This opening chapter explores some of the arguments about the connection between dramaturgy and the imagination in order to introduce considerations of method. First, however, it seems important to explain the choice of plays on which the following chapters will focus, and how they relate to the various definitions of the genre of domestic tragedy to this project of reconstructing domestic imagination. Lena Orlin describes domestic tragedies as plays that concern ‘property owners’. This chapter is very much in sympathy with this focus upon property. It looks at four plays: A Woman Killed With Kindness, Arden of Faversham, A Yorkshire Tragedy and the English narrative of Two Lamentable Tragedies. These plays are chosen for the novelty of their presentation of the domestic, in order to expand as far as possible the significances of an approach that considers the intersection of representations of, and attitudes to, house and household.
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