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Stage-wrights : Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, and the making of theatrical value

Author: Paul Edward Yachnin
Publisher: Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, ©1997.
Series: New cultural studies.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
To many of their contemporaries, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Thomas Middleton were little more than artisanal craftsmen, "stage-wrights" who wrote plays for money, to be performed in common play-houses and in a manner of the antithetical to what Jonson himself viewed as the higher calling of poetry. In response to the conflicting pressures of censorship and commercialism, Paul Yachnin contends, players and  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Yachnin, Paul Edward, 1953-
Stage-wrights.
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, c1997
(OCoLC)645913839
Named Person: William Shakespeare; Thomas Middleton; Ben Jonson; William Shakespeare; Thomas Middleton; Ben Jonson; Thomas Middleton; William Shakespeare; Ben Jonson
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Paul Edward Yachnin
ISBN: 0812233956 9780812233957
OCLC Number: 36180939
Description: xviii, 210 p. ; 23 cm.
Contents: 1. The Powerless Theater --
2. Desdemona's Voice: Historical Interpretation and the Operations of Minds --
3. The Knowledge Marketplace --
4. Instituting Mirth in Renaissance Comedy --
5. Reflections of Theater in the "Tragic Glass" from Marlowe to Middleton --
6. "Gargantua's Mouth": Orality, Voice, and the Gender of Theatrical Power.
Series Title: New cultural studies.
Other Titles: Stagewrights
Responsibility: Paul Yachnin.

Abstract:

To many of their contemporaries, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Thomas Middleton were little more than artisanal craftsmen, "stage-wrights" who wrote plays for money, to be performed in common play-houses and in a manner of the antithetical to what Jonson himself viewed as the higher calling of poetry. In response to the conflicting pressures of censorship and commercialism, Paul Yachnin contends, players and dramatists alike had promulgated the idea of drama's irrelevance, creating a recreational theater that failed to influence its audience in any purposeful way. In Stage-Wrights Yachnin shows how Shakespeare, Jonson, and Middleton struggled to reclaim not only the importance of their art, but their own social legitimacy as well through the reshaping of the commercial theater. His bold readings of their works unveil the strategies by which they sought power from their privileged but powerless position on the margins. Adopting a hermeneutical approach, he explores a wide range of historical evidence to describe how English Renaissance drama depicted the world in ways refracted by the interests of the playing companies; throughout, he challenges recent historicist models that have overrated the importance of dramatic productions to society and its institutions of authority.

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