Stages of Evil: Occultism in Western Theater and Drama

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Stages of Evil is the first book to examine the representation and relationship of evil and the occult from the prehistoric origins of drama through to the present day. Drawing on examples of magic, astronomy, demonology, possession, exorcism, fairies, vampires, witchcraft, hauntings, and voodoo, author Robert Lima explores how theater shaped American and European perceptions of the occult and how the dramatic works studied here reflect society back upon itself at different points in history.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A fascinating study of the portrayal of the occult in drama.... Not only literary scholars but also theatrical companies that are mounting productions of these works will find this book invaluable.... Essential." -- Choice

"Draws on an unusually wide range of background materials to make an important and original contribution to the scholarship of the drama." -- Stanton J. Linden, author Darke Hierogliphicks: Alchemy in English Literature f

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813123622
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Series: Studies in Romance Languages Series
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The mouth of hell : damnation on the stage of the Middle Ages 13
2 The masks of Harlequin : daemonic antecedents of the Commedia Dell'Arte character 47
3 The pagan Pluto : touchstone of Celestina's magic in Tragicomedia de Calixto y Melibea 83
4 The primal spirit : sacred frenzy in Euripides' Bacchae 101
5 Rites of passage : metempsychosis, possession, and exorcism in S. An-Sky's The Dybbuk 117
6 The savaged mind : voodoo terror in Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones 137
7 Satan in Salem : sex as Grimoire in Arthur Miller's The crucible 147
8 A matter of habit : the politics of demonic hysteria in John Whiting's The devils 159
9 The prey of the vampire : malign decadence in Francisco Nieva's Nosferatu 177
10 Wither'd and wild : witches of the Elizabethan and Jacobean stages 197
11 The cave and the magician : Chthonic sanctuaries in early European drama 225
App Bibliography of European and American drama of the occult 271
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