Supernatural Environments in Shakespeare's England: Spaces by Kristen Poole PDF


By Kristen Poole

ISBN-10: 1107008352

ISBN-13: 9781107008359

Bringing jointly fresh scholarship on faith and the spatial mind's eye, Kristen Poole examines how altering non secular ideals and reworking conceptions of area have been jointly informative within the a long time round 1600. Supernatural Environments in Shakespeare's England explores a chain of cultural areas that concentrated awareness on interactions among the human and the demonic or divine: the deathbed, purgatory, demonic contracts and their spatial encompass, Reformation cosmologies and a panorama newly topic to cartographic surveying. It examines the possible incongruous coexistence of conventional non secular ideals and new mathematical, geometrical methods of perceiving the surroundings. Arguing that the past due 16th- and early seventeenth-century degree dramatized the phenomenological rigidity that resulted from this uneasy confluence, this groundbreaking examine considers the complicated nature of supernatural environments in Marlowe's healthcare professional Faustus and Shakespeare's Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth and The Tempest.

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Additional info for Supernatural Environments in Shakespeare's England: Spaces of Demonism, Divinity, and Drama

Sample text

In the decades on either side of 1600, however, both of these bodies (the humoral and the mechanical) and both of their corresponding understandings of space (as fluid and as geometrical) were culturally present and viable. the global stage and the local scene What, I wonder, would it feel like to inhabit this space, at once a metamorphic one that allowed for the regular incursions of the supernatural, and a geometric one that was stable and ordered? How would it feel to sit at the nexus of residual and emergent modes of spatial understandings which were transforming and being transformed by changing ideas about the divine and the demonic?

From the spatial surround of a contract, Chapter 2 opens into the local space of the deathbed. The chapter considers the various understandings of supernatural activity as presented in the immensely popular ars moriendi literature of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and examines how Othello enacts the familiar deathbed scene to create a layered and multi-perspectival eschatological space. Chapter 3 widens the scope to the larger terrain of earthly locations for purgatory. The chapter positions Hamlet within contemporary debates about the actual geographical location of purgatory inside the earth, and especially the identification of the Icelandic volcano Mount Hecla as the northern purgatory; these discussions epitomize the early modern confluence of a new cartographic sensibility and older understandings about supernatural space.

Hopkins notes that “[t]he word ‘theater’ in this period was not exclusively applied to purpose-built structures used for public performance; the word was used in a general way to describe any ‘container’ for things one might want to look at. ”43 The Globe was thus a container for examining the container of the cosmos. And yet the spatial order that was presented in the plays of the period was hardly consistent or epistemologically coherent. Hopkins notes that “the structures by which space itself had been perceived, used, and understood for centuries were changing, and nowhere in England were these changes more acute than in London, where, in the decades bracketing 1600, a range of social pressures brought about a radical change in representational practices,” but he stresses that this was “a gradual, uneven, sporadic, and inconsistent transition that resulted in a period of spatial hybridity” (p.

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Supernatural Environments in Shakespeare's England: Spaces of Demonism, Divinity, and Drama by Kristen Poole

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