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Bringing together leading Jonson scholars, Ben Jonson and Posterity provides new insights into this remarkable writer's reception and legacy over four centuries. Jonson was recognised as the outstanding English writer of his day and has had a powerful influence on later generations, yet his reputation is one of the most multifaceted and conflicted for any writer of the early modern period. The volume brings together multiple critical perspectives, addressing book history, the practice of reading, theatrical influence and adaptation, the history of performance, cultural representation in portraiture, film, fiction, and anecdotes to interrogate Jonson's 'myth'. The collection will be of great interest to all Jonson scholars, as well as having a wider appeal among early modern literary scholars, theatre historians, and scholars interested in intertextuality and reception from the Renaissance to the present day.
Elizabeth Swann investigates the relationship between the physical sense of taste and taste as a figurative term associated with knowledge and judgment in early modern literature and culture. She argues that - unlike aesthetic taste in the eighteenth century - discriminative taste was entwined with embodied experience in this period. Although taste was tarnished by its associations with Adam and Eve's fall from Eden, it also functioned positively, as a source of useful, and potentially redemptive, literary, spiritual, experimental, and intersubjective knowledge. Taste and Knowledge in Early Modern England juxtaposes canonical literary works by authors such as Shakespeare with a broad range of medical, polemical, theological, philosophical, didactic, and dietetic sources. In doing so, the book reveals the central importance of taste to the experience and articulation of key developments in the literate, religious, and social cultures of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
The dramatic religious revolutions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries involved a battle over social memory. On one side, the Reformation repudiated key aspects of medieval commemorative culture; on the other, traditional religion claimed that Protestantism was a religion without memory. This volume shows how religious memory was sometimes attacked and extinguished, while at other times rehabilitated in a modified guise. It investigates how new modes of memorialisation were embodied in texts, material objects, images, physical buildings, rituals, and bodily gestures. Attentive to the roles played by denial, amnesia, and fabrication, it also considers the retrospective processes by which the English Reformation became identified as an historic event. Examining dissident as well as official versions of this story, this richly illustrated, interdisciplinary collection traces how memory of the religious revolution evolved in the two centuries following the Henrician schism, and how the Reformation embedded itself in the early modern cultural imagination.
Shakespeare's tragic characters have often been seen as forerunners of modern personhood. It has been assumed that Shakespeare was able to invent such lifelike figures in part because of his freedom from the restrictions of classical form. Curtis Perry instead argues that characters such as Hamlet and King Lear have seemed modern to us in part because they are so robustly connected to the tradition of Senecan tragedy. Resituating Shakespearean tragedy in this way - as backward looking as well as forward looking - makes it possible to recover a crucial political dimension. Shakespeare saw Seneca as a representative voice from post-republican Rome: in plays such as Coriolanus and Othello he uses Senecan modes of characterization to explore questions of identity in relation to failures of republican community. This study has important implications for the way we understand character, community, and alterity in early modern drama.
The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Screen provides a lively guide to film and television productions adapted from Shakespeare's plays. Offering an essential resource for students of Shakespeare, the companion considers topics such as the early history of Shakespeare films, the development of 'live' broadcasts from theatre to cinema, the influence of promotion and marketing, and the range of versions available in 'world cinema'. Chapters on the contexts, genres and critical issues of Shakespeare on screen offer a diverse range of close analyses, from 'Classical Hollywood' films to the BBC's Hollow Crown series. The companion also features sections on the work of individual directors Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, Franco Zeffirelli, Kenneth Branagh, and Vishal Bhardwaj, and is supplemented by a guide to further reading and a filmography.
Shakespeare and Emotion devotes sustained attention to the emotions as a novel way of exploring Shakespeare's works in their original contexts. A variety of disciplinary approaches drawn from literary, theatrical, historical, cultural and film studies brings the recent upsurge of interest in affect into conversation with some of the most urgent debates in Shakespeare studies. The volume provides both a comprehensive account of the current state of scholarship and a speculative forum for new research. Its chapters outline some important contexts for understanding Shakespeare's creativity through an emotional lens – from religion, rhetoric, and medicine, to language, acting and Bollywood – and offer a range of case studies which reveal particular emotions at work. Considering emotional and passionate experience as an animating and sometimes alienating force within the plays and poems, the volume highlights the continuing importance of Shakespeare today: for our sense of who we are and who we might become.
