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Playing Sick : Performances of Illness in the Age of Victorian Medicine.

Author: Meredith Conti
Publisher: Milton : Routledge, 2018.
Series: Routledge advances in theatre and performance studies.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Few life occurrences shaped individual and collective identities within Victorian-era society as critically as witnessing or suffering from illness. The prevalence of illness narratives within late nineteenth-century popular culture was made manifest on the period’s British and American stages, where theatrical embodiments of illness were indisputable staples of actors’ repertoires.Playing Sick: Performances of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Conti, Meredith.
Playing Sick : Performances of Illness in the Age of Victorian Medicine.
Milton : Routledge, ©2018
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Meredith Conti
ISBN: 9781351787703 1351787705 9781315203331 1315203332 9781351787710 1351787713 9781351787697 1351787691
OCLC Number: 1047912808
Description: 1 online resource (233 pages).
Contents: Cover; Half Title; Series Title; Title Page; Copyright Page; Dedication Page; Table of Contents; List of Figures; Abbreviations; Acknowledgments; Introduction; An illness lived; An illness performed; Notes; Bibliography; Part I: Performing consumption; Chapter 1: Rosy cheeks and red handkerchiefs: Performing Camille's consumption before, during, and after the contagionist turn; The making of the consumptive myth; Unmaking the consumptive myth; Scripting consumption in Dumas's La dame aux camé lias; Playing the romantic disease; Playing clinical tuberculosis; Notes; Bibliography. Chapter 2: Foreign invasions: The transatlantic consumptives of Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora DuseThe sublime and the grotesque in Bernhardt's neo-romantic Camille; The myth unmasked: Eleonora Duse's naturalistic Marguerite; Camille and the death of consumptive sentiment; Notes; Bibliography; Part II: Performing drug addiction; Chapter 3: Early dramaturgies of drug addiction in stage adaptations of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Sherlock Holmes; The nineteenth-century pharmacopeia; Imagining addiction in the late nineteenth century. Adapting addiction for the late nineteenth-century popular stageLove in the time of narcotics; Notes; Bibliography; Chapter 4: Master, martyr, monster: The addict archetypes of William Hooker Gillette and Richard Mansfield; Dosing and detecting in Gillette's Sherlock Holmes; "His failure is a disease": Virtue and vice in Mansfield's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; The anatomy of a fin-de-siè cle addict; Notes; Bibliography; Part II: Performing mental illness; Chapter 5: The madwoman in the theatre: Normalizing the disordered female mind in Ellen Terry's Lyceum repertoire. "A mind diseased" in Ellen Terry's Lyceum repertoireThe hysteric and the madwoman; Notes; Bibliography; Chapter 6: Neurotic princes and enfeebled kings: Stigmatizing male mental illness in Henry Irving's mad roles; Mathias, 1871; Hamlet, 1878; King Lear, 1892; Irving's emasculated madmen; The doctor is out: The closing of the Lyceum laboratory; Notes; Bibliography; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
Series Title: Routledge advances in theatre and performance studies.

Abstract:

Few life occurrences shaped individual and collective identities within Victorian-era society as critically as witnessing or suffering from illness. The prevalence of illness narratives within late nineteenth-century popular culture was made manifest on the period’s British and American stages, where theatrical embodiments of illness were indisputable staples of actors’ repertoires.Playing Sick: Performances of Illness in the Age of Victorian Medicine reconstructs how actors embodied three of the era’s most provocative illnesses: tuberculosis, drug addiction, and mental illness. In placing performances of illness within wider medicocultural contexts, Meredith Conti analyzes how such depictions confirmed or resisted salient constructions of diseases and the diseased. Conti’s case studies, which range from Eleonora Duse’s portrayal of the consumptive courtesan Marguerite Gautier to Henry Irving’s performance of senile dementia in King Lear, help to illuminate the interdependence of medical science and theatre in constructing nineteenth-century illness narratives. Through reconstructing these performances, Conti isolates from the period’s acting practices a lexicon of embodied illness: a flexible set of physical and vocal techniques that performers employed to theatricalize the sick body. In an age when medical science encouraged a gradual decentering of the patient from their own diagnosis and treatment, late nineteenth-century performances of illness symbolically restored the sick to positions of visibility and consequence.

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