Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Key Fragments

The aim of this component is to make excerpts of Elizabethan and Jacobean plays available as edited text (left panel) equipped with specifically designed activity kits (right panel).

The Key Fragments have been selected in order to bring key characters and ideas from each play to the fore. The main types of annotation available for the key fragments are 'Character', 'Paraphrase' and 'Instruction'; they are accompanied by fragment specific ones, such as 'Deity/Mythical location' or 'Context'. All the annotations have been designed to be as accurate as possible; however, particularly with the 'instruction' annotations, there will be opportunity for some lively debate. The whole idea of creating these electronic resources is that they are simultaneously accessible and open to modification.

The activity kits have been designed to assist the process of reading the fragment performatively. They include: a set of instructions for how to use the page; a slideshow of interpretive steps into the fragment and beyond it, into character and dramatic techniques, and topics for futher study; an image gallery of photographs of the respective scene in different stage productions; a podcast for audio recording(s) facility; a discussion forum; and a print facility.

The fragments chosen for close examination are:

Thomas Kyd - The Spanish Tragedy: Hieronimo's speech - III.12:1-24;

Christopher Marlowe - Dr Faustus: The Pope Scene

Ben Jonson - Volpone: Key Fragment - V.12

John Webster - The White Devil V.6:214-276

NB. As with every resource on this website, this is not a finished or final piece of work but research in progress. The key fragments - from choice to activities - are open to discussion, analysis, commentary, suggestions and corrections.