Ballads and Performance: The Multimodal Stage in Early Modern England

"The True Form and Shape of Caliban: Monstrosity and Wonder in 'The Tempest'"

In his examination of monstrous birth ballads from a modern medical perspective, A. W. Bates expresses surprise that congenital defects were such a popular subject for ballads, questioning why this one medical problem would be singled out by ballad writers when “None of the thousands of ballads registered with the Stationers’ Company has as its subject disease or disability other than birth defects” (“Birth Defects Described in Elizabethan Ballads,” 203).

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