Miraculous Organ

Shakespeare and ‘Catharsis’

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Noting that Aristotle’s Poetics was not published in England until 1623, this article begins by surveying the traces of cathartic thinking in early modern cultural theory, paying special attention to Sir Philip Sidney’s Defence of Poesy as the era’s most significant expression of that theory. Showing the Defence is not a sufficient cause of Shakespearean cathartic thinking, it traces extant ideas of purgation in England’s wider literary, Christian and medical traditions, arguing these provided Shakespeare with the purgative basis of his theatre. The article gives special prominence to Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, arguing its theatrical influence was a significant transmitter of purgative ideas to Shakespeare, the drama of the age, and Hamlet.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-150
Number of pages17
JournalSkenè. Journal of Theatre and Drama Studies
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2016

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Organs
Miraculous
Catharsis
William Shakespeare
England
Cultural Theory
Drama
Poesy
Poetics
Causes
Tragedy
Surveying
Hamlet

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Miraculous Organ : Shakespeare and ‘Catharsis’. / Rist, Thomas C. K.

In: Skenè. Journal of Theatre and Drama Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, 31.07.2016, p. 133-150.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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