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Chapter 3 - Stratford to London

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 December 2015

Paul Franssen
Affiliation:
Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Summary

Shakespeare was born in provincial Stratford and died there, but made his theatrical career in metropolitan London. These facts played a key role in a number of fictions concerned with the contrast between city and countryside. One popular myth about Shakespeare was that of his flight to London after stealing a deer from a local squire. This provided the basis for many fictions which sought to reconcile Shakespeare’s supposed love of Nature with his decision to leave Stratford and make his career in the city. Such fictions pit Shakespeare against the squire Sir Thomas Lucy, who is all-powerful in the countryside but less so in the city, which offers more opportunities for talented commoners. Besides, from a youthful prank the poaching gradually develops into a conscious political act of protest against aristocratic privilege. Other fictions reflect the rivalry between Stratford and London over commemorations of Shakespeare. Sometimes Stratford is the proper shrine for bardolators, as Shakespeare derived his inspiration from its natural surroundings and inhabitants. Other fictions represent Stratford as a provincial backwater, from which Shakespeare needs to be saved also after his life, by the sophistication of the capital.
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Shakespeare's Literary Lives
The Author as Character in Fiction and Film
, pp. 77 - 107
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2016

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  • Stratford to London
  • Paul Franssen, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Book: Shakespeare's Literary Lives
  • Online publication: 18 December 2015
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781316410851.004
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  • Stratford to London
  • Paul Franssen, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Book: Shakespeare's Literary Lives
  • Online publication: 18 December 2015
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781316410851.004
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Stratford to London
  • Paul Franssen, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Book: Shakespeare's Literary Lives
  • Online publication: 18 December 2015
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781316410851.004
Available formats
×