Like Furnace: Sighing on the Shakespearean Stage

Chalk, Darryl ORCID: (2021) Like Furnace: Sighing on the Shakespearean Stage. In: Humorality in Early Modern Art, Material Culture, and Performance. Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., Cham, Switzerland, pp. 31-50. ISBN 978-3-030-77617-6


Sighs, sometimes accompanied by tears and groans, are everywhere in Shakespeare’s plays and yet have received almost no attention in scholarship on the passions and early modern theatre. References to sighing are often taken as a commonplace rather than as potential cues to embodied action or clues to a character’s emotional state and, yet, sighing had anatomical, humoral, spiritual, and pathological significances in early modern culture. Constant sighing was viewed as a key external symptom of melancholic afflictions like lovesickness. With such ideas in mind, Chalk explores the representation of sighing on the Shakespearean stage in relation to medical and philosophical writings on this respiratory phenomenon. Visceral, vital, non-verbal, and affective, sighing was more than merely metaphorical: its use in Shakespeare often signifies the physicality and theatricality of the passions as necessarily performative phenomena.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published Chapter + Front Matter, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Creative Arts (1 Mar 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Heritage and Culture (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2022 04:39
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 05:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: Shakespeare, sighing, humoralism, early modern actor, wellbeing, illness, lovesickness, history of emotions, melancholy, Renaissance drama, early modern theatre, Shakespearean stage
Fields of Research (2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2005 Literary Studies > 200503 British and Irish Literature
Fields of Research (2020): 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4705 Literary studies > 470504 British and Irish literature
36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3604 Performing arts > 360403 Drama, theatre and performance studies
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280122 Expanding knowledge in creative arts and writing studies
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280116 Expanding knowledge in language, communication and culture
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1301 Arts > 130104 The performing arts
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