The Practical Shakespeare

The Plays in Practice and on the Page

Author: Colin Butler

Publisher: Ohio University Press

ISBN: 0821416219

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 205

View: 1084

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A comprehensive treatment of Shakespeare's plays in clear prose, The Practical Shakespeare: The Plays in Practice and on the Page illuminates for a general audience how and why the plays work so well.Noting in detail the practical and physical limitations the Bard faced as he worked out the logistics of his plays, Colin Butler demonstrates how Shakespeare incorporated and exploited those limitations to his advantage: his management of entrances and exits; his characterization technique; his handling of scenes off stage; his control of audience responses; his organization of major scenes; and his use of prologues and choruses. A different aspect of the plays is covered in each chapter?and all chapters are free-standing, for separate consultation. For easy access, chapters also are subdivided, and each part has its own heading. Butler draws most of his examples from mainstream plays, such as Macbeth, Othello, and Much Ado About Nothing. He brings special focus to A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is treated as one of Shakespeare's most important plays. Butler supports his major points with quotations, so readers can understand an issue even if they are unfamiliar with the particular play being discussed. The author also cross-references dramatic devices among plays, increasing enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare's achievements. Clear, jargon-free, easy-to-use, and comprehensive, The Practical Shakespeare looks to the elements of stagecraft and playwriting as a conduit for students, teachers, and general audiences to engage with, understand, and appreciate the genius of Shakespeare. Colin Butler, previously the head of an English department at a British grammar school, lives in Canterbury, England, where he writes on literary subjects.
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The Staging of Romance in Late Shakespeare

Text and Theatrical Technique

Author: Christopher J. Cobb

Publisher: University of Delaware Press

ISBN: 9780874139716

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 304

View: 3665

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"Few plays have both attracted and resisted genre study as strongly as Shakespeare's late plays. The Staging of Romance in Late Shakespeare: Text and Theatrical Technique takes a fresh approach to the role of genre in these plays by placing them in relation to the tradition of staged romance in the early modern English theater. The book argues that Shakespeare's late plays can best be understood as theatrical experiments that extend and reform this tradition, which developed around a group of theatrical techniques that sought to realize the effects of narrative romance in the theatrical medium. Their central effect was the creation of admiration in the spectators for heroic action; the value of the plays within the culture derived from this experience."--BOOK JACKET.
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Authorizing Shakespeare on Film and Television

Gender, Class, and Ethnicity in Adaptation

Author: L. Monique Pittman

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 9781433106644

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 257

View: 5995

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Authorizing Shakespeare on Film and Television examines recent film and television transformations of William Shakespeare’s drama by focusing on the ways in which modern directors acknowledge and respond to the perceived authority of Shakespeare as author, text, cultural icon, theatrical tradition, and academic institution. This study explores two central questions. First, what efforts do directors make to justify their adaptations and assert an interpretive authority of their own? Second, how do those self-authorizing gestures impact upon the construction of gender, class, and ethnic identity within the filmed adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays? The chosen films and television series considered take a wide range of approaches to the adaptative process – some faithfully preserve the words of Shakespeare; others jettison the Early Modern language in favor of contemporary idiom; some recreate the geographic and historical specificity of the original plays, and others transplant the plot to fresh settings. The wealth of extra-textual material now available with film and television distribution and the numerous website tie-ins and interviews offer the critic a mine of material for accessing the ways in which directors perceive the looming Shakespearean shadow and justify their projects. Authorizing Shakespeare on Film and Television places these directorial claims alongside the film and television plotting and aesthetic to investigate how such authorizing gestures shape the presentation of gender, class, and ethnicity.
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Stupid Humanism

Folly as Competence in Early Modern and Twenty-First-Century Culture

Author: Christine Hoffmann

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319637517

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 192

View: 7455

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This book frames the undeniably copious 21st-century performances of stupidity that occur within social media as echoes of rhetorical experiments conducted by humanist writers of the Renaissance. Any historical overview of humanism will associate it with copia—abundance of expression—and the rhetorical practices essential to managing it. This book argues that stupidity was and is a synonym for copia, making the humanism of which copia is a central element an inherently stupid philosophy. A transhistorical exploration of stupidity demonstrates that not only is excess still the surest way to eloquence, but it is also just the kind of spammy, speculative undertaking to generate a more generous and inventive comprehension of human and nonhuman relationships. In chapters exploring the rhetorics of memes, attack ads, public shaming blogs, clickbait and gifs, Stupid Humanism outlines the possibilities for a humanism less invested in the normative logics that enshrine knowledge, eloquence and linear development as the chief indicators of an active, articulated selfhood and more supportive of a program for queer knowledge, trivial pursuits, anti-social ethics and the curious relationships that form around and in response to abundance of expression.
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What You Will

