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For both producers and consumers of theatre in the early modern era, art was viewed as a social rather than an individual activity. Emerging in the context of new capitalistic modes of production, the birth of the nation state and the rise of absolute monarchies, theatre also proved a highly mobile medium across geolinguistic boundaries. This volume provides a comprehensive and interdisciplinary overview of the cultural history of theatre from 1400 to 1650, and examines the socioeconomically heterodox nature of theatre and performance during this period. Highly illustrated with 48 images, the ten chapters each take a different theme as their focus: institutional frameworks; social functions; sexuality and gender; the environment of theatre; circulation; interpretations; communities of production; repertoire and genres; technologies of performance; and knowledge transmission.
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.
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.
Offers new ways to conceptualize the relationship between early modern travel and drama, and re-assesses how travel drama is defined.
Drawing on a wide range of drama from across the seventeenth century, including works by Marlowe, Heywood, Jonson, Brome, Davenant, Dryden and Behn, this book 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.
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.
Shows how Renaissance writers and artists struggled to reconcile past traditions with experiences of 'discovery'.

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