This collection considers issues that have emerged in Early Modern Studies in the past fifteen years relating to understandings of mind and body in Shakespeare’s world. Informed by The Body in Parts, the essays in this book respond also to the notion of an early modern ‘body-mind’ in which Shakespeare and his contemporaries are understood in terms of bodily parts and cognitive processes. What might the impact of such understandings be on our picture of Shakespeare’s theatre or on our histories of the early modern period, broadly speaking? This book provides a wide range of approaches to this challenge, covering histories of cognition, studies of early modern stage practices, textual studies, and historical phenomenology, as well as new cultural histories by some of the key proponents of this approach at the present time. Because of the breadth of material covered, full weight is given to issues that are hotly debated at the present time within Shakespeare Studies: presentist scholarship is presented alongside more historically-focused studies, for example, and phenomenological studies of material culture are included along with close readings of texts. What the contributors have in common is a refusal to read the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries either psychologically or materially; instead, these essays address a willingness to study early modern phenomena (like the Elizabethan stage) as manifesting an early modern belief in the embodiment of cognition.

chapter |12 pages


Re-cognising the Body-Mind in Shakespeare's Theatre

chapter |14 pages

Proteus Agonistes

Shakespeare, Bacon, and the “Torture” of Nature

chapter |20 pages

Plays, Playing, and Make-Believe

Thinking and Feeling in Shakespearean Drama

chapter |20 pages

Warmth and Affection in 1 Henry IV

Why No One Likes Prince Hal 1

part |4 pages

Subjectivity and the Mind-Body: Extending the Self on the Renaissance Stage

chapter |15 pages

“Some Fury Pricks Me On”

Satanic Thinking in Thomas Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness

part |6 pages

The Unbearable Permeability of Bodies and Minds

chapter |22 pages

“Make Me Not Sighted Like the Basilisk”

Vision and Contagion in The Winter's Tale

part |5 pages

Seeing the Spider: Cognitive Ecologies in The Winter's Tale

chapter |19 pages

“There's Magic in The Web of It”

Skin, Mind, and Webs of Touch in Othello

part |4 pages

The Play of Time in Cognition

chapter |21 pages

Altered States

Hamlet and Early Modern Head Trauma

chapter |19 pages

Cogito Ergo Theatrum

Redistributing Cognition on the Early Modern Stage

chapter |18 pages

Belly-Mind Relationship in Early Modern Culture

Digestion, Ventriloquism, and the Second Brain

chapter |10 pages