The Place of the Spectator
The Epilogue extends the book’s consideration of theatrical mediation to consider the place of the spectator. Reflecting on the broader politics of the early modern stage’s urban turn, the epilogue raises the possibility of a theatrocracy constituted by what Jacques Rancière refers to as the “emancipated spectator.” Rancière’s work offers a way to think about a city stage that licenses its spectators even as it attempts to keep them in their place. Jonson’s The Staple of News raises similar questions about the place of the audience. For all their differences, what both Jonson and Rancière recognize is the theater’s capacity to enact, even as it represents, the disruptive encounters of urban plurality.
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