Violence Against Women in Early Modern Performance: Invisible Acts

Violence Against Women in Early Modern Performance: Invisible Acts

by Kim Solga


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Violence Against Women in Early Modern Performance explores rape and domestic violence against women around the turn of the seventeenth century in England, its pernicious erasure in the period's cultural representations, the framing and negotiation of that erasure in some of the most iconic texts in English theatre history-Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, Heywood's A Woman killed with Kindness, Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, and Middleton and Rowley's The Changeling-and the politics of rehearsing it all on our late twentieth-and twenty-first-century stages. Solga positions the book as both a history and an ethics: early modern theatre texts are still produced regularly and to acclaim around the world, prompting her to ask how we might perform these texts with a difference, staging the history of violence's elision, rather than just that elision itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781137274717
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date: 09/29/2009
Edition description: 2009
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

KIM SOLGA is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Drama at Queen Mary, University of London, UK. With D.J. Hopkins and Shelley Orr she is the editor of Performance and the City, also from Palgrave Macmillan.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgements x

1 Encounters with the Missing: From the Invisible Act to In/visible Acts 1

The Duchess's ghost (Stratford, 2006) 4

Violence as invisibility in early modern England 7

Performance as witness (to the missing) 12

The violations of theory 19

In/visible acts 26

2 Rape's Metatheatrical Return: Rehearsing Sexual Violence in Titus Andronicus 29

The politics of 'hue and cry' 32

Messing up (in) the theatre of sexual trauma 42

Spectacles of absence 50

3 The Punitive Scene and the Performance of Salvation: Violence, the Flesh, and the Word 63

Staging grace against the odds 63

Correction, salvation, and the companionate negotiation 67

Making a spectacle of salvation 78

Body doubles, Babel's voices 85

4 Witness to Despair: The Martyr of Malfi's Ghost 98

Witnesses and ghosts 98

The Duchess dies a martyr 103

Bodies, acts, texts 106

Performing despair 111

Ghosts in the machine 117

Model witness 129

5 The Architecture of the Act: Renovating Beatrice Joanna's Closet 141

Rape, space, and reception desire 142

Looking at Beatrice Joanna 146

Crimes of architecture 151

Renovating Beatrice Joanna's closet: the Cheek Jowl Changeling 159

Afterword 176

Notes 180

Bibliography 187

Index 205

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