King of shadows
early modern characters and actors
Considering references to characters as shadows in A Midsummer Night's Dream and its metatheatrical elements, Cook focuses on how Shakespeare's plays make audiences aware of the construction of drama as an act that is aware of both the embodied condition of actors and the projected creation of characters. Character is an attribute that requires comprehension if drama is to be in any way coherent, but such understanding arises out of simulations which are dependent upon culturally specific categories. After discussing character scholarship in the context of cognitive linguistics and embodied and distributed cognition, Cook, observing the rude mechanicals' performance and multiple overlapping identities, argues that such complex cognitive artifacts create narrative gaps that can be fruitfully analyzed in the context of consciousness and audience experience.
Cook, A. (2016)., King of shadows: early modern characters and actors, in P. Budra & C. Werier (eds.), Shakespeare and consciousness, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 99-118.
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