Fr. 51.50

Shakespeare's Body Language - Shaming Gestures and Gender Politics on the Renaissance Stage

English · Paperback / Softback

New edition in preparation, currently unavailable

Description

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List of contents

Acknowledgements

Note on texts

List of illustrations

Introduction: Embodying shame

1. Thumb-biting: Performing Toxic Masculinity in Romeo and Juliet
2. Figging: Spanish Anxieties and Ancient Grudges in Pistol’s Henriad
3. Spitting at Richard: Taming the Beast in Richard III
4. Spitting at Shylock: Shameful Conversion in The Merchant of Venice
5. Horning: Fragile Masculinity in Othello
6. Hand-washing: Female Shame in Macbeth
7. Kneeling: Passive Aggression in Coriolanus
8. Stillness: Female Constancy in The Winter’s Tale

Epilogue
Bibliography
Index

About the author

Miranda Fay Thomas is Assistant Professor in Theatre and Performance at Trinity College Dublin.

Summary

Why do the Capulets bite their thumbs at the Montagues? Why do the Venetians spit upon Shylock’s Jewish gaberdine? What is it about Volumnia’s act of kneeling that convinces Coriolanus not to assault the city of Rome?

Shakespeare’s Body Language is a ground-breaking new study of Shakespearean drama, revealing the previously unseen history of social tensions found within the performance of gestures – and how such gestures are used to shame those within the body politic of early modern England. The first full study of shaming gestures in Shakespearean drama, this book establishes how shame is often rooted in the gendered expectations of the Renaissance era. Exploring how the performance of gestures such as figging, the cuckold’s horns, and even the in-action of stillness created shaming spectacles on the early modern stage and its wider society, Shakespeare’s Body Language argues that gestures are embodied social metaphors which epitomise the personal as political. It reveals the tensions of everyday life as key motivators behind the actions of Shakespeare’s characters, and considers how honour and its opposite, shame, are constructed in terms of gender norms.

Featuring in-depth analyses of plays across Shakespeare’s career, this book explores how the playwright’s understanding of shame and humiliation is rooted in performance anxiety and gender politics, explaining how theatrical gestures can create dramatic tension in a way that words alone cannot. It offers both rich insights into the early modern context of Shakespeare’s drama and confirms the startling relevance of his work to modern audiences.

Foreword

The first study of shaming gestures in Renaissance drama, exploring how theatrical movement can cause humiliation in a way that words alone cannot.

Additional text

Combining social and cultural history with an acute sense of theatre, Thomas reinvests familiar gestures – the thumb-biting in Romeo and Juliet, Lady Macbeth’s hand-washing – with revelatory dramatic and emotional effects.

Product details

Authors Miranda Fay Thomas, Miranda Fay (Independent scholar Thomas
Publisher Arden shakespeare
 
Languages English
Product format Paperback / Softback
Released 20.05.2021
 
EAN 9781350228146
ISBN 978-1-350-22814-6
No. of pages 272
Series Arden Shakespeare
Subject Humanities, art, music > Art > Theatre, ballet

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