Citizen Shakespeare

Citizen Shakespeare

by James C. Humes
     
 

James Humes's portrait is a flesh-and-blood picture of William Shakespeare, who came from Stratford to seek his fame and fortune in the theater world of London in pursuit of his dream--to return to Stratford as a gentleman and a country squire. Too many scholars have approached Shakespeare as if he were an ethereal or elusive poet or pontifical literary titan.

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Overview

James Humes's portrait is a flesh-and-blood picture of William Shakespeare, who came from Stratford to seek his fame and fortune in the theater world of London in pursuit of his dream--to return to Stratford as a gentleman and a country squire. Too many scholars have approached Shakespeare as if he were an ethereal or elusive poet or pontifical literary titan. The magnificence of his legacy obscures the man. Like the weaver, baker, and tailor of his hometown of Stratford, he had a craft--the skill of fashioning scripts to meet the popular tastes of his day. He had respect for artistic craft, but saw it also as the means to a greater end--that of advancement and status.

Shakespeare chose London and the theater as his milieu. His theater work in London as an actor, director, and playwright threw him into the vortex of the capital city's political and social life. His patron, Southampton, drew him to the cause of Essex, and his observations as a ringside witness to the court power struggles and as an indirect participant shaped his leanings as a royalist, high Anglican (anti-Puritan), and Tory--beliefs that permeated his plays. Shakespeare's training as an actor and his lack of a university education worked to his advantage. He better understood the popular tastes and thereby knew what would please audiences. Central to Humes's interpretation of the life of Shakespeare is his conviction that Shakespeare was not an artist disdainful of profit or social advancement, Shakespeare, in Humes's vision, never lost sight of his central goal--to become a gentleman and a country squire.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275941536
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/01/1992
Pages:
192

Meet the Author

James C. Humes is Ryals Professor of Language and Leadership, University of Southern Colorado, Pueblo.

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