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Abstract

This article examines the effect of the ‘spatial turn’ on the study of Shakespeare and early modern drama. In recent years, there has been a new attentiveness to space in the humanities – the so-called spatial turn – prompted by the work of philosophers Michel Foucault, Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau and Gaston Bachelard. Such work demonstrates that spaces are political, cultural and imaginative entities for the societies who create them. This thinking has affected the study of early modern drama and its relationship with spaces, like the playhouse and the city, and spatial developments, such as the advances in cartography. The article outlines the key terms from this critical field, including ‘spatial practice’, ‘representational space’ and ‘cultural geography’. Scholarship in this area has been important not only because performance is spatial art but also because many political and economic developments represented on the Shakespearean stage concern society's changing use and experience of space.