Performance spaces in English royal palaces, 1509 – 1642

Clifford, Catherine Rebecca (2013). Performance spaces in English royal palaces, 1509 – 1642. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis investigates the relationship between dramatic performance and space at English royal palaces between 1509 and 1642. I argue that palatial performance spaces, including, but not limited to, great halls, great chambers, banqueting houses, and tiltyards, created meaning in relation to one another. Underlying the history and evolution of the performance spaces I examine is the pressing notion that spaces represented different sites of meaning for spectators already accustomed to the spatial languages of palaces and great households. The venues/rooms/chambers themselves performed for inhabitants, and as court drama developed throughout this period, so did their spaces. Part one examines performance spaces in palaces understood to be the “greater” palaces of the realm and in those maintained primarily by consorts and royal children. Part two focuses primarily on how banqueting houses evolved into essential royal buildings in England. As these buildings became performance sites, court presentations of drama shifted from household-based indicators of hospitality to representations of prestige by the monarch. The final section, chapters five and six, examines how all of the architectural and dramatic frameworks discussed in the first four chapters were exemplified at Whitehall, the most important palatial venue of the period.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater


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