Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine

Contagion and the Shakespearean Stage

Editors: Chalk, Darryl, Floyd-Wilson, Mary (Eds.)

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  • First book to consider how the discourse and concept of contagion in the period can provide a lens for understanding early modern theatrical performance, dramatic plots, and theatre-going 
    In addition to engaging with the history of disease transmission, this collection considers how the language of contagion shapes dramatic narratives, contemporary understandings of theater-going, the history of emotion, and the perception of natural and preternatural phenomena
    Provides new readings of plays by Shakespeare, Middleton, Jonson, Webster, and Rowley  

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14428-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14427-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book


This collection of essays considers what constituted contagion in the minds of early moderns in the absence of modern germ theory. In a wide range of essays focused on early modern drama and the culture of theater, contributors explore how ideas of contagion not only inform representations of the senses (such as smell and touch) and emotions (such as disgust, pity, and shame) but also shape how people understood belief, narrative, and political agency. Epidemic thinking was not limited to medical inquiry or the narrow study of a particular disease. Shakespeare, Thomas Middleton, Ben Jonson, Thomas Dekker and other early modern writers understood that someone might be infected or transformed by the presence of others, through various kinds of exchange, or if exposed to certain ideas, practices, or environmental conditions. The discourse and concept of contagion provides a lens for understanding early modern theatrical performance, dramatic plots, and theater-going itself.


About the authors

Darryl Chalk is a Senior Lecturer in Theater at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia.
Mary Floyd-Wilson is the Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor of English and Comparative Literature at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.

Table of contents (13 chapters)

Table of contents (13 chapters)
  • Introduction: Beyond the Plague

    Pages 1-21

    Chalk, Darryl (et al.)

  • Comedy, the Senses, and Social Contagion in Plays Confuted in Five Actions and The Comedy of Errors

    Pages 25-45

    Votava, Jennie

  • “A Deal of Stinking Breath”: The Smell of Contagion in the Early Modern Playhouse

    Pages 47-61

    Kenny, Amy

  • “Go Touch His Life”: Contagious Malice and the Power of Touch in The Witch of Edmonton

    Pages 63-81

    Johnston, Bronwyn

  • Kisses and Contagion in Troilus and Cressida

    Pages 83-102

    Forsyth, Jennifer

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14428-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14427-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Contagion and the Shakespearean Stage
Editors
  • Darryl Chalk
  • Mary Floyd-Wilson
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-14428-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-14428-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-14427-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 292
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics