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Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies

Victoria University in the University of Toronto
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Early Modern Interdisciplinary Graduate Forum VII

March 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Paul Harrison (English) “‘I had rather see a Brathman, or a Gymnosophist yet:’ Ben Jonson’s War on Occult Knowledge Claims”

Bernice Mittertreiner Neal (English) “Stage Props Take Their Places: Testing a Methodology”


Bernice Mittertreiner Neal (English). This paper argues that any play features a unique property strategy, one that intervenes critically into the authority of the characters/actors who employ them. It examines such strategies in three early modern plays: The Tragedie of Dido, Queen of Carthage, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Arden of Faversham, by creating a series of property charts to trace when, where, and with whom the props appear onstage in each play. Studies by Frances Teague, Andrew Sofer, and Douglas Bruster have examined how individual early modern props may “speak” in a particular play or across plays. With these studies in mind, my paper will offer a distant reading of how props signify collectively in a play, testing an innovative critical approach to the early modern props’ ability to perform and exercise authority in Elizabethan and Jacobean playhouses.


March 15, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm