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Shakespeare in production : whose history?

Author: Herbert R Coursen
Publisher: Athens : Ohio University Press, 1996.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The New Historicism "contextualizes" the literature it examines. It sees literature as one aspect of the energies and anxieties characteristic of a given culture, neither independent nor superior to it. While some may quarrel with these premises, it is not necessary to agree with them, or even to be a New Historicist, in order to put their techniques to use. Shakespeare in Production examines a number of plays in  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Film adaptations
Named Person: William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Herbert R Coursen
ISBN: 0821411403 9780821411407
OCLC Number: 33441169
Description: xiv, 287 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Whose history? --
Romeo and Juliet: a beautiful film for beautiful people? --
"What's there?": opening Hamlet on film --
What happens to The comedy of errors on television? --
Branagh's Much ado: art and popular culture? --
Sorting well with fierceness? History plays: 1993-94 --
Is Shakespeare's history our own? On stage in the 1990s --
"Truth, a pebble of quartz?" Hamlet in 1994, I: Shakespeare & Company and Orlando --
"Seems Madam?": Hamlet in 1994, II: Stratford (Ontario), Ashland, and London --
"You would be king of the isle?": The tyranny of design, 1994 --
Conclusion: "What, out of this, my lord?"
Responsibility: by H.R. Coursen.

Abstract:

The New Historicism "contextualizes" the literature it examines. It sees literature as one aspect of the energies and anxieties characteristic of a given culture, neither independent nor superior to it. While some may quarrel with these premises, it is not necessary to agree with them, or even to be a New Historicist, in order to put their techniques to use. Shakespeare in Production examines a number of plays in context. Included are the 1936 Romeo and Juliet, unpopular with critics of filmed Shakespeare, but very much a "photoplay" of its time; the opening sequences of filmed Hamlets which span more than seventy years; The Comedy of Errors on television, where production of this script is almost impossible; and the Branagh Much Ado About Nothing, a "popular" film discussed in the context of comedy as genre. "Whose history?" inevitably turns out to be that of the individual observer, for regardless of the criteria deployed, criticism is an intensely subjective activity, and is meant to be when it deals with drama. In this discussion of Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing, for example, the contemporary response to the film becomes the subject of the chapter. For, although the film is much more than what is said about it, it is also less, in that the critical response is part of the overall creative activity involved in a Shakespeare production.

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