Explores the intertwined histories of bodily subjectivity, commodity culture and theatricality in late medieval England. In this examination of popular drama in the period from 1350 to 1520, the author argues that many types of performances during this time represented cultural evasions to the imposition of disciplinary power. The medieval theatre was a social site where resistance, masked from the full scrutiny of authority by theatricality, was practised, articulated, and enacted. This text examines three key discourses of authoritarian bodily and commodity control - clothing laws, conduct literature and Books of Hours - and pairs them with three kinds of theatrical performances that enact resistance to disciplining codes - Robin Hood performances, morality plays and Corpus Christi pageants. Considering the contradictions and inconsistencies in the repressive official discourses, the author analyzes the ways in which the staging of forbidden acts like cross-dressing, social and sexual misbehaviour, and violence against the body challenged these discourses.
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(234mm x 156mm x 15mm)
University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
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