By Tim Fitzpatrick
Examining Elizabethan and Jacobean playtexts for his or her spatial implications, this leading edge learn discloses the level to which the assets and constraints of public playhouse structures affected the development of the fictitious worlds of early sleek performs. The examine argues that playwrights have been writing with foresight, inscribing the restrictions and assets of the phases into their texts. It is going additional, to posit that Shakespeare and his playwright-contemporaries adhered to a collection of commonly used conventions, instead of particular neighborhood corporation practices, approximately how house and position have been to be similar in functionality: the playwrights constituted hence an overarching digital 'company' generating playtexts that shared good points around the performing businesses and playhouses. via clarifying a 16th- to seventeenth-century belief of theatrical position, Tim Fitzpatrick provides a brand new layer of intending to our figuring out of the performs. His technique provides a brand new measurement to those specific records which-though a lot of them are thought of of significant literary worth-were now not initially generated for the other cause than to be played inside of a selected functionality context. the truth that the playwrights have been conscious of the positive aspects of this functionality culture makes their texts a possible mine of functionality details, and casts mild again at the texts themselves: if a few of their meanings are 'spatial', those could have been overlooked through only literary instruments of research.
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Additional resources for Playwright, Space and Place in Early Modern Performance: Shakespeare and Company
15 Andrew Gurr, ‘Doors at the Globe: the Gulf between Page and Stage’, Theatre Notebook 55/2 (2001), p. 59. 16 Gurr, ‘Page and Stage’, p. 59. 17 Gurr, ‘Page and Stage’, p. 59. 14 Playwrights Thinking Spatially 25 practices in their texts, as though they felt they had (and could exert through their texts) a significant impact on staging. Such an argument must depend on sophisticated textual analysis which takes account of stage directions (which are indeed scarce compared to modern dramatic texts, as has been repeatedly noted)18 and, more importantly, of their nesting dialogic context.
Exeunt. (Othello III, ii, 1–6) Since Othello is coming from the very place to which Cassio has just been conducted, it would be logical that he and Iago enter stage right, to then exit stage left: The next scene begins with the entrance of Desdemona, Cassio and Emilia (III, iii, 1): this is a re-entrance for Cassio, so it would be logical that it be from where he last exited. But the conversation is interrupted by the return of Othello and Iago (III, iii, 28), also coming from where they last exited, and Cassio is forced to make a hasty exit back in the direction of his first entrance in the sequence: Playwright, Space and Place in Early Modern Performance 18 At the simplest level, we see here two instances of characters returning to the place signified by the stage space, and from the same door through which they had previously exited to a particular nominated offstage place (the ‘fortifications’ for Othello, Desdemona’s lodgings for Cassio).
No, madam. Cleo. He was dispos’d to mirth, but on the sudden A Roman thought hath strook him. Enobarbus! Eno. Madam? Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where’s Alexas? Alex. Here, at your service. My lord approaches. Enter ANTONY, with a MESSENGER [and ATTENDANTS]. Cleo. We will not look upon him: go with us. Exeunt. (Antony and Cleopatra, I, ii, 75–87) Enobarbus must exit (since a re-entry for him is marked later, at 130), but his exit cannot cross with Antony’s almost simultaneous entrance.
Playwright, Space and Place in Early Modern Performance: Shakespeare and Company by Tim Fitzpatrick