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What did childhood mean in early modern England? To answer this question, this book examines two key contemporary institutions: the school and the stage. The rise of grammar schools and universities, and of the professional stage featuring boy actors, reflect the culture's massive investment in children. In this collection, an international group of well-respected scholars examines how the representation of children by major playwrights and poets reflected the period's educational and cultural values. This book contains chapters that range from Shakespeare and Ben Jonson to the contemporary plays of Tom Stoppard, and that explore childhood in relation to classical humanism, medicine, art, and psychology, revealing how early modern performance and educational practices produced attitudes to childhood that still resonate to this day.
With opening credits that announce the film as ‘A Playboy Production’, and list Hugh Hefner as Executive Producer, Roman Polanski’s Macbeth is nothing if not a period piece. In his autobiography, Roman, by Polanski, Polanski recalls his creative collaboration with Kenneth Tynan (who also wrote for Playboy) in terms that situate it within the sybaritic world of the late sixties and early seventies. As they rehearsed the murder of Duncan in a Belgravia flat, with Tynan reclining on the bed and Polanski, as Macbeth, bent over him, an open window allowed their game to be witnessed by a clique of fascinated elderly residents who stared, ‘transfixed, sherry glasses frozen in midair’. Polanski concludes, ‘they doubtless assumed that our actions were all part of the swinging London scene’. Along with its association with the international party crowd, Polanski’s Macbeth was mired in controversy from its inception. While its graphic depiction of violence and nudity earned the film an ‘X’ rating before its release in autumn 1971, the grisly murder of Polanski’s pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, by Charles Manson and his followers in August of 1969 made it impossible to view the film, and, in particular, its obsessive return to visual images of hanging and stabbing, without recalling the events of that terrible summer. Queried by Tynan about the amount of blood shed by the injured and dying bodies in the film, Polanski referred to his own experiences to authorize his directorial choices: ‘You didn’t see my house last summer. I know about bleeding.’
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