The Purpose of Playing: Shakespeare and the Cultural Politics of the Elizabethan Theatre / Edition 1

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Overview

Part of a larger project to examine the Elizabethan politics of representation, Louis Montrose's The Purpose of Playing refigures the social and cultural context within which Elizabethan drama was created.

Montrose first locates the public and professional theater within the ideological and material framework of Elizabethan culture. He considers the role of the professional theater and theatricality in the cultural transformation that was concurrent with religious and socio-political change, and then concentrates upon the formal means by which Shakespeare's Elizabethan plays called into question the absolutist assertions of the Elizabethan state. Drawing dramatic examples from the genres of tragedy and history, Montrose finally focuses his cultural-historical perspective on A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The Purpose of Playing elegantly demonstrates how language and literary imagination shape cultural value, belief, and understanding; social distinction and interaction; and political control and contestation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226534831
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1996
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 242
  • Sales rank: 1,312,004
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
To The Reader
Prologue
Texts and Histories 1
Pt. 1 Drama, Theatre, Society, and the State: Form and Pressure
I The Reformation of Playing 19
II A Theatre of Changes 30
III Anatomies of Playing 41
IV The Theatre, the City, and the Crown 53
V From the Stage to the State 66
VI The Power of Personation 76
VII The Cross-Purposes of Playing 99
Pt. 2 The Shaping Fantasies of A Midsummer Night's Dream
VIII The Discord of This Concord 109
IX Stories of the Night 124
X The Imperial Votaress 151
XI Bottom's Dream 179
Epilogue: A Kingdom of Shadows 206
Index 213
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