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.
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- School of Humanities - Principal Lecturer
- Centre for Arts and Wellbeing
- Performance and Communities Research and Enterprise Group