Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Work and Play on the Shakespearean Stage

$36.99 (C)

  • Date Published: November 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107402485

$ 36.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Time and again, early modern plays show people at work: shoemaking, grave-digging, and professional acting are just some of the forms of labour that theatregoers could have seen depicted on stage in 1599 and 1600. Tom Rutter demonstrates how such representations were shaped by the theatre's own problematic relationship with work: actors earned their living through playing, a practice that many considered idle and illegitimate, while plays were criticised for enticing servants and apprentices from their labour. As a result, the drama of Shakespeare's time became the focal point of wider debates over what counted as work, who should have to do it, and how it should be valued. This book describes changing beliefs about work in the sixteenth century, and shows how different ways of conceptualising the work of the governing class inform Shakespeare's histories. It identifies important contrasts between plays written for the adult and child repertories.

    • Uses the theme of work as a way of linking drama with social change
    • Focuses both on major dramatists such as Shakespeare, and also on less canonical figures such as Dekker, Heywood and Munday
    • Situates the plays firmly within the theatrical context in which they were written and performed
    Read more

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107402485
    • length: 216 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.32kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Work in sixteenth-century England
    2. 'Vpon the weke daies and worke daies at conuenient times': acting as work in Elizabethan England
    3. 'Though he be a king, yet he must labour': work and nobility in Shakespeare's histories
    4. 'We may shut vp our shops, and make holiday': workers and playhouses, 1599–1601
    5. 'Work upon that now!': labour and status on the stage, 1599–1610

  • Author

    Tom Rutter, University of Sheffield

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.