Exhumations
Scopophobia in Renaissance texts
in Gothic Renaissance
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Duncan Salkeld recognizes ‘the fusion of death and desire’ on the early modern English stage as origin ‘of the kind of aesthetic now recognisable as the Gothic’. Identifying the courtesan as the embodiment of this fusion, he reads the Zoppino dialogue as a paradigmatic text signalling the shift from a dialectic relation to a fusion of fascination and revulsion with a ‘contaminating female body’ through a scopophobic experience. Salkeld traces this obsessive desire for the dead female body on to the English Renaissance stage, and to plays like The Revenger’s Tragedy and The Second Maiden’s Tragedy.

Gothic Renaissance

A reassessment

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