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Shakespeare Seen
Image, Performance and Society


  • Date Published: December 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107193246

£ 78.99

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About the Authors
  • This wide-ranging study traces the forces that drove the production and interpretation of visual images of Shakespeare's plays. Covering a rich chronological terrain, from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the midpoint of the nineteenth, Stuart Sillars offers a multidisciplinary, nuanced approach to reading Shakespeare in relation to image, history, text, book history, print culture and performance. The volume begins by relating the production imagery of Shakespeare's plays to other visual forms and their social frames, before discussing the design and operation of illustrated editions and the 'performance readings' they offer, and analysing the practical and theoretical foundations of easel paintings. Close readings of The Comedy of Errors, King Lear, the Roman plays, The Merchant of Venice and Othello provide detailed insight into how the plays have been represented visually, and are accompanied by numerous illustrations and a beautiful colour plate section.

    • Delivers a wide ranging collection of essays that further the understanding of illustrating and reading practices of Shakespeare's plays
    • Examines specific plays in detail through aesthetic, critical and social frameworks
    • Illustrated with colour plate section that brings to the fore the visual representation of Shakespeare's plays
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is a remarkable and important study of the visual dimension of Shakespeare and has implications far beyond the historical period addressed. The scholarship is impeccable and while the argument of the book is magnificently lucid, it is prosecuted with admirable subtlety.' Dympna C. Callahan, Syracuse University, New York

    'Stuart Sillars offers a model of careful interpretation, of these images' idiom and taste, their devices, in constant reference to the plays themselves and contemporaneous performance … both his methods and terms will prove valuable to those wishing to understand the relationship between Shakespeare as performed and as seen.' The Times Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107193246
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 195 x 23 mm
    • weight: 1.03kg
    • contains: 81 b/w illus. 32 colour illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Frames and circumstances
    Part I. Structures and Concepts in Shakespeare Imaging:
    2. Mechanism and meaning in illustrated editions
    3. Performance reading in practice
    4. Shakespeare painting and aesthetic identity
    Part II. Image, Stage and Beyond: Instances and Movement:
    5. The visual identities of The Comedy of Errors
    6. Text, image and temper in King Lear
    7. Rhythms of action and feeling: the Roman plays
    8. Rank and race in imaging Othello
    9. The Merchant of Venice and English visual culture
    10. Shakespeare painting 1800–1848
    11. Conclusions and departures.

  • Author

    Stuart Sillars, Universitetet i Bergen, Norway
    Stuart Sillars is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the Universitetet i Bergen, Norway, and the author of several books and many articles on the relations between word and image, including four previous volumes on Shakespeare and visual art published by Cambridge University Press.

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