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Critical interest in Shakespeare and virtual reality (VR) has grown steadily in recent years, inspired in part by the proliferation of newly available VR productions or adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. Peter Otto has helpfully observed that ‘by tying virtual reality to specific technologies’, scholars ‘preclude attempts to compare digital virtual realities with those constructed in other eras and with other media’.1 My interest, in this article, lies in extending Otto’s more capacious understanding of virtual reality to a consideration of sensory manipulation in a metaphorical sense in relation to the constructed, controlled or otherwise limited perspectives that I argue have become ingrained in the way we, as Shakespeare scholars, apprehend the field of early modern drama.
Assessing performance validity is imperative in both clinical and research contexts as data interpretation presupposes adequate participation from examinees. Performance validity tests (PVTs) are utilized to identify instances in which results cannot be interpreted at face value. This study explored the hit rates for two frequently used PVTs in a research sample of individuals with and without histories of bipolar disorder (BD).
As part of an ongoing longitudinal study of individuals with BD, we examined the performance of 736 individuals with BD and 255 individuals with no history of mental health disorder on the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) and the California Verbal Learning Test forced choice trial (CVLT-FC) at three time points.
Undiagnosed individuals demonstrated 100% pass rate on PVTs and individuals with BD passed over 98% of the time. A mixed effects model adjusting for relevant demographic variables revealed no significant difference in TOMM scores between the groups, a = .07, SE = .07, p = .31. On the CVLT-FC, no clinically significant differences were observed (ps < .001).
Perfect PVT scores were obtained by the majority of individuals, with no differences in failure rates between groups. The tests have approximately >98% specificity in BD and 100% specificity among non-diagnosed individuals. Further, nearly 90% of individuals with BD obtained perfect scores on both measures, a trend observed at each time point.
Teaching Shakespeare through performance has a long history, and active methods of teaching and learning are a logical complement to the teaching of performance. Virtual reality ought to be the logical extension of such active learning, providing an unrivalled immersive experience of performance that overcomes historical and geographical boundaries. But what are the key advantages and disadvantages of virtual reality, especially as it pertains to Shakespeare? And more interestingly, what can Shakespeare do for VR (rather than vice versa)? This Element, the first on its topic, explores the ways that virtual reality can be used in the classroom and the ways that it might radically change how students experience and think about Shakespeare in performance.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
In this brief conclusion I revisit the metaphor, running throughout this book, of Rubin’s vase and reflect on the prejudice associated with viewing the corpus of early modern drama by prioritising extant plays over lost plays. To do so is to only see half the picture. Lost plays form an indispensable role in shaping or forming the extant canon; extant plays are to a large extent ‘produced’ through their relationship not only to each other, but to their lost counterparts. I argue that a shift in perspective is required before we can see what has always already been present but not prioritised. The surviving drama comes into sharper relief when its relationship to the lost drama is better understood.
In this chapter, I consider the finances of the Admiral’s, Strange’s and Sussex’s Men as preserved in Henslowe’s diary, with a view to comparing lost and extant plays in terms of the highest number of performances, the highest average takings, and the single most profitable performances. If there is any truth to the suggestion made by older generations of scholars that lost plays were mere filler and that their failure to appear in print is an index of their perceived quality, I would expect to see such valuations reflected in the three financial measures I explore, but the results do not support such a conclusion. Instead, one of the key claims I make is that lost plays performed significantly better (financially) and were of greater value to a commercial company than scholars have traditionally acknowledged. I then construct a census of the Admiral’s known repertory, with the initial aim of identifying a ratio of lost-to-extant plays that may be indicative of the loss rates for other, less well-documented adult, commercial companies. The process of conducting this census also affords me the opportunity to explore in more nuanced detail the critical assumptions that distort the perception of lost plays.
Recent scholarship suggests that the data available about lost plays from Shakespeare’s lifetime has never been greater, better assembled or more accessible. What can be done with all this new knowledge? In this Introduction, I examine the numerous and varied reasons why plays become lost – fire, vandalism, censorship (including self-censorship), legal notoriety, the logistics of publishing or preserving a play – and dispel the myth that survival is associated with quality. Indeed, the example of Shakespeare’s ‘Love’s Labour’s Won’, examined here as a case study, contradicts every generalisation about why plays become lost. Accordingly, I argue that a revaluation of the role played by lost drama in the repertories of early modern playing companies is urgently needed. I approach the question of coping with loss by thinking in pragmatic terms about how scholars can and should incorporate discussion of lost plays into their work on substantially extant texts. I introduce the metaphor of ‘Rubin’s Vase’, a visually experienced figure derived from the work of Danish psychologist Edgar Rubin, as a means of understanding the relationship between lost and extant plays. Lost plays, as a kind of ground or negative space, bring our picture of early modern drama into sharper relief.
