© 2018

The Early Modern Theatre of Cruelty and its Doubles

Artaud and Influence


Part of the Avant-Gardes in Performance book series (AGP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Amanda Di Ponio
    Pages 1-10
  3. The Theatre and Its Double

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
  4. Elizabethan Social History: Doubles of the Theatre

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 45-45
    2. Amanda Di Ponio
      Pages 87-117
  5. The Sources of Dramatic Cruelty

  6. The Theatre of Cruelty in Performance

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 191-191
    2. Amanda Di Ponio
      Pages 193-211
    3. Amanda Di Ponio
      Pages 233-235
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 237-270

About this book


This book examines the influence of the early modern period on Antonin Artaud’s seminal work The Theatre and Its Double, arguing that Elizabethan and Jacobean drama and their early modern context are an integral part of the Theatre of Cruelty and essential to its very understanding. The chapters draw links between the early modern theatrical obsession with plague and regeneration, and how it is mirrored in Artaud’s concept of cruelty in the theatre. As a discussion of the influence of Shakespeare and his contemporaries on Artaud, and the reciprocal influence of Artaud on contemporary interpretations of early modern drama, this book is an original addition to both the fields of early modern theatre studies and modern drama. 


Antonin Artaud Elizabethan drama Jacobean drama Early Modern drama Avant-garde theatre Plague Grotesque Sublime Bakhtin Girard Bataille Seneca

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Huron University CollegeLondon, ONCanada

About the authors

Amanda Di Ponio is Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Huron University College in London, Ontario, Canada. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of St Andrews. Her areas of interest include drama and performance, early modern social history, and twentieth-century theory.

Bibliographic information