- Early Modern Theatricality
- List of Illustrations
- list of Abbreviations
- Notes On Contributors
- Dumb show
- Index of Plays
- General Index
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines how we see desire on stage, especially in the absence of a body, through an analysis of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Focusing on the absence of the Indian boy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it considers whether desire can be present without a physicality to guarantee its presence on stage. It asks why Shakespeare does not produce the Indian boy as a fully materialized physical body and looks at two different modes of theatricality operating around the changeling boy’s physically absent body: the first might be hypothetically attributed to ‘Shakespeare’ and the second to ‘later productions’. It shows that the absent cause of desire and the inability to correlate desire to a fixed body seems to be a hallmark specifically of Shakespearean theatricality.
Madhavi Menon is Professor of Literature at American University. She is the author of Wanton Words: Rhetoric and Sexuality in English Renaissance Drama (Toronto, 2004), Unhistorical Shakespeare: Queer Theory in Shakespearean Literature and Film (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), and editor of Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Duke, 2011).
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