student profile: Ms Gabriella Edelstein


Thesis work

Thesis title: Censorship, Collaboration, and the Construction of Authorship in Early Modern Theatre

Supervisors: Huw GRIFFITHS

Thesis abstract:

My project explores how the burgeoning concept of authorship was constructed and constrained by censorship and collaboration during the Jacobean period. I examine the reasons why certain collaboratively written plays were censored on stage or in print, and how playwrights and political authorities alike use the language of co-authorship to either prove the innocence, or guilt, of the playmakers. There is an tension between a playwrights’ assertion of ownership – and therefore responsibility – over a text, and their working within a playmaking culture of dispersed responsibility. This project is interested in the authority that comes from assigning names to a play, and the extent to which the state is able to delineate the boundaries of authorship. These issues shall be explored through literary and historical analysis of plays such as Eastward Ho, Sir Thomas More, Sir John van Olden Barnavelt and Neptune's Triumph for the Return of Albion.

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