Professor Bradbrook's Shakespeare the Craftsman was first given as the Clark Lectures in 1968 at Cambridge. Her purposes in the book that followed are twofold: to trace 'the descent of Shakespeare's art from the popular medieval tradition, especially from the religious drama of the Craft cycles'; and to indicate how his craftsmanship was often a response to some immediate demand - a new actor, a new stage or some specific occasion. The Merry Wives of Windsor, for instance, came of a Royal Command. There are chapters about Burbage and the Globe Theatre, and about Robert Armin, the 'new clown', and his part in Twelfth Night. Other chapters deal with Julius Caesar, Hamlet and the revenge play, and the pageant of Timon of Athens.
Table of Contents
List of plates Part I. Introduction; Part II. A Craftsman's Theatre: from Mystery to Chronicle: 1. From pageant to play; 2. The English history play; 3. Shakespeare's epilogue; Part III. Shakespeare's Guild of Players: 4. James Burbage, founder of the theatre; 5. Shakespeare's choice; 6. Shews at the Globe; 7. The later history; Part IV. The New Clown: Twelfth Night: 8. Robert Armin; 9. Twelfth Night and the reign of fortune; 10. Armin's later career; Part V. Royal Command: The Merry Wives of Windsor; Part VI. The lives of the noble Romans: Julius Caesar and other Roman histories; Part VII. Old Things Made New: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: 11. The older Hamlet plays; 12. The new revenge plays; 13. The later Hamlets; Part VIII. Blackfriars: The Pageant of Timon of Athens; Notes.