Shakespearean Sensations: Experiencing Literature in Early Modern England

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Katharine A. Craik, Tanya Pollard
Cambridge University Press, Feb 7, 2013 - Literary Criticism - 244 pages
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This strong and timely collection provides fresh insights into how Shakespeare's plays and poems were understood to affect bodies, minds and emotions. Contemporary criticism has had surprisingly little to say about the early modern period's investment in imagining literature's impact on feeling. Shakespearean Sensations brings together scholarship from a range of well-known and new voices to address this fundamental gap. The book includes a comprehensive introduction by Katharine A. Craik and Tanya Pollard and comprises three sections focusing on sensations aroused in the plays; sensations evoked in the playhouse; and sensations found in the imaginative space of the poems. With dedicated essays on Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and Twelfth Night, the collection explores how seriously early modern writers took their relationship with their audiences and reveals new connections between early modern literary texts and the emotional and physiological experiences of theatregoers.

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Feeling fear in Macbeth
Hearing Iagos withheld confession
Selflove spirituality and the senses in Twelfth Night
Conceiving tragedy
Playing with appetite in early modern comedy
Notes towards an analysis of early modern applause
Catharsis as purgation in Shakespearean drama
Epigrammatic commotions
Poetic making and moving the soul
IO Shakespearean pain
Senses of an ending

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About the author (2013)

Katharine A. Craik is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern Literature at Oxford Brookes University. Her publications include Reading Sensations in Early Modern England (2007) and an edition of Jane Collier's An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting (2006). She has published articles in Shakespeare Quarterly, Studies in English Literature, The Seventeenth Century and The Huntington Library Quarterly. She has been working for ten years as a librettist and her first opera was commissioned in 2004 by English National Opera. Her most recent project, an opera entitled The Quicken Tree based on Spenser's The Faerie Queene, premièred in Edinburgh in March 2011.

Tanya Pollard is Professor of English at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her publications include Drugs and Theater in Early Modern England (2005), Shakespeare's Theater: A Sourcebook (2004), essays in journals including Shakespeare Studies and Renaissance Drama and chapters in numerous volumes including, most recently, The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare (2011) and The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Tragedy (2010). She is currently writing a book about the sixteenth-century reception of Greek plays and their impact on English conceptions of dramatic genres.

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