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date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, European cultures saw drama and theatre as endowed with extraordinary relevance, celebrating their social and aesthetic functions, as well as those transitively metaphorical features for which this period coined the term ‘theatricality’. This neologism aptly conveys the pervasiveness of theatre and the theatrical in these decades and goes some way towards explaining why many Romantic manifestoes and diatribes were primarily concerned with the stage. Drama and theatre were crucial laboratories for the creation of new ways of seeing, forms and genres, notions of the body, and models of subjectivity. As forms of entertainment, metaphors, or hermeneutic tools, Romantic-period drama and theatre were visual vantage points for the examination of contemporary culture and history and their endless transformations. As such, they paved the way for subsequent dramatic and theatrical revolutions and for the conception of modernity emerging in the later nineteenth century.

Keywords: spectacle, visuality, body, performance, subjectivity, technology

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