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Whitehead, Angus
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This thesis examines some of Shakespeare’s architectural allusions in his plays. The variety of approaches throughout the thesis derive from my interdisciplinary method. Examining architectural allusions in Shakespeare’s plays alongside his biography and architectural evidence that may be obtained from surviving buildings and records, this thesis demonstrates how an architecture-centred approach can reveal actions and themes, presenting Shakespearean architectural strategies that have not been systematically examined before. First from an exploration of Shakespeare’s architectural encounter, and then an examination of the architectural allusions across his other plays, followed by a close reading of Macbeth and Hamlet, I argue for the following:

1. There are a considerable number of architectural references that may be related to buildings which are closely associated with Shakespeare.

2. Shakespeare’s architectural representation encompasses multifarious modes, ranging from building typology, architectural layout, façade and built form, materiality, building access and control, construction, and interior decoration.

3. Shakespeare’s architectural language often relates to architectural roles and functions, exploiting emotions and feelings, or cultural association through attaching them with architectural properties.

My thesis organizes architectural layout/spaces of country houses in Shakespeare’s plays as a set of locations/images, presenting his architectural creation as a kind of communication system for dramatic actions and themes. Arranging and presenting physical spaces resembling those of country houses, it illustrates that architectural composition/essential features evidenced in Shakespeare’s plays are mostly theoretical and notional, having been creatively exploited to impart meanings and create dramatic effects. The core idea of Shakespeare’s architectural thinking that this thesis presents is that as an entity, it is flexible and ever-changing, enabling conceptual buildings and their spaces to be deployed imaginatively. Through closely examining facets of architecture alluded to in the plays as well as architectural practice, this study seeks to offer architecture as a possible area for further study of dramatic actions in Shakespeare’s plays.
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PN56.A73 Yon
Appears in Collections:Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

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