom was it organized? The essays in this collection ask these questions of early modern London. Together, they argue that commercial theater was a vital engine in celebrity’s production. The men and women associated with playing—not just actors and authors, but playgoers, characters, and the extraordinary local figures adjunct to playhouse productions—introduced new ways of thinking about the function and meaning of fame in the period; about the networks of communication through which it spread; and about theatrical publics. Drawing on the insights of Habermasean public sphere theory and on the interdisciplinary field of celebrity studies, Publicity and the Early Modern Stage introduces a new and comprehensive look at early modern theories and experiences of publicity.

The Routledge Anthology of Early Modern Drama

Author : Jeremy Lopez
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The Routledge Anthology of Early Modern Drama is the first new collection of the drama of Shakespeare’s contemporaries in over a century. This volume comprises seventeen accessible, thoroughly glossed, modernized play-texts, intermingling a wide range of unfamiliar works—including the anonymous Look About You, Massinger’s The Picture, Heminge’s The Fatal Contract, Heywood’s The Four Prentices of London, and Greene’s James IV—with more familiar works such as Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, and Middleton’s Women Beware Women. Each play is edited by a different leading scholar in the field of early modern studies, bringing specific expertise and context to the chosen play-text. With an unprecedented variety of plays, and critical introductions that focus on the diversity and strangeness of different early modern approaches to the artistic and commercial enterprise of play-making, The Routledge Anthology of Early Modern Drama will offer vital new perspectives on early modern drama for scholars, students, and performers alike.

Dissembling Disability in Early Modern English Drama

Author : Lindsey Row-Heyveld
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Why do able-bodied characters fake disability in 40 early modern English plays? This book uncovers a previously unexamined theatrical tradition and explores the way counterfeit disability captivated the Renaissance stage. Through detailed case studies of both lesser-known and canonical plays (by Shakespeare, Jonson, Marston, and others), Lindsey Row-Heyveld demonstrates why counterfeit disability proved so useful to early modern playwrights. Changing approaches to almsgiving in the English Reformation led to increasing concerns about feigned disability. The theater capitalized on those concerns, using the counterfeit-disability tradition to explore issues of charity, epistemology, and spectatorship. By illuminating this neglected tradition, this book fills an important gap in both disability history and literary studies, and explores how fears of counterfeit disability created a feedback loop of performance and suspicion. The result is the still-pervasive insistence that even genuinely disabled people must perform in order to, paradoxically, prove the authenticity of their impairments.

The Duchess of Malfi

Author : Pascale Drouet
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This collection of essays represents new scholarly work on John Webster’s great tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi. The critical methodologies range from historical contexts to feminist readings of agency and identity, to social analyses of Jacobean culture. The play has rightly taken its place as one of the greatest of the early modern period, and the Duchess is now seen as one of the great tragic figures of the time—and along with Shakespeare’s Cleopatra, one of the most powerful representations of a strong female character in control of her own sexuality and her own destiny. The play also offers an unusual range of villainous characters, from the Duchess’s two brothers—the Machiavellian Cardinal and the deranged Ferdinand—to Bosola, who at first seems to be a conventional Vice-like villain. Bosola commits terrible acts in the play, and though he ultimately surrenders to his conscience and tries to do good, this transformation comes too late, and the final set of murders takes place in darkness—an apt symbol of the play’s disturbing moral universe.

Literature and Political Intellection in Early Stuart England

Author : Todd Butler
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Drawing upon a myriad of literary and political texts, Literature and Political Intellection in Early Stuart England charts how some of the Stuart period's major challenges to governance—the equivocation of recusant Catholics, the parsing of one's civil and religious obligations, the composition and distribution of subversive texts, and the increasing assertiveness of Parliament—evoked much greater disputes about the mental processes by which monarchs and subjects alike imagined, understood, and effected political action. Rather than emphasizing particular forms of political thought such as republicanism or absolutism, Todd Butler here investigates the more foundational question of political intellection, or the various ways that early modern individuals thought through the often uncertain political and religious environment they occupied, and how attention to such thinking in oneself or others could itself constitute a political position. Focusing on this continuing immanence of cognitive processes in the literature of the Stuart era, Butler examines how writers such as Francis Bacon, John Donne, Philip Massinger, John Milton, and other less familiar figures of the seventeenth-century evidence a shared concern with the interrelationship between mental and political behavior. These analyses are combined with similarly close readings of religious and political affairs that similarly return our attention to how early Stuart writers of all sorts understood the relationship between mental states and the forms of political engagement such as speech, oaths, debate, and letter-writing that expressed them. What results is a revised framework for early modern political subjectivity, one in which claims to liberty and sovereignty are tied not simply to what one can do but how—or even if—one can freely think.

