Pursuing Shakespeare's Dramaturgy: Some Contexts, Resources, and Strategies in His Playmaking

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This book is about Shakespeare's stagecraft. It presents examinations of the conditions under which Shakespeare worked, including limitations and opportunities offered by circumstances that affected how his plays were written. It attempts to recover more in Shakespeare's plays than is normally appreciated, and to discover previously unnoticed dramatic strategies embedded in the Shakespearean texts.

The book is aimed at Shakespeare as a playwright - or, more exactly, a playmaker - of his time. It considers only the earliest texts of the plays, only the resources available when they were written, and only what can be seen in the plays in conjunctions with the evidences from the days of Shakespeare's career.

It is especially concerned with what can be said about Shakespeare's intentions as he shaped his plays. There are, the book maintains, important but still inadequately appreciated dramatic designs built into the plays, and there are clever strategies that have gone unnoticed but may yet be discerned by the careful application of dramaturgical analysis.

The Shakespeare studied in this book is Shakespeare the playmaker, engaged in every step of the process from the first draft of the text to the performance before a live audience. This, the author contends, is the Shakespeare that is most essential, the Shakespeare who should be known as the foundation underlying any other treatment of the plays, and the Shakespeare most exciting and rewarding to pursue.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838639931
  • Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 1.29 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue 9
1 A Test Case 17
2 The Foundational Texts 27
3 Divisions, Locations, and Accidentals 43
4 Speech Headings and Stage Directions 69
5 Shakespeare's Stages as Limit and Opportunity 100
6 Actors, Styles, and Playing Conditions 150
7 Creating and Deploying a Shakespearean Cast 181
8 Costumes 223
9 Stage Properties 261
10 Sound and Music 297
11 The Arts and Crafts of Language 324
12 Shakespeare's Audiences 377
Epilogue 420
Notes 422
Bibliography 472
Index 485
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