Staging the Superstitions of Early Modern Europe

Staging the Superstitions of Early Modern Europe


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Staging the Superstitions of Early Modern Europe by Andrew D. McCarthy

Engaging with fiction and history-and reading both genres as texts permeated with early modern anxieties, desires, and apprehensions-this collection scrutinizes the historical intersection of early modern European superstitions and English stage literature. Contributors analyze the cultural mechanisms that shape, preserve, and transmit beliefs. They investigate where superstitions come from and how they are sustained and communicated within early modern European society. It has been proposed by scholars that once enacted on stage and thus brought into contact with the literary-dramatic perspective, belief systems that had been preserved and reinforced by historical-literary texts underwent a drastic change. By highlighting the connection between historical-literary and literary-dramatic culture, this volume tests and explores the theory that performance of superstitions opened the way to disbelief.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781409440086
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 02/28/2013
Series: Studies in Performance and Early Modern Drama Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 308
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Verena Theile is Assistant Professor of Early Modern Literature at North Dakota State University, USA. Andrew D. McCarthy is Assistant Professor of Early Modern Literature at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, USA.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword: something of the night, Darren Oldridge; Introduction: Superstitions, literature, history, and the creative imagination, Verena Theile and Andrew D. McCarthy. Part 1 Early Modern Superstitions: Religion, Reformation, and the History of Fear: Popular magic, witchcraft, and Lutheran religious literature, Peter A. Morton; ‘Let not phantasies misgouerne you': entertainment as religious polemic (The Case of Barnabe Riche), Adam H. Kitzes; Early modern engagements with fear, witchcraft, the devil, and that damned Dr Faustus, Verena Theile. Part 2 Witchcraft on Trial: The supernatural on the stage: an analysis of early modern literary and theatrical representations of Lancashire's witches and demons, Deborah Lea; Vision on trial in The Late Lancashire Witches, Meg F. Pearson; The joint stool on the early modern stage: witches, wives, and murderers in Macbeth and Arden of Faversham, Kristina E. Caton; The medicalization of ‘midnight hags': perverting post-menopausal and political motherhood in Macbeth, Hilda H. Ma. Part 3 Stage Dissections: ‘Such a sinner of his memory': Prospero, Bruno, and the failures of neo-Platonic memory magic, Liberty Stanavage; Prophecies, dreams, and the plays of John Lyly, Per Sivefors; Travelers' tales: magic and superstition on early modern European and London stages, M.A. Katritzky; Bibliography; Index.

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