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Shakespeare : staging the world

Author: Jonathan Bate; Dora Thornton
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2012.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The playhouse and the role of playwright were relatively new phenomena during Shakespeare's time, yet his audience spanned from royalty to the common man. This work shows what these audiences were finding out about the world through the eyes of the playwright. It uses Shakespeare's characters and locations as a way of showing how all the world was a stage, full of dramatic encounters between cultures and  Read more...
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Details

Named Person: William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare; William Shakespeare
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jonathan Bate; Dora Thornton
ISBN: 9780199915019 0199915016
OCLC Number: 757485372
Notes: Originally published: London, England : British Museum Press, 2012.
Description: 304 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), maps, portraits ; 26 cm
Contents: London, circa 1612 : world city --
'Now am I in Arden' : country, county, and custom --
'Cry "God for Harry, England, and Saint George!"' : kingship and the English nation --
'Beware the Ides of March' : the legacy of Rome --
'A fair city--
populated with many people' : Venice viewed from London --
The noble Moor --
'For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft' : the Scottish play --
The matter of Britain : past, present, and future --
'O brave new world that has such people in't' --
Legacy.
Responsibility: Jonathan Bate & Dora Thornton.

Abstract:

The playhouse and the role of playwright were relatively new phenomena during Shakespeare's time, yet his audience spanned from royalty to the common man. This work shows what these audiences were finding out about the world through the eyes of the playwright. It uses Shakespeare's characters and locations as a way of showing how all the world was a stage, full of dramatic encounters between cultures and nationalities. Shylock is our way into early modern Jewish culture, Othello takes us to Africa and Caliban to the New World. For any lover of Shakespeare, the thought of time traveling back to London to see one of his plays at the Globe represents the ultimate theatrical fantasy. The look and feel of Shakespeare's London, the streets, shops, and churches the poet would have visited; the bookstalls where he found source material; the objects that appeared on his stages or sparked his imagination, what were they like? This book is based on a collection of objects that evoke London in 1612, bringing to life not only Shakespeare the man, but also the characters, places, and events, real and imagined, featured in his plays. The authors give readers a visual tour of Renaissance London, letting us glimpse the time and place through a series of objects that speak volumes about Shakespeare's day. Simon Forman's diary of 1611 provides a vivid account of attending a contemporary performance of A Winter's Tale; a dagger fished from the Thames gives new resonance to the gang violence of Romeo and Juliet; Henry V's saddle, helm, and shield, medieval relics that would have been a familiar sight in Westminster Abbey to Shakespeare's fellow Londoners, recall the history plays and their examination of the nature and conduct of war. And Guy Fawkes's lantern illustrates the Catholic counterculture revealed through the failed Gunpowder Plot, which later provided the inspiration for Macbeth. This work offers a new approach to one of the most creative imaginations in history and opens a window onto a fascinating moment in London's past. It reveals the world and key characters of Shakespeare's plays, focusing on London at a pivotal period in global history, and creates a unique dialogue between the objects and the texts of Shakespeare's life, work, and times.
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