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  • Cited by 21
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
February 2013
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Book description

This strong and timely collection provides fresh insights into how Shakespeare's plays and poems were understood to affect bodies, minds and emotions. Contemporary criticism has had surprisingly little to say about the early modern period's investment in imagining literature's impact on feeling. Shakespearean Sensations brings together scholarship from a range of well-known and new voices to address this fundamental gap. The book includes a comprehensive introduction by Katharine A. Craik and Tanya Pollard and comprises three sections focusing on sensations aroused in the plays; sensations evoked in the playhouse; and sensations found in the imaginative space of the poems. With dedicated essays on Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and Twelfth Night, the collection explores how seriously early modern writers took their relationship with their audiences and reveals new connections between early modern literary texts and the emotional and physiological experiences of theatregoers.


'The volume’s contributors engage in meaningful dialogues with drama, poetry, and primary sources; with a growing body of secondary materials; and above all with one another. Both uninitiated readers and long-time students of embodiment in literature will find much to deepen their understanding of the physiological impacts of reading and playgoing … Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above.'

P. D. Collington Source: Choice

'… while each chapter offers a fascinating series of close readings in its own right, as a whole the book reminds us of the importance of thinking about theatre and reading as transitive acts - that is, things that impact upon something else.'

Erin Sullivan Source: Cahiers Élisabéthains

'Scholars and students alike will benefit from the lucid writing and strong, productive reinterpretations to be found in these essays - and in many other arguments throughout the collection as well. Together, the essays demonstrate that early modern conceptions of the body as a porous, volatile, affectible organism have surprising continuities as well as discontinuities with our own.'

Jeremy Lopez Source: Sharp News

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