“Rome, etc.”: Sejanus, Julius Caesar, and the Prodigious City
This chapter takes as its focus the relation between dramatic space and theatrical space as it is negotiated in two plays, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Jonson’s Sejanus his Fall. In a number of ways it continues the work of the previous chapter, extending the argument that with the staging of crowds plays sought to negotiate their relationship to their urban audience, the distracted multitude. In place of the fairly straightforward dynamics discussed in chapter 4, however, both Julius Caesar and Sejanus present the relationship between drama, theater, crowd, and city in complex and even contradictory terms. Although both plays manifestly connect what takes place on the stage to what takes place in the theater, an easy parallel between dramatic crowd and urban audience is never sustained. Rather, exploring the links between stage and crowded city leads to a complex consideration of not only the social and symbolic place of the theater in the city, but also the dramatic cohesion and integrity of the play.
KeywordsFurnace Dust Attenuation Coherence Smoke
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