The playwright's mirror: reflexivity on the stages and streets of early modern London.

Files

McGorty_thesis_2015.pdf

Citation

Mc Gorty, Elizabeth, author., “The playwright's mirror: reflexivity on the stages and streets of early modern London.,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed December 4, 2020, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/37.

Title

The playwright's mirror: reflexivity on the stages and streets of early modern London.

Creator

Mc Gorty, Elizabeth, author.

Date

2015

Description

The culture of playgoing in early modern London has frustrated scholars due to a paucity of evidence. In order to understand the historical matrix of the theatre's achievements, a consideration of the broader acquisitive energy of English society should be considered. This study examines both archival and literary sources to understand social behavior in early modern London via the court records of Bridewell Hospital and the drama of William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson. It seeks to understand how the theatre interacted with the major social, political, and economic forces of its age, arguing that drama was a dialectical exchange between the stage and the street, producing effects that were felt and practiced beyond the playhouse walls. Language prescribed by authoritative bodies attempted to control social behavior, representing commercialized theatre and commercialized sex as uncivilized, dangerous, and criminal. Yet dramatists offer a more accurate portrayal of life on the ground, and similar to the archival record, they depict the London experience as multi-layered and complex. The plays also evince the ineffectualness of local power structures, for while playing and prostitution were constantly harassed by the state, they persisted, even prospered. Plays were social commentaries, but they were also social actions that provided definitions, practices, and possibilities that effected change beyond the world of the stage, and helped citizens conceptualize the rapidly changing and expanding urban milieu.
Thesis (Masters) -- Simmons College, 2015.
Bibliography: pages 82-85.

Subject

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Jonson, Ben, 1573?-1637.
Theater and society -- England.
Theater -- Political aspects -- History.
London (England) -- History -- 16th century.

Publisher

Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)

Language

English

Type

Masters Theses

Identifier

PN2049.M346 2015