Staged Properties in Early Modern English Drama

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This collection of essays studies the material, economic and dramatic roles played by stage properties in early modern English drama. Often, the received wisdom about the commercial stage in Shakespeare's time is that it was a bare one, uncluttered by objects. Staged Properties offers a critique of this view. The volume offers valuable evidence and insight into the modes of production, circulation and exchange that brought such properties as sacred garments, household furnishings, pawned objects and even false beards on to the stage. Departing from previous scholarship which has mainly focused solely on the symbolic or iconographic aspects of props, these essays explore their material dimensions, and in particular, their status as a special form of property. The volume reflects upon what the material history of stage props may tell us about the changing demographics, modes of production and consumption, and notions of property that contributed to the rise of the commercial theatre in London.