Anecdotal Shakespeare: A New Performance History

Anecdotal Shakespeare: A New Performance History

By: Paul Menzer (author)Paperback

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Shakespeare's four-hundred-year performance history is full of anecdotes - ribald, trivial, frequently funny, sometimes disturbing, and always but loosely allegiant to fact. Such anecdotes are nevertheless a vital index to the ways that Shakespeare's plays have generated meaning across varied times and in varied places. Furthermore, particular plays have produced particular anecdotes - stories of a real skull in Hamlet, superstitions about the name Macbeth, toga troubles in Julius Caesar - and therefore express something embedded in the plays they attend. Anecdotes constitute then not just a vital component of a play's performance history but a form of vernacular criticism by the personnel most intimately involved in their production: actors. These anecdotes are therefore every bit as responsive to and expressive of a play's meanings across time as the equally rich history of Shakespearean criticism or indeed the very performances these anecdotes treat. Anecdotal Shakespeare provides a history of post-Renaissance Shakespeare and performance, one not based in fact but no less full of truth.

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About Author

Paul Menzer is Professor and Director of the Mary Baldwin College Shakespeare and Performance programme, Mary Baldwin College, USA


Preface: Curtain Raiser; Introduction: Anecdotal Shakespeare; 1. Hamlet: Skulls are good to think with; 2. Othello: The Smudge; 3. Romeo and Juliet: Central Casting; 4, Richard III: Oedipus Text; 5. Macbeth: An Embarrassment of Witches; Coda: Archives and Anecdotes; Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 22/10/2015
  • ISBN13: 9781472576156
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 280
  • ID: 9781472576156
  • weight: 302
  • ISBN10: 1472576152

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