The Chamberlain’s Men moved to a new playhouse at the end of the 1590s: the Globe. The association of Henry V and Hamlet with Shakespeare and the Globe has, I argue, distorted our perception of their place in London’s theatrical marketplace. By putting Shakespeare’s plays into some unexpected dialogues with lost plays, I aim to defamiliarize Henry V and Hamlet and trace new sets of associations between their subject matter (and form) and the plays of other companies. Specifically, I argue that Henry V can be seen as the culmination of Shakespeare’s 1590s romance comedies as much as of the Henriad, and that it can thus be regarded as a continuation of the 1590s rather than a turn-of-the-century play intended for the Globe (and thus, by implication, a break with the past). Likewise, Hamlet can be seen as participating in a ‘Danish matrix’ of 1590s plays that playgoers would recognise as having its own set of expectations and concerns. Furthermore, in proposing a new identification of the likely subject matter of ‘felmelanco’, I argue that the fact of the Danish prince having studied at Wittenberg seems to speak importantly to a hitherto underappreciated repertorial context preoccupied with theology in 1602.
Shortly after Shakespeare’s company became the King’s Men, it acquired ‘the tragedie of Gowrie’ – a play about an attempt to assassinate their new patron. Perhaps that decision might be understood better in the context of another lost play they performed two months later: ‘The Spanish Maze’. No scholar has hazarded a guess about that play’s specific subject matter, but the possibility I propose – though highly conjectural – is appealing in that it offers a kind of ‘missing link’ between ‘Gowrie’ and Macbeth as plays that engage with political controversy and the king’s interests. The chapter ends with the company’s acquisition of the Blackfriars playhouse, and it was a lost play, ‘The Silver Mine’, that played a key role in the circumstances that enabled the King’s Men to lease the venue. Given the paucity of evidence about how the venue affected the company’s repertory, it is prudent to avoid making assumptions about what kinds of plays have been lost from the company’s repertory. The simple truth is that we do not actually know how the King’s Men’s repertory was (or was not) affected by the company’s simultaneous use of the Blackfriars and Globe playhouses.
Two temporary sites of performance for the Chamberlain’s Men (Newington Butts and the Curtain) provide me with the opportunity to reconsider the theatrical context in which Shakespeare was operating in the early part of his career. Attending to lost plays and performance details from this period helps adjust our view of the company’s theatrical activity and enriches our understanding of the company’s formative years. It is the lost plays – ‘Hester and Ahasuerus’ in particular – that give a meaningful shape to the Newington repertory and help make sense of the dramatic offerings at that venue. An equally important ‘formative moment’ for Shakespeare’s company is its eviction from what had become its regular venue – the Theatre – and the period of transition encompassing its tenancy of the Curtain and eventual move to the Globe. I argue that reconsideration of the physical and economic constraints faced by the Chamberlain’s Men in this period, and attention to lost plays in the Chamberlain’s and in the Admiral’s repertories for additional context, stand to significantly revise scholarly opinion on the conditions under which Shakespeare operated prior to his company’s move to the Globe.
In the first section of this chapter, I focus on the romance intertexts of two of Shakespeare’s late plays, Cymbeline and The Tempest, in order to prompt reconsideration of how they relate to other dramatic offerings of the period. Subsequently, I revisit the series of plays performed at court in 1612–1613 by Shakespeare’s company and others, paying particular attention to what this season looks like if we reassess the dramatic output of the repertory companies without privileging the distorting effect that Shakespeare exerts on our perception of the theatrical marketplace. ‘Cardenio’ necessarily plays a significant part in this discussion. Almost all of the scholarship on this lost play is fixated on attempts to recover the play-text itself; Rather than adding to this abundance of critical energy devoted to recovering or reanimating the play-text, I ask a different question about ‘Cardenio’: How did this play relate to other commercial plays being performed in London? By attempting to answer this, and by understanding ‘Cardenio’ in relation to the other plays performed in repertory with it at court, I clarify the picture of the company’s commercial offerings during the final phase of Shakespeare’s career.
In this final, coda-like chapter on the lost Shakespeare Apocrypha, I turn to authorship attribution but harness the insights from repertory studies (rather than stylometric analysis, which cannot be applied in the absence of play-texts), in a bid to understand why it once seemed reasonable (to some at least) that half a dozen plays written after Shakespeare’s death were attributed to him, and what these plays can teach us about Shakespeare’s posthumous reputation.
Shakespeare and Lost Plays returns Shakespeare's dramatic work to its most immediate and (arguably) pivotal context; by situating it alongside the hundreds of plays known to Shakespeare's original audiences, but lost to us. David McInnis reassesses the value of lost plays in relation to both the companies that originally performed them, and to contemporary scholars of early modern drama. This innovative study revisits key moments in Shakespeare's career and the development of his company and, by prioritising the immense volume of information we now possess about lost plays, provides a richer, more accurate picture of dramatic activity than has hitherto been possible. By considering a variety of ways to grapple with the problem of lost, imperceptible, or ignored texts, this volume presents a methodology for working with lacunae in archival evidence and the distorting effect of Shakespeare-centric narratives, thus reinterpreting our perception of the field of early modern drama.