Thesis Title: The Plurality of the Play: Necessity and Contingency in the Implicit Action of Shakespeare's Drama
Supervisor: Prof. Simon Palfrey
Research Interests: Early modern poetry and drama; the intersection between philosophy and literature; Shakespearean editorial practice; the ethics of interpretation
Doctoral Research: My research is directed towards exploring the consequences – both ethical and hermeneutic – of Shakespeare’s dramatic plurality. Broadly speaking, I am interested in dramaturgy, and my thesis is focusing on the theatrical instructions (e.g., implicit action-prompts, implied stage directions) that Shakespeare feeds to the players through the dialogue that characters speak. More than just a straightforward analysis of Shakespeare’s dramatic craft, however, my approach to dramaturgy is informed by the philosophy of modality; by paying attention to the gaps, lacunae and ‘open silences’ of the Shakespearean playtext, at the heart of my work is an overriding concern with moments of epistemic doubt or uncertainty – instances where the dramatic action might be realised in an array of alternative ways. Working with the premise that all these alternatives are equally valid versions of some dramatic reality, I explore the implications of this for a variety of core critical concerns: questions of motive and action, cause and effect, agency, free-will, as well as problems of knowledge and knowing.