Research Project Title

The Subtlety of Alchemy: Formation of Alchemical Space in Early Modern London Theater

Session Type

Traditional Paper Presentation

Research Project Abstract

In Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist, the laboratory space that is constructed through the play functions as a type of alchemy, working through the operations of capitalism attempting to break through the rigid structures that have defined and ruled feudal London in the early modern period. My argument is that the main stage-space of the play is the metaphorical laboratory where-in the only alchemy that occurs is inflicted on the customers of the con. The characters represent alchemical materials, all attempting to manipulate the space they inhabit.

Session Number

RS5

Location

Weyerhaeuser 203

Abstract Number

RS5-e

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Apr 28th, 11:00 AM Apr 28th, 12:30 PM

The Subtlety of Alchemy: Formation of Alchemical Space in Early Modern London Theater

Weyerhaeuser 203

In Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist, the laboratory space that is constructed through the play functions as a type of alchemy, working through the operations of capitalism attempting to break through the rigid structures that have defined and ruled feudal London in the early modern period. My argument is that the main stage-space of the play is the metaphorical laboratory where-in the only alchemy that occurs is inflicted on the customers of the con. The characters represent alchemical materials, all attempting to manipulate the space they inhabit.