Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Edel Semple
2019 January
Staged Normality in Shakespeare's England
"Transgressive Normality and Normal Transgression in Sir Thomas More"
Optional Fields
Sir Thomas More; Shakespeare; early modern theatre; drama; normality; transgression; common; disorder; class; servants; London; everyday; martyr; rebellion
"Transgressive normality and normal transgression in Sir Thomas More" Firstly, this chapter argues that the ‘normalising’ of transgression in Sir Thomas More contributes to the play’s questioning of authority and its power to engage its audience. Secondly, this chapter argues that the play’s depiction of the familiar and the banal creates a conflict that is central to its critique of power structures. More is frequently singled out as unique but the recognisable, commonplace aspects of his life are used to make him a home-grown hero worthy of empathy, an everyman who falls victim to the vagaries of the state. As such a figure, More is relatable to the audience, his fate is made compelling, and he is ideally positioned to expose the inconsistencies in and perils of state power to the individual.
Rory Loughnane and Edel Semple
Grant Details