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.
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
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- ID: 9781472576156
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