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Look Inside Shakespearean Verse Speaking

Shakespearean Verse Speaking
Text and Theatre Practice

$46.99 (C)

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  • Date Published: November 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107404038

$ 46.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book uses evidence from theatrical hand-books, performance practice and drama training to provide a synthesis of academic and theatrical approaches to the Shakespearean text. Abigail Rokison's work combines scholarship with practical exploration in the rehearsal room. In looking at theatrical interaction with early printed and modern edited texts, Rokison investigates the potential impact of editorial principles of lineation and punctuation on theatrical delivery. The book alerts editors to ways in which actors may interpret editorial emendations, and theatre practitioners to diverse authorial, editorial and compositional methods. It contains suggestions for a 'theatrical text' which makes clear the metrical structure of a scene whilst also indicating areas of ambiguous lineation. Providing a fresh perspective on Renaissance actors' parts, the book includes detailed analysis of the structural properties of the verse, in particular short lines, shared lines, end-stopping and enjambment in a range of Shakespearean texts.

    • Provides an academic approach to a practical subject, challenging long-standing generalizations and assumptions
    • Addresses the issue of how editorial decisions can influence actors' delivery of a text, encouraging a dialogue between the two constituencies
    • Provides a new model for a performance text, edited in such a way as to make choices about lineation and punctuation visible to the actor
    Read more


    • Winner of the 2012 Shakespeare's Globe Book Award

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Abigail Rokison's work is both fascinating and revelatory. It makes me hungry and impatient to return to Shakespeare armed with new insight and fresh inspiration. … As an actor what Rokison has to say is both helpful and inspiring. Everyone tackling Shakespeare in the rehearsal room needs to look at this. … There is so much received opinion spouted at actors in the name of Shakespeare. This work helps to puncture some of the more puffed up pomposities and give actors a fresh insight into their craft."
    -David Tennant

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107404038
    • length: 250 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of abbreviations and conventions
    1. Current theatrical theories and practice regarding Shakespearean verse speaking
    2. Theatrical engagement with the early printed text or modern edited text and modern editorial principles of lineation and punctuation
    3. Historical evidence:documentary, anecdotal and textual
    4. Internal evidence: a study of nine Shakespearean plays
    5. The rehearsal room text
    Appendix: rehearsal text of Measure for Measure 2.4

  • Author

    Abigail Rokison, University of Cambridge


    • Winner of the 2012 Shakespeare's Globe Book Award

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