Baroque Techniques of Representation in Howard Barker’s The Castle

Document Type : Research Paper



The writers of this article seek to investigate the
dramaturgy of Howard Barker in his The Castle, staged in 1985 by Royal
Shakespeare Theatre, in order to discover and lay bare the baroque techniques
of representation in this political paly. Relying on Deleuze’s idea of baroque
architecture and Foucault’s theories of baroque representation, the writers try
to introduce this play as the expression of the delicacy, intricacy and dread
of the baroque architecture of the labyrinthine castle. The castle is the
miniature image of the way the fictive world of the play takes shape. The
article concludes that, Barker’s political theatre, unlike the popular notions
of political drama which take representation of outer reality as the criterion
of political art, views representation of representation as the only feasible
kind of representation and by rejecting the possibility and even practicality
of representing the real world, moves towards the creation of a play rich with
the convolutedness of baroque architecture.