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BOOK: Madness and drama in the age of Shakespeare by Duncan Salkeld

By ChiUni 09 Jan 2018

Dr Duncan Selkeld, Senior Lecturer in English

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In Renaissance drama, madness links personal crisis to political crisis. Duncan Salkeld covers a range of psychiatric, political and dramatic literature from the renaissance to the present day to examine the interplay between madness and drama in the plays of Shakespeare and other key dramatists, such as Jonson, Kyd, Dekker, Webster, Beaumont and Fletcher.

The cultural history of madness is a fascinating topic and Salkeld uses theorists such as Foucault, Derrida, Shoshana Felman and Luce Irigaray to explore the powerful dynamics of reason and madness, control and subversion. In reading madness as an index of contemporary power relations in Renaissance plays, Salkeld sheds light on the historical and ideological conditions which underlie our own rationality.

“The virtue of Salkeld's dense but lucidly argued work is that by showing how the plays are made up of the surrounding cultural discourses of their time, Salkeld has joined the company of other historicists who are now busy re-writing the history of madness in the early modem period.” Niels Herold, Comparative Studies in Society and History.

You can purchase Duncan's book here.

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