This book analyses the cultural and theatrical intersections of early modern temporal concepts and gendered identities. Through close readings of the works of Shakespeare, Middleton, Dekker, Heywood and others, across the genres of domestic comedy, city comedy and revenge tragedy, Sarah Lewis shows how temporal tropes are used to delineate masculinity and femininity on the early modern stage, and vice versa. She sets out the ways in which the temporal constructs of patience, prodigality and revenge, as well as the dramatic identities that are built from those constructs, and the experience of playgoing itself, negotiate a fraught opposition between action in the moment and delay in the duration. This book argues that looking at time through the lens of gender, and gender through the lens of time, is crucial if we are to develop our understanding of the early modern cultural construction of both.
This book explores the cultural and intellectual stakes of medieval and renaissance Britain's sense of itself as living in the shadow of Rome: a city whose name could designate the ancient, fallen, quintessentially human power that had conquered and colonized Britain, and also the alternately sanctified and demonized Roman Church. Wallace takes medieval texts in a range of languages (including Latin, medieval Welsh, Old English and Old French) and places them in conversation with early modern English and humanistic Latin texts (including works by Gildas, Bede, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Bacon, St. Augustine, Dante, Erasmus, Luther and Montaigne). 'The Ordinary', 'The Self', 'The Word', and 'The Dead' are taken as compass points by which individuals lived out their orientations to, and against, Rome, isolating important dimensions of Rome's enduring ability to shape and complicate the effort to come to terms with the nature of self and the structure of human community.
This urgent and provocative study explores contemporary Shakespeare performance to bring a sense of theatre as technology into view. Rather than merely using technologies, the theatre's distinctively intermedial character is essential to its complex technicity; the changing function of gesture and costume, of written documents in the making of performance, of light and sound, and of the interplay of live and recorded acting complicate the sense of theatre as a medium. In a series of probing discussions, Worthen interrogates the interaction of live and mediated acting onstage, the impact of written media from the handwritten scroll to the small-screen app in acting as a technē, the work of Original Practices as an interactive modern theatre technology, the economies of theatrical immersion, and the consequences of an emerging algorithmic theatre, providing a richly theoretical reading of the stakes of theatre as an always-emerging technology.
Early Shakespeare, 1588–1594 draws together leading scholars of text, performance, and theatre history to offer a rigorous re-appraisal of Shakespeare's early career. The contributors offer rich new critical insights into the theatrical and poetic context in which Shakespeare first wrote and his emergence as an author of note, while challenging traditional readings of his beginnings in the burgeoning theatre industry. Shakespeare's earliest works are treated on their own merit and in their own time without looking forward to Shakespeare's later achievements; contributors situate Shakespeare, in his twenties, in a very specific time, place, and cultural moment. The volume features essays about Shakespeare's early style, characterisation, and dramaturgy, together with analysis of his early co-authors, rivals, and influences (including Lyly, Spenser and Marlowe). This collection provides essential entry points to, and original readings of, the poet-dramatist's earliest extant writings and shines new light on his first activities as a professional author.
Shakespeare, Spectatorship and the Technologies of Performance examines how rapid changes in performance technologies affect modes of spectatorship for early modern drama. It argues that seemingly disparate developments – such as the revival of early modern architectural and lighting technologies, digital performance technologies and the hybrid medium of theatre broadcast – are fundamentally related. How spectators experience performances is not only affected in medium-specific ways by particular technologies, but is also connected to the plays' roots in early modern performance environments. Aebischer's examples range from the use of candlelight and re-imagined early modern architecture, to set design, performance capture technologies, digital video, social media, hologram projection, biotechnologies and theatre broadcasts. This book argues that digital and analogue performance technologies alike activate modes of ethical spectatorship, requiring audiences to adopt an ethical standpoint as they decide how to look, where to look, what medium to look through, and how to take responsibility for looking.
Voices and accents are increasingly perceived as central markers of identity in Shakespearean performance. This book presents a history of the reception of Shakespeare on the English stage with a focus on the vocal dimensions of theatrical performance. The chapters identify key moments when English accents have caused controversy, if not public outrage. Sonia Massai examines the cultural connotations associated with different accents and how accents have catalysed concerns about national, regional and social identities that are (re)constituted in and through Shakespearean performance. She argues that theatre makers and reformers, elocutionists and historical linguists, as well as directors, actors and producers have all had a major impact on how accents have evolved and changed on the Shakespearean stage over the last four hundred years. This fascinating book offers a rich historical survey alongside close performance analysis.
