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Rape’s Metatheatrical Return: Rehearsing Sexual Violence Among the Early Moderns
Theatre Journal (2006)
  • Kim Solga, The University of Western Ontario

What happens when theatre crosses the line, risks danger in the real? This paper explores the pernicious theatricalization of sexual violence in early modern England, its trouble-making uptake in Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, and Julie Taymor's contemporary response in her 1999 film version of the play. Along the way the article probes a handful of questions about theatre's social efficacy: what are the consequences of understanding theatre as a potentially malevolent form of public art and expression? How do we account for those moments when theatre poses genuine risk? And, more importantly, how do we build a response to, an ethics of, that risk into our own work as scholars and practitioners?

  • Rape,
  • England,
  • History,
  • literature
Publication Date
March, 2006
Publisher Statement
An expanded version of this article appears in my 2009 monograph, Violence Against Women in Early Modern Performance. You can link to the book elsewhere on this site.
Citation Information
Solga, Kim. "Rape’s Metatheatrical Return: Rehearsing Sexual Violence Among the Early Moderns." Theatre Journal 58.1 (2006): 53-72.