Publisher description for Eroticism on the Renaissance stage : transcendence, desire, and the limits of the visible / Celia R. Daileader.


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Counter Celia Daileader explores the paradoxes of eroticism on the stage in early modern England, where women and their bodies (represented by boy actors) were materially absent and yet symbolically central. Her starting point is the theoretical and theatrical problem of sexual acts that take place offstage, which is a paradigm for the limits of the visible in Renaissance theatre. The space that lies offstage becomes an imaginary realm, encompassing both spiritual and erotic transcendence. In accounting for its power, Daileader looks to the suppression of religious drama in England and the resulting secularization of the stage. Focusing on the link between absence and desire, and discussing a wide range of drama from Corpus Christi plays to Shakespeare, her argument draws together questions about sexuality and the sacred, in the bodies - of Christ and of woman - that are banished from the early modern English stage.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: English drama Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600 History and criticism, Women and literature England History 16th century, Women and literature England History 17th century, Erotic literature, English History and criticism, English drama 17th century History and criticism, Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 Characters Women, Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 Views on sex, Middleton, Thomas, d, 1627 Characters Women, Transcendence (Philosophy) in literature, Body, Human, in literature, Desire in literature, Renaissance England, Sex in literature