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date: 14 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

As theorists continue to revisit the phenomenon of closet drama and its persistence in British theatre history, the term becomes increasingly—in the best sense of the word—‘vexed’. Given the hybrid, oscillatory, and ambiguous qualities of the genre, a study of Georgian theatre and ‘closet drama’ can encourage us to look more closely at neglected artistic phenomena between 1732 and 1830 which blur the lines between voice/body; reading/staging; gesture/speech. Moreover, we might use the lens of the closet play to consider under-explored topics from the Georgian period such as oration, ‘eloquence’, stage speech, acting styles, tableaux vivants, and even ‘dialogues in mime’.

Keywords: Joanna Baillie, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Jane West, debating clubs, oration, biblical drama, Lord Byron, Elizabeth Inchbald, Percy Shelley, Margaret Cavendish

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