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The Hermaphrodite King: Polysemy and the failure of unity in William Davenant and Inigo Jones’ Salmacida Spolia by Debbie Hicks

This article interrogates the presentation of monarchy in Salmacida Spolia, a court masque staged during the escalating political turmoil that culminated in the execution of Charles I. By approaching the work through both William Davenant’s script and accompanying commentary and through Inigo Jones’ scenic and costume designs, the relationship between textual and visual signification will be examined, establishing that semiotic instability discursively challenged and undermined aspects of the Caroline regime, rather than bolstering monolithic royalism. The resultant complexity in signification allowed contemporary spectators to renew their hermeneutical approach - an emancipatory process at odds with the putative pro-monocracy perspective of the work.

Date created: 
Monday, April 23, 2018
Attribution for this resource:
The Hermaphrodite King: Polysemy and the failure of unity in William Davenant and Inigo Jones’ Salmacida Spolia by Debbie Hicks, All rights reserved.