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Shakespeare in the Marketplace of Words


  • Date Published: June 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316644140

£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • Making innovative use of digital and library archives, this book explores how Shakespeare used language to interact with the verbal marketplace of early modern England. By also combining word history with book history, Jonathan P. Lamb demonstrates Shakespeare's response to the world of words around him, in and through the formal features of his works. In chapters that focus on particular rhetorical features in Richard II, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Hamlet, and Troilus and Cressida, Lamb argues that we can best understand Shakespeare's writing practice by scrutinizing how the formal features of his works circulated in an economy of imaginative writing. Shakespeare's interactions with this verbal market preceded and made possible his reputation as a playwright and dramatist. He was, in his time, a great buyer and seller of words.

    • Explores how certain words and rhetorical features circulated in Shakespeare's time and how he deployed them in assembling his plays
    • Provides new insight into the use of language as currency in Shakespearean times, its values, and its systems of exchange
    • Innovative usage of digital and library archives combine word history and book history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Shakespeare in the Marketplace of Words is an illuminating and highly readable exploration of Shakespeare at work as a dramatist. Demonstrating how the meanings of his words resonate with the material culture of his time. Jonathan P. Lamb's engaging book will be essential reading for those seeking a bridge between the study of Shakespeare's language and his printing and publishing.' Alan Galey, University of Toronto

    'Shakespeare in the Marketplace of Words historicizes his work in valuable, original, and challenging ways. Lamb persuades us to use tools from the digital humanities to gloss words freshly in early modern English explanations and synonyms. … This is a Shakespeare monograph to challenge us as readers and critics.' Ian Lancashire, Modern Philology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2022
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316644140
    • length: 255 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.381kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Shakespeare's writing practice: value, exchange, and the work of form
    2. The stylistic self in Richard II
    3. Portia's laboratory: The Merchant of Venice and the new science
    4. The medium and the message: As You Like It
    5. Hamlet's parenthesis
    6. Shakespeare rewords Chaucer: Troilus and Cressida

  • Author

    Jonathan P. Lamb, University of Kansas
    Jonathan P. Lamb is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Kansas. His work has appeared in Huntington Library Quarterly, Studies in Philology, and Medieval and Renaissance Drama.

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