Abstract

This article argues that The Castle of Perserverance both explores the problem of worldly dwelling and constructs the play itself as a place to dwell, demonstrating that the idea of “dwelling” is vitally connected to the idea of poetic form. Through the technologies of stagecraft and poetic craft, the play creates a space set apart from the world, much like the castle at its center. Mankind's failure to remain in the Castle reflects the play's emphasis on bodily vulnerability. So too do many poetic parallels that demonstrate both the fragility and the resilience of form. The play's handling of poetic forms—the stanza and the linking devices of rhyme and repetition—reflects an idea of perseverance constituted by pauses, ruptures, and fresh starts. Reading the play as both a poem and a play reveals a self-conscious artifice that uses poetic form to embody theological claims.

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