PERFORMING CLASS ON THE EARLY MODERN STAGE
Listed in: English, as ENGL-95
Allison K. Deutermann (Section 05)
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, new patterns of production and consumption enabled greater social mobility in England than previously had been possible. London’s theaters charted, participated in, and commented on these changes. This seminar considers representations of class on the early modern stage, paying particular attention to the ways in which it was physically coded onto the actors’ bodies. How do markers such as dress, accented speech, and gesture identify characters as country bumpkins or cosmopolitans, social climbers or born aristocrats? How indelible are these markers? Moving from the mid-sixteenth century through the 1630s, we will also ask how other categories of identity (for example, race and gender) intersect with and often contradict those of class in plays by Shakespeare, Dekker, Marlowe, Webster, and others. Requisite: One course in Renaissance literature, with a course in Renaissance drama encouraged. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Deutermann.