Shakespeare, the King's Playwright: Theater in the Stuart Court, 1603-1613 / Edition 1

Shakespeare, the King's Playwright: Theater in the Stuart Court, 1603-1613 / Edition 1

by Alvin Kernan
     
 

Soon after James Stuart became king of England in 1603, William Shakespeare, while still working in the public theater, became the royal playwright, and his acting troupe became the premier playing company of the realm. How did this courtly setting influence Shakespeare's work? What was it like to view, perform in, and write plays conceived for the Stuart king? In… See more details below

Overview

Soon after James Stuart became king of England in 1603, William Shakespeare, while still working in the public theater, became the royal playwright, and his acting troupe became the premier playing company of the realm. How did this courtly setting influence Shakespeare's work? What was it like to view, perform in, and write plays conceived for the Stuart king? In this fascinating and lively book, one of our most eminent literary critics explores these questions by taking us back to the court performances of some of Shakespeare's most famous plays, examining them in their settings at the royal palaces of Whitehall and Hampton Court. Alvin Kernan looks at Shakespeare as a patronage playwright whose work after 1603 focused on the main concerns of his royal patron: divine-right kingship in Lear, the corruption of the court in Antony, the difficulties of the old military aristocracy in Coriolanus, and other vital matters. Kernan argues that Shakespeare was neither the royal propagandist nor the political subversive that the New Historicists have made him out to be. He was, instead, a great dramatist whose plays commented on political and social concerns of his patrons and who sought the most satisfactory way of adjusting his art to court needs.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300072587
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
09/28/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
258
Product dimensions:
6.03(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.57(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Introduction: Shakespeare at the Stuart Court
1Art and Theater in the Service of the Leviathan State1
2Blood Revenge in Elsinore and in Holyrood: Hamlet, Hampton Court, Christmas 160324
3The King's Prerogative and the Law: Measure for Measure, Whitehall, December 26, 160450
4The Politics of Madness and Demonism: Macbeth, Hampton Court, August 7, 160671
5The True King: Lear, Whitehall, Christmas 160689
6Sex and Favor in the Court: Antony and Cleopatra, Whitehall, Christmas 1607106
7The Military and the Court Aristocracies: Coriolanus, Whitehall, Christmas 1608132
8The King and the Poet: The Tempest, Whitehall, Winter 1613150
9Shakespeare's Sonnets and Patronage Art169
10What the King Saw, What the Poet Wrote188
Appendix A: Theatrical Calendar of the King's Men at Court, 1603-14203
Appendix B: The Great Hall at Christ Church, Oxford, August 1605209
Bibliography211
Index221

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >