To creep in at mine eyes: theatre and secret contagion in Twelfth Night

Chalk, Darryl (2010) To creep in at mine eyes: theatre and secret contagion in Twelfth Night. In: Rapt in secret studies: emerging Shakespeares. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, pp. 171-193. ISBN 978-1-4438-2328-9

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I seek to demonstrate in this chapter that the recurrent connection between theatre and contagion in antitheatrical discourse, and in plays like Twelfth Night, can be explained through an examination of the emerging understanding of both plague's aetiology and other forms of contagion, such as lovesickness. While other critics have noted the disease-laden rhetoric of antitheatrical documentation, there has been almost no consideration of the implications of the way in which playwrights recognise and seem to consciously address this peculiar indictment. It is my contention that Twelfth Night presents one of several examples of Shakespearean plays deliberately and self-consciously citing and responding directly to antitheatrical sentiment, and that this is most acutely apparent in the repetitive metaphorisation of theatre as a contagion in antitheatrical treatises.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2010 by Darryl Chalk and Laurie Johnson and contributors. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Theatre
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2011 13:10
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2016 03:09
Uncontrolled Keywords: plague; Shakespeare; theatre; Twelfth Night; contagion; antitheatrical; cross-dressing; lovesickness; eyesight; stage; early modern; Renaissance
Fields of Research : 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
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950105 The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance)
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture

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