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This volume addresses dealings with the wondrous, magical, holy, sacred, sainted, numinous, uncanny, auratic, and sacral in the plays of Shakespeare and contemporaries, produced in an era often associated with the irresistible rise of a thinned-out secular rationalism. By starting from the literary text and looking outwards to social, cultural, and historical aspects, it comes to grips with the instabilities of ‘enchanted’ and ‘disenchanted’ practices of thinking and knowledge-making in the early modern period. If what marvelously stands apart from conceptions of the world’s ordinary functioning might be said to be ‘enchanted’, is the enchantedness weakened, empowered, or modally altered by its translation to theatre? We have a received historical narrative of disenchantment as a large-scale early modern cultural process, inexorable in character, consisting of the substitution of a rationally understood and controllable world for one containing substantial areas of mystery. Early modern cultural change, however, involves transpositions, recreations, or fresh inventions of the enchanted, and not only its replacement in diminished or denatured form. This collection is centrally concerned with what happens in theatre, as a medium which can give power to experiences of wonder as well as circumscribe and curtail them, addressing plays written for the popular stage that contribute to and reflect significant contemporary reorientations of vision, awareness, and cognitive practice. The volume uses the idea of dis-enchantment/re-enchantment as a central hub to bring multiple perspectives to bear on early modern conceptualizations and theatricalizations of wonder, the sacred, and the supernatural from different vantage points, marking a significant contribution to studies of magic, witchcraft, enchantment, and natural philosophy in Shakespeare and early modern drama.
Offers new ways to conceptualize the relationship between early modern travel and drama, and re-assesses how travel drama is defined.
Early modern playgoers were avid consumers of voyage drama. When they entered the playhouse they engaged with the players in a collaborative form of "mind-travelling," and the result was an experience of stage-travel that was predicated on pleasure. This book investigates the pleasures of vicarious travel in early modern England, treating playgoing as part of a playing system, wherein imaginative work is distributed across the various participants: playwright, player, the physical environment, technologies of the stage, and emphatically in this study, the playgoer. Drawing on a wide range of drama from across the entire seventeenth century, including works by Marlowe, Heywood, Jonson, Brome, Davenant, Dryden and Behn, it situates voyage drama in its historical and intellectual context between the individual act of reading in early modern England and the communal act of modern sightseeing.
Emphasizing a performative and stage-centered approach, this book considers early modern European theater as an international phenomenon. Early modern theater was remarkable both in the ways that it represented material and symbolic exchanges across borders but also in the ways that it enacted them. In analyzing theater as a medium of dialogic communication, the volume emphasizes cultural relationships of exchange and reciprocity more than unilateral encounters of hegemony and domination.
The Island Princess is a tragicomic romance set in the Spice Islands of Indonesia. Fletcher rewrites Shakespeare's The Tempest through the encounter of Islam and Christianity and the fierce European competition for wealth at the farthest reaches of empire. The play also stages the degeneration of religious tolerance into fanaticism. This ground-breaking edition explores the play in its gendered, political, social and religious contexts whilst also finding its resonances for a twenty-first century audience. The critical introduction and on-page commentary notes create an ideal teaching text giving a comprehensive account of the play from both literary and performance perspectives.
Aimed at undergraduates studying the history of the British Isles in the 17th century, this book covers the period 1603-1688. Further reading is included, as well as a chronology and index.

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