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By Kristen Poole
Bringing jointly contemporary scholarship on faith and the spatial mind's eye, Kristen Poole examines how altering spiritual ideals and remodeling conceptions of area have been at the same time informative within the a long time round 1600. Supernatural Environments in Shakespeare's England explores a chain of cultural areas that targeted consciousness on interactions among the human and the demonic or divine: the deathbed, purgatory, demonic contracts and their spatial encompass, Reformation cosmologies and a panorama newly topic to cartographic surveying. It examines the likely incongruous coexistence of conventional spiritual ideals and new mathematical, geometrical methods of perceiving the surroundings. Arguing that the past due 16th- and early seventeenth-century degree dramatized the phenomenological stress that resulted from this uneasy confluence, this groundbreaking learn considers the advanced nature of supernatural environments in Marlowe's general practitioner Faustus and Shakespeare's Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth and The Tempest.
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Additional info for Supernatural Environments in Shakespeare's England: Spaces of Demonism, Divinity, and Drama
As a space that is at once localized and an integral part of a wider cultural, representational, and performative network, the early modern stage thus allows for both focused and expansive imaginative engagement – both then and now – with these changes in spatial epistemology and practice. And a fundamental consequence of these changes was the inherent paradox of theater itself, at once a site of geometric stability and metamorphosis. Henry Turner, in the context of a chapter called “Theatre as a Spatial Art,” observes that “[e]ach type of theatrical sign may be reduced to two primary iconic forms .
The specific environmental epistemology this engendered – an epistemology that is pointedly trinitarian – undergirds The Tempest. Finally, the book’s Epilogue calls for the necessity of linking the “religious turn” and the “spatial turn” of recent scholarship, a linkage which brings into focus a notion of space that differs dramatically from the one presumed in much recent work on early modern cartography. I begin now with one of the most significant obstacles in scholarly approaches to the supernatural, the problem of our disbelief.
And yet the spatial order that was presented in the plays of the period was hardly consistent or epistemologically coherent. Hopkins notes that “the structures by which space itself had been perceived, used, and understood for centuries were changing, and nowhere in England were these changes more acute than in London, where, in the decades bracketing 1600, a range of social pressures brought about a radical change in representational practices,” but he stresses that this was “a gradual, uneven, sporadic, and inconsistent transition that resulted in a period of spatial hybridity” (p.
Supernatural Environments in Shakespeare's England: Spaces of Demonism, Divinity, and Drama by Kristen Poole