chapter  5
13 Pages

Monstrous Teardrops: The Materiality of Early Modern Affection


This chapter concerns by reintroducing an institution that was fundamental to much of the period's economic, theological, and political life: the institution of the corporation. Henry S. Turner examines these arguments by way of a detailed analysis of Thomas Dekker's The Shoemaker's Holiday, a play that demonstrates both how central and how complex corporate ideas could become in the drama of the period. When the King appears at the end of the play to consecrate the foundation of Leadenhall by Eyre, Dekker shows that corporate life, however self-sustaining, always requires some form of legitimating authority to ensure its continuity. The Shoemaker's Holiday is not simply a study of economic transformation and new political alignments but a subtle defense against the anti-theatrical polemic that surrounded it. The theater had become 'political 'because it had itself become a distinct mode of association alongside, and in many ways outside, other corporate groups such as the guilds, companies, or the City itself.