Gender, Contract, and Shakespearean Social Space

Author: Kathryn Schwarz

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812205030

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 320

View: 9780

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In What You Will Kathryn Schwarz traces a curious pattern in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century representations of femininity: women pose a threat when they conform too willingly to social conventions. Exemplary texts describe chaste women who kill their rapists, constant wives who make marriage a debilitating obligation, and devoted mothers who destroy the fitness of children. These cautionary tales draw attention to the more ordinary, necessary choices that take prescribed roles as a mandate for purposeful acts. For early modern narratives, writes Schwarz, intentional compliance poses a complex problem: it sustains crucial tenets of order and continuity but unsettles the hierarchical premises from which those tenets derive. Feminine will appears as a volatile force within heterosociality, lending contingent security to a system that depends less on enforced obedience than on contract and consent. The book begins with an examination of early modern disciplines that treat will as an aspect of the individual psyche, of rhetoric, and of sexual and gendered identities. Drawing on these readings, Schwarz turns to Shakespearean works in which feminine characters articulate and manage the values that define them, revealing the vital force of conventional acts. Her analysis engages with recent research that has challenged the premise of feminine subordination, both by identifying alternative positions and by illuminating resistance within repressive structures. Schwarz builds on this awareness of disparate modes and sites of action in formulating the book's central questions: With what agency, and to what effect, do feminine subjects inhabit the conventions of femininity? In what sense are authenticity and masquerade inseparable aspects of social performance? How might coercive systems produce effective actors? What possibilities emerge from the paradox of prescribed choice? Her conclusions have implications not only for early modern scholarship but also for histories of gender and sexuality, queer studies, and theories of the relationship between subjectivity and ideological constraint.
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The End of Satisfaction

Drama and Repentance in the Age of Shakespeare

Author: Heather Hirschfeld

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801470625

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 256

View: 1759

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In The End of Satisfaction, Heather Hirschfeld recovers the historical specificity and the conceptual vigor of the term "satisfaction" during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Focusing on the term’s significance as an organizing principle of Christian repentance, she examines the ways in which Shakespeare and his contemporaries dramatized the consequences of its re- or de-valuation in the process of Reformation doctrinal change. The Protestant theology of repentance, Hirschfeld suggests, underwrote a variety of theatrical plots "to set things right" in a world shorn of the prospect of "making enough" (satisfacere). Hirschfeld’s semantic history traces today’s use of "satisfaction"—as an unexamined measure of inward gratification rather than a finely nuanced standard of relational exchange—to the pressures on legal, economic, and marital discourses wrought by the Protestant rejection of the Catholic sacrament of penance (contrition, confession, satisfaction) and represented imaginatively on the stage. In so doing, it offers fresh readings of the penitential economies of canonical plays including Dr. Faustus, The Revenger’s Tragedy, The Merchant of Venice, and Othello; considers the doctrinal and generic importance of lesser-known plays including Enough Is as Good as a Feast and Love’s Pilgrimage; and opens new avenues into the study of literature and repentance in early modern England.
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Chinese Shakespeares

Two Centuries of Cultural Exchange

Author: Alexa Huang

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231519923

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 368

View: 6377

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For close to two hundred years, the ideas of Shakespeare have inspired incredible work in the literature, fiction, theater, and cinema of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. From the novels of Lao She and Lin Shu to Lu Xun's search for a Chinese "Shakespeare," and from Feng Xiaogang's martial arts films to labor camp memoirs, Soviet-Chinese theater, Chinese opera in Europe, and silent film, Shakespeare has been put to work in unexpected places, yielding a rich trove of transnational imagery and paradoxical citations in popular and political culture. Chinese Shakespeares is the first book to concentrate on both Shakespearean performance and Shakespeare's appearance in Sinophone culture and their ambiguous relationship to the postcolonial question. Substantiated by case studies of major cultural events and texts from the first Opium War in 1839 to our times, Chinese Shakespeares theorizes competing visions of "China" and "Shakespeare" in the global cultural marketplace and challenges the logic of fidelity-based criticism and the myth of cultural exclusivity. In her critique of the locality and ideological investments of authenticity in nationalism, modernity, Marxism, and personal identities, Huang reveals the truly transformative power of Chinese Shakespeares.
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Shakespeare, National Poet-Playwright

Author: Patrick Cheney,Patrick Gerard Cheney,Cheney Patrick

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521839235

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 319

View: 7735

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Shakespeare, National Poet-Playwright is an important book which reassesses Shakespeare as a poet and dramatist. Patrick Cheney contests critical preoccupation with Shakespeare as 'a man of the theatre' by recovering his original standing as an early modern author: he is a working dramatist who composes some of the most extraordinary poems in English. The book accounts for this form of authorship by reconstructing the historical preconditions for its emergence, in England as in Europe, including the building of the commercial theatres and the consolidation of the printing press. Cheney traces the literary origin to Shakespeare's favourite author, Ovid, who wrote the Amores and Metamorphoses alongside the tragedy Medea. Cheney also examines Shakespeare's literary relations with his contemporary authors Edmund Spenser and Christopher Marlowe. The book concentrates on Shakespeare's freestanding poems, but makes frequent reference to the plays, and ranges widely through the work of other Renaissance writers.
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Shakespeare Unbound

Decoding a Hidden Life

Author: René Weis

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1466855096

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 496

View: 9199

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At last—a key that unlocks the secrets of Shakespeare's life Intimacies with Southampton and Marlowe, entanglements in London with the elusive dark lady, the probable fathering of an illegitimate son—these are among the mysteries of Shakespeare's rich and turbulent life that have proven tantalizingly obscure. Despite an avalanche of recent scholarship, René Weis, an acknowledged authority on the Elizabethan period, believes the links between the bard's life and the poems and plays have been largely ignored. Armed with a wealth of new archival research and his own highly regarded interpretations of the literature, the author finds provocative parallels between Shakespeare's early experiences in the bustling market town of Stratford—including a dangerous poaching incident and contacts with underground Catholics—and the plays. Breaking with tradition, Weis reveals that it is the plays and poems themselves that contain the richest seam of clues about the details of Shakespeare's personal life, at home in Stratford and in the shadowy precincts of theatrical London—details of a code unbroken for four hundred years.
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