Accepting the Failure of Human and State Bodies: Interactions of Syphilis and Space in "Hamlet" and "The Knight of the Burning Pestle"
Master of Arts (MA)
First Advisor's Name
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Name
Shakespeare, Beaumont, Fletcher, disease, syphilis, Foucault, heterotopia, Elizabeth I, economics, capital structures
Date of Defense
The purpose of this thesis is, first, to explore the presence and meaning of Foucault’s heterotopia within William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”and Beaumont and Fletcher’s “The Knight of the Burning Pestle.” The heterotopia is a privileged space of self-reflection created by individuals or societies in crisis. In each play, the presence of crisis is explained though the metaphor of syphilis; to which individual characters respond by entering the reflective space of the heterotopia in order to countenance and “cure” their afflictions. The second purpose of this thesis is to examine the ways in which the crises acted upon the stage reflect pressing social anxieties of late – Elizabethan and early- Jacobean England: succession to the throne and shifting market structure. Both playwrights create heterotopic space for their audience through the structure of their dramatic work, and ask their audience to enter this reflective space, and consider –and learn from – their remarks upon the state of society.
Radford, Laura E., "Accepting the Failure of Human and State Bodies: Interactions of Syphilis and Space in "Hamlet" and "The Knight of the Burning Pestle"" (2013). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1034.
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