The Courtesan and the Bed: Successful Tricking in Middleton's A Mad World, my Masters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper argues that the courtesan and her bed are central to Middleton’s consideration of theatricality in A Mad World My Masters. The play achieves a radical representation of female sexuality through a combination of theatrical and generic innovations: in MIddleton’s attention to space and stage properties (exemplified through the bed as stage property) and through meta-theatrical playing with anti-theatrical discourses. This article thus participates in the material and spatial “turn” of recent criticism of early modern drama. Middleton’s courtesan celebrates theatrical and sexual autonomy, where both body and stage are metonymised through the physical stage property of the bed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-356
Number of pages24
JournalModern Language Review
Volume109
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014

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