Mitchell, Charles Books
About the author: Dr. Charles Mitchell is currently Assistant Professor at Loyola College in Maryland. He holds a BA from Ithaca College, an MA from Boston University, and a PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Previously, he taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For two years, he was Managing Editor of On-Stage Studies, a peer-reviewed, annual theatre journal.2004 0-7734-6553-7
This study demonstrates how Shakespeare utilized a strategy of manipulating the language and conventions of public execution in his plays. Paying special attention to the poetics of hangings at Tyburn, the most dominant place of execution, Shakespeare’s subversion of this well-known (and uneasy) discourse between the public and the state is illuminated by close readings of The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus, Richard III, Measure for Measure, and The Tempest. It uses audience-reception theory and new historicism, as well as non-dramatic texts (popular literature and ballads) to demonstrate the knowledge and experiences of execution that the audiences of Shakespeare’s time took with them to the theatre. With illustrations.