English 114B

Upper Division Coursework: English Drama from 1603 to 1700

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2006 Landreth, David
Landreth, David
TTh 3:30-5 88 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

Fraser and Rabkin, eds.: Drama of the English Renaissance, v. 2: The Stuart Period


The English theater was the first mass medium, an avowedly commercial, hyper-competitive, fad-driven industry of sound and spectacle, which both catered to and ruthlessly parodied the sophisticated, novelty-craving consumerism of the seventeenth century�s greatest boom-town: the sprawling, incomprehensible, luxurious, grotesque metropolis of London . The brilliance of the Jacobean and Caroline drama displays itself in the readiness�really, the need�of the players to go over the top, to push past the limits of realism (and to surpass their competitors� plays) into the hyper-real experiences of satire and sensation, in order to represent to their audiences their own city and society. The rapid transformations of urban form, of social status, and of luxury consumption continually remade the lived spaces of London and of its theaters into new shapes of both intimate sensual delight and alien sensual decadence, at once more and less than real.

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