The Tudors are one of the best known royal families in English history. Over three generations, they constructed and maintained their status and authority during a period of social, political and religious unrest. This book examines the textual basis of Tudor royal power. Through analyses of correspondence alongside genres including proclamations and historical chronicles, the book explores the visual and verbal practices that came to symbolise monarchic authority in the Tudor era. Mel Evans combines concepts from sociolinguistics and pragmatics with corpus linguistic methods to explore the characteristics of authentic English language Tudor texts, alongside materials reporting and appropriating royal language. The book reveals a pervasive sixteenth-century royal voice - one which is central to the articulation and perpetuation of Tudor monarchic power.
Still Shakespeare and the Photography of Performance examines the place of photography in the reception of the Shakespeare canon since the invention of the camera, looking at how photographic images have shaped perceptions of historicity, performance, and Shakespearean character, and how their dissemination has affected Shakespearean authority. Barnden reveals how photography has conditioned the reception of Shakespeare's works in two key ways. Firstly, as a form of performance documentation, photographs shape the way individual performances are remembered and their positioning in relation to traditional and iconoclastic interpretations of the text. Secondly, photographs are vehicles of Shakespearean iconography, encouraging certain compositions and interpretations. Exploring both theatrical and staged art photographs, Still Shakespeare demonstrates the role of photography as a contributor to the calcification of Shakespearean quotation, advertising, and iconography, and to the attrition of the relationship between image and text whereby images become attached to narratives far beyond their original context.
Even though Shakespeare openly dramatizes aristocratic shows in his own plays, the circumstances of early modern performance at court have received relatively little critical attention. With so much written on the playwright's wide and multi-layered audiences, the entertainment of the court itself has too long been dismissed as a secondary issue. This book aims to shed fresh light on the multiple aspects of Shakespearean performances at the Elizabethan and early Stuart courts, considering all forms of drama, music, dance and other entertainment. Taking the specific scenic environment and material conditions of early modern performance into account, the chapters examine both real and dramatized court shows in order to break ground for new avenues of thought. The volume considers how early modern court shows shaped dramatic writing and what they tell us of the aesthetics and politics of the Tudor and Stuart regimes.
Whose English is 'true' English? What is its relation to the national character? These were urgent questions in Shakespeare's England just as questions of language and identity are today. Through close readings of early comedies and history plays, this study demonstrates how Shakespeare resists the shaping of ideas of the English language and national character by Protestant Reformation ideology. Tudeau-Clayton argues this ideology promoted the notional temperate and honest citizen, plainly spoken and plainly dressed, as the normative centre of (the) 'true' English. Compelling studies of two symmetrical pairs of cultural memes: 'the King's English' versus 'the gallimaufry' and 'the true-born Englishman' versus the 'Fantastical Gull', demonstrate how 'the traitor' came to be defined as much by non-conformity to cultural 'habits' as by allegiance to the monarch. Tudeau-Clayton cogently argues Shakespeare subverted this narrow, class-inflected concept of English identity, proposing instead an inclusive, mixed and unlimited community of 'our English'.
This revisionist study of Restoration literature and culture demonstrates how important the decades between 1660 and 1700 were in transforming, enlarging and diversifying English-language poetry. Wright challenges the longstanding narrative of Restoration poetry as a male, urban, London-centric form obsessed with the contemporary, arguing persuasively that this schema omits crucial literary works and relationships. Framed around three detailed case studies of neglected aspects of Restoration poetry, the book explores the depth of Spenser's influence, the importance of poetry flourishing in Ireland, the significance of natural landscapes and the vital role of women: both as readers, and writers. This book presents a diverse literary Restoration steeped in historical self-awareness and anxieties, engaged with the world outside England's capital, and open to new voices. Its impressive scope encompasses myriad little-known writers, while extensive historical research underpins its fresh perspectives on poets such as Dryden, Rochester, Cowley, Milton, Marvell and Behn.
The 72nd in the annual series of volumes devoted to Shakespeare study and production. The articles are drawn from the programme of the International Shakespeare Conference held in Stratford-upon-Avon in the summer of 2018. The theme is 'Shakespeare and War'.
The third volume in the re-launched series Shakespeare on Screen is devoted to film versions and adaptations of King Lear. Bringing together an international group of scholars, the chapters provide new insights and perspectives on what constitutes 'Learness' in a range of films, TV productions, translations, free retellings and appropriations from around the world. Taking 'screen' in its broader sense, it also covers digital material such as video archives, internet movies and YouTube videos. The volume features an invaluable film-bibliography and accompanying online resources include additional essays and an expanded version of the film-bibliography.