Unruly Audiences and the Theater of Control in Early Modern London

Author : Eric Dunnum
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Unruly Audiences and the Theater of Control in Early Modern London explores the effects of audience riots on the dramaturgy of early modern playwrights, arguing that playwrights from Marlowe to Brome often used their plays to control the physical reactions of their audience. This study analyses how, out of anxiety that unruly audiences would destroy the nascent industry of professional drama in England, playwrights sought to limit the effect that their plays could have on the audience. They tried to construct playgoing through their drama in the hopes of creating a less-reactive, more pensive, and controlled playgoer. The result was the radical experimentation in dramaturgy that, in part, defines Renaissance drama. Written for scholars of Early Modern and Renaissance Drama and Theatre, Theatre History, and Early Modern and Renaissance History, this book calls for a new focus on the local economic concerns of the theatre companies as a way to understand the motivation behind the drama of early modern London.

Tragedies of the English Renaissance

Author : Goran Stanivukovic
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A survey of modern cinematic and televisual responses to the concept of the golden age

Historical Dictionary of British Theatre

Author : Darryll Grantley
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This book has over 1,183 entries in the dictionary section, these being mainly on playwrights and plays, but others as well including managers and critics, and also on specific theatres, legislative acts and some technical jargon. Then there are entries on the different genres, from comedy to tragedy and everything in between. Inevitably, the chronology is quite long as it has a long period to cover and the introduction provides the necessary overview. The Historical Dictionary of British Theatre: Early Period concludes with a pretty massive bibliography. That will be of use to particularly assiduous researchers, but this book itself is a good place to start any research since it covers periods that are far less well-known and documented, and ordinary theatre-goers will also find useful information.

Passionate Playgoing in Early Modern England

Author : Allison P. Hobgood
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Allison P. Hobgood tells a new story about the emotional experiences of theatregoers in Renaissance England. Through detailed case studies of canonical plays by Shakespeare, Jonson, Kyd and Heywood, the reader will discover what it felt like to be part of performances in English theatre and appreciate the key role theatregoers played in the life of early modern drama. How were spectators moved - by delight, fear or shame, for example - and how did their own reactions in turn make an impact on stage performances? Addressing these questions and many more, this book discerns not just how theatregoers were altered by drama's affective encounters, but how they were undeniable influences upon those encounters. Overall, Hobgood reveals a unique collaboration between the English world and stage, one that significantly reshapes the ways we watch, read and understand early modern drama.

Working Subjects in Early Modern English Drama

Author : Dr Michelle M Dowd
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Working Subjects in Early Modern English Drama investigates the ways in which work became a subject of inquiry on the early modern stage and the processes by which the drama began to forge new connections between labor and subjectivity in the period. The essays assembled here address fascinating and hitherto unexplored questions raised by the subject of labor as it was taken up in the drama of the period: How were laboring bodies and the goods they produced, marketed and consumed represented onstage through speech, action, gesture, costumes and properties? How did plays participate in shaping the identities that situated laboring subjects within the social hierarchy? In what ways did the drama engage with contemporary discourses (social, political, economic, religious, etc.) that defined the cultural meanings of work? How did players and playwrights define their own status with respect to the shifting boundaries between high status/low status, legitimate/illegitimate, profitable/unprofitable, skilled/unskilled, formal/informal, male/female, free/bound, paid/unpaid forms of work? Merchants, usurers, clothworkers, cooks, confectioners, shopkeepers, shoemakers, sheepshearers, shipbuilders, sailors, perfumers, players, magicians, servants and slaves are among the many workers examined in this collection. Offering compelling new readings of both canonical and lesser-known plays in a broad range of genres (including history plays, comedies, tragedies, tragi-comedies, travel plays and civic pageants), this collection considers how early modern drama actively participated in a burgeoning, proto-capitalist economy by staging England's newly diverse workforce and exploring the subject of work itself.

Shakespeare s Workplace

Author : Andrew Gurr
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Shakespeare was easily the most inventive writer using the English language. His plays give us intricacies of vocabulary and usage that have enriched us immeasurably. This book provides a series of analytical essays on the marginalia relating to the plays. Each of them is a searching and authoritative account, packed with details, of some of the more peculiar conditions under which Shakespeare and his peers composed their playbooks. Among the essays are two completely new contributions. Altogether they reveal fresh details about the input of the playing companies, playhouses, individual players and even their controller, the Revels Office, to the complex fragments that we now have of the Shakespearean world. Gurr examines Shakespeare's own choice between playwriting and poetry, the requirements of working in a playhouse that wraps itself around the stage, and its impact on the creation of such figures as Henry V, Shylock, Isabella, King Lear and Coriolanus.

Shakespeare and the Materiality of Performance

Author : E. Lin
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Winner of the MRDS 2013 David Bevington Award for Best New Book in Early Drama Studies! Drawing on a wide variety of primary sources, Lin reconstructs playgoers' typical ways of thinking and feeling and demonstrates how these culturally-trained habits of mind shaped dramatic narratives and the presentational dynamics of onstage action.