The politics of privacy and the English public stage, 1575-1642

Price, Eoin (2014). The politics of privacy and the English public stage, 1575-1642. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis examines the politics of privacy and the public drama of the English Renaissance commercial stage. It intervenes in the study of publics and the early modern public sphere, contending that a wider examination of the corpus of public drama in the English Renaissance can illuminate the politics of privacy as well as the nature of dramatic practice. The thesis is split into two parts. The first examines external evidence – the ways in which the language of privacy is applied to the commercial theatre – and contains a single chapter on the emergence of the so-called ‘private’, indoor playhouses. It is divided into three main sections that explore the Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Caroline periods and a short epilogue which considers the period of theatre closure. The second part examines internal evidence: how the plays of the period configure political privacy. It falls into two chapters, each of which contemplates four different forms of movement across public/private boundaries. The second chapter addresses depictions of private people participating in public affairs; analysing representations of private passivity, active resistance, promotion, and favouritism. The third chapter investigates the reverse phenomenon – public people becoming private – and discusses portrayals of corruption, privation, surveillance, and withdrawal.

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 > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater


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