Breaking new ground in the study of performance theory, this maverick and powerful project from renowned Renaissance scholar and queer theorist Simon Shepherd presents a unique take on theory and the physical reality of theatre.Examining a range of material, Theatre, Body, Pleasure addresses a significant gap in the literary and drama studies arenas and explores the interplay of bodily value, the art of bodies and the physical responses to that art. It explains first how the body makes meaning and carries value. Then it describes the relationships between time and space and body. The book's features include:* large historical range, from medieval to postmodern * case studies offering close readings of written texts * examples of how to 'read for the body', exploring written text as a 'discipline' of the body * breadth of cultural reference, from stage plays through to dance culture * a range of theoretical approaches, including dance analysis and phenomenology Writing in accessible prose, Shepherd introduces new ways of analyzing dramatic text and has produced a book which is part theatre history, part dramatic criticism and part theatrical tour de force. Students of drama, theatre and performance studies and cultural studies will find this an absolute must read.