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Drugs and Theater in Early Modern England - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Drugs and Theater in Early Modern England

Tanya Pollard


This book asks why Shakespeare and his contemporary playwrights were so preoccupied with drugs and poisons, and why both critics and supporters of the theater as well as playwrights themselves so frequently adopted a chemical vocabulary to describe the effects of the theater on audiences. Drawing on original medical and literary research, it is shown that the potency of the link between drugs and plays in the period demonstrates a model of drama radically different than our own — a model in which plays exert an immediate impact on spectators’ bodies as well as minds. Early modern physiology he ... More

Keywords: Shakespeare, poisons, medicine, body, imagination, emotions

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780199270835
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199270835.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Tanya Pollard, author
Assistant Professor of English Literature at Montclair State University
Author Webpage