Date of Award


Degree Type

Restricted Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This dissertation explores the nature of the relationship among Shakespeare’s dramatic works, playgoer perception and imagination, and the theatrical circumstances that brought them together. Shakespeare’s plays anticipate, produce, and participate in what I call deep theatrical space—the conceptual, social, and physical environment in which the dramatic works were created, presented, encountered, and perceived. In offering an exploration of Shakespearean theatrical space that focuses primarily on the exchanges and symbiotic cooperation among spatial modes, and on the interactivity of language, perception, embodiment, and environment in experiencing a play in performance, I seek to bridge what is considered by many to be the gulf that separates the logics of text and theater. My focus on how spatial dynamics operate in Shakespeare’s dramatic works allows for interpretations that embrace the complexity of both the textual and theatrical elements of the plays that co-existed in the early modern theatrical community. By providing a historical and theoretical account of the sensorial conditions that generate an early modern theatrical experience, I attempt to chart the relationship among spatial modes that governs playgoers’ experience of theatrical performance. In an introduction and four chapters, I address what it means for playgoers to interact with player-characters in a performance environment, to perceive theatrical space with embodied minds, and to manipulate and be manipulated by spatial representation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.