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ENG220 Theatre + Titus Andronicus

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Elizabeth Harvey

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Wednesday, September 26, 2011
Shakespeare’s England as theatrical
civic and religious festivals
music and dance
court masques
spectacular, music, dance, elaborate costumes & machinery, allegorical
perform in presence of monarch, sometimes aristocrats take part
boundary between spectators and actors dissolved through dance at end
lavish and expensive
nature of private vs public entertainment
meaning of interaction between formal, allegorical and less verbal performance
and public viewing
jousts, tournaments, entertainments
bear baiting, bull baiting
bloody violence
royal progresses
primary mode of intimacy between monarch and people
device through which monarchy display importance and power
penalties for treason: hanging, burning, disembowelment and castration,
drawing and quartering
traitor’s corpses treated differently per era (i.e. Elizabethan: head on pike)
symbolic value
theatricality of power and power of theatricality
nature of displays theatrical
Stephen Orgel, Illusion of Power
sumptuary laws govern how people should wear clothing and what for what class
clothing signature for class and gender
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish
power of sovereign written on subject’s body
spectacle of punishment as mode of disciplining subject’s body
playing companies (used to travel)
Queen’s Men 1583
Lord Chamberlain’s Men 1594, permanent theatre in Shoreditch, Shakespeare’s
early company and theatre, become King’s Men in 1603 under James I
replaced by Globe 1598, first playhouse to be owned by players, Shakespeare
wrote greatest plays, ceremonial cannon during play burn it to ground, rebuilt 1614
Lord Admiral’s Men 1594 *The Rose)
Titus Andronicus performed at the Rose 1590s, Q published 1594
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