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Shakespeare's Stage Traffic
Imitation, Borrowing and Competition in Renaissance Theatre

  • Date Published: October 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316646557


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About the Authors
  • Shakespeare's unique status has made critics reluctant to acknowledge the extent to which some of his plays are the outcome of adaptation. In Shakespeare's Stage Traffic Janet Clare re-situates Shakespeare's dramaturgy within the flourishing and competitive theatrical trade of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. She demonstrates how Shakespeare worked with materials which had already entered the dramatic tradition, and how, in the spirit of Renaissance theory, he moulded and converted them to his own use. The book challenges the critical stance that views the Shakespeare canon as essentially self-contained, moves beyond the limitations of generic studies and argues for a more conjoined critical study of early modern plays. Each chapter focuses on specific plays and examines the networks of influence, exchange and competition which characterised stage traffic between playwrights, including Marlowe, Jonson and Fletcher. Overall, the book addresses multiple perspectives relating to authorship and text, performance and reception.

    • Challenges the critical stance that views the Shakespeare canon as essentially self-contained, informing readers of how Shakespeare's plays may be more fruitfully explored in the context of theatrical negotiations among the early modern playing companies
    • Each chapter examines the dialogue between plays in contexts specific to them, taking into account the networks of influence, exchange and competition of stage traffic
    • Pays close attention to the dramaturgical relationship between Shakespeare's plays and other plays, appealing to literary and drama specialists, and theatre practitioners
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Eloquently puts a theory of intertextuality into practice … For those interested in early modern drama [this book] will be indispensable.' The Times Literary Supplement

    '… Clare [does] persuasive and innovative things with each of her chosen plays.' Gwilym Jones, Around the Globe

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316646557
    • length: 317 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Troublesome reigns
    2. Deposing kings
    3. Cross-cultural comedy
    4. Competing dramaturgies: later comedy
    5. Medley history
    6. Hamlet and the 'humour of children'
    7. Conversion: from Elizabethan to Jacobean theatre
    8. Generic transformations

  • Author

    Janet Clare, University of Hull
    Janet Clare is Professor of Renaissance Literature at the University of Hull and Director of the Andrew Marvell Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. She is the author of Art Made Tongue-Tied by Authority: Elizabethan and Jacobean Dramatic Censorship (1990), Drama of the English Republic, 1649–1660 (2002) and Revenge Tragedies of the Renaissance (2007). She has published many articles on Renaissance and early modern literature and drama, co-edited the Journal of Early Modern Studies 2 on Shakespeare and Early Modern Popular Culture and reviewed Shakespeare productions in Ireland for Shakespeare Survey.

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