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Winner of the MRDS 2013 David Bevington Award for Best New Book in Early Drama Studies! Many unspoken assumptions permeated the experience of performance in Shakespeare's theatre. Drawing on scientific treatises, murder pamphlets, travel narratives, dream manuals, religious sermons, festive sports, and other fascinating primary sources, Lin reconstructs playgoers' typical ways of thinking and feeling and demonstrates how these culturally-trained habits of mind shaped not only dramatic narratives but also the presentational dynamics of onstage action. Combining literary criticism, theatre history, and performance theory, this ground-breaking study explores received ideas about mimesis, spectacle, and semiotics as it uncovers the ways in which early modern performance functioned as a material medium, revising and producing social attitudes and practices.