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Shakespeare and the Power of Performance
Stage and Page in the Elizabethan Theatre

$103.00 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521895323

$ 103.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Focusing on the practical means and media of Shakespeare's stage, this study envisions horizons for his achievement in the theatre. Bridging the gap between today's page- and stage-centred interpretations, two renowned Shakespeareans demonstrate the artful means by which Shakespeare responded to the competing claims of acting and writing in the Elizabethan era. They examine how the playwright explored issues of performance through the resonant trio of clown, fool and cross-dressed boy actor. Like this trio, his deepest and most captivating characters often attain their power through the highly performative mode of 'personation' - through playing the character as an open secret. Surveying the whole of the playwright's career in the theatre, Shakespeare and the Power of Performance offers not only compelling ways of approaching the relation of performance and print in Shakespeare's works, but also new models for understanding dramatic character itself.

    • Surveys the whole of Shakespeare's works, giving readers a complete understanding of Shakespeare's achievement in the theatre
    • Restores the all-important category of 'character' to Shakespeare studies
    • Gives both readers and theatre-goers a new way of seeing Shakespeare's plays in all their dimensions by bridging the current gulf between Shakespeare on the page and in the theatre
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...a dense, thoughtful work on how the language of Shakespeare's plays enacts and is enacted in performance...the study is though-provoking and adds significantly to understanding of early modern performance." --CHOICE

    " [Shakespeare and the Power of Performance] ties together disparate ideas with a dose of remarkable insight that makes this work engaging...a deep and thought-provoking tome for scholars everywhere."
    -Ron Severdia,

    "Permit me to go beyond this good book to say that Shakespeare in Performance is an area of Shakespeare studies we have always argued needs to be greatly upgraded, and here is a magnificent contribution to the approach, contributing much and setting a higher standard for others to meet."
    -Leonard R.N. Ashley,CHRONIQUE

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521895323
    • length: 278 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'Moralize two meanings' in one play: contrariety on the Tudor stage
    2. Performance, game, and representation in Richard III
    3. Mingling vice and 'worthiness' in King John
    4. Clowning: agencies between voice and pen
    5. Clowning at the frontiers of representation
    6. Cross-dressing and performance in disguise
    7. Personation and playing: 'secretly open' role-playing
    8. Character/actor: the deep matrix
    9. Character: depth, dialogue, page
    10. King Lear: representations on stage and page.

  • Authors

    Robert Weimann, University of California, Irvine

    Douglas Bruster, University of Texas, Austin

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