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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This is an essay about the making of space in Jonsonian drama. Redeploying spatial theory (in particular the work of Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certeau) to think about Jonson’s practice of linking place with meaning, it considers the playwright’s work for both amphitheatrical and indoor playhouses, as well as the ways he deploys character and the resonant space of the offstage to engage audiences with the spaces, actual and conceptual, evoked by his drama. Plays discussed range from the early The Case is Altered and its depiction of a craftsman’s workshop as well as its offstage evocation of the court, the Every Man plays and their use of recognizable London locales, through the major comedies—Volpone, Epicene, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair—to later engagements with the ways in which a sense of subjectivity is both produced by and produces space in The Devil is an Ass, The New Inn and The Magnetic Lady.

Keywords: Space, Spatial Theory, Playhouses, Subjectivity, Labour, London, Flow, Offstage, Character

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