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Title: Hunger, appetite and the politics of the Renaissance stage
Author: Williamson, Matthew Marlingford
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 6605
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores the role played by the representation of hunger and appetite in the politics of the Renaissance stage. It adopts a Marxist approach, drawing on the work of theorists such as Raymond Williams, and emphasizing the significance of concepts such as class, the base/superstructure model, and lived experience. In order to understand the particular qualities which could be invested in hunger and appetite on the stage, the thesis situates the representation of these drives in the context of the material factors which defined the early modern theatre itself. The sale of food and the practicalities of staging both hunger and appetite are analysed as determining influences upon the content of specific dramatic works. The thesis demonstrates the extent to which hunger and appetite were deployed in the early modern theatre as a device by which playing companies interrogated the economic polarisation, urbanisation and imperialist expansion of the period. It argues that the depiction of hunger and appetite lent ideological form to underlying material differences between the period’s residual and emergent classes. The thesis builds upon existing criticism on a range of subjects, particularly poverty, hunger, and recent innovative work in food studies, but aims to synthesise the strengths of these relatively distinct critical areas by stressing the conceptual interrelation of hunger and appetite in the period. It explores the role played by hunger and appetite in the representation of service, gifts, sexual desire, imperialism and revolt. By rooting its understanding of hunger and appetite in the period’s politics, the thesis aims to demonstrate their significance as both a subject of political importance and a means by which wider political issues could be conceptualised.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available