Emphasizing a performative and stage-centered approach, this book considers early modern European theater as an international phenomenon. Early modern theater was remarkable both in the ways that it represented material and symbolic exchanges across political, linguistic, and cultural borders (both "national" and "regional") but also in the ways that it enacted them. Contributors study various modalities of exchange, including the material and causal influence of one theater upon another, as in the case of actors traveling beyond their own regional boundaries; generalized and systemic influence, such as the diffused effect of Italian comedy on English drama; the transmission of theoretical and ethical ideas about the theater by humanist vehicles; the implicit dialogue and exchange generated by actors playing "foreign" roles; and polyglot linguistic resonances that evoke circum-Mediterranean "cultural geographies." In analyzing theater as a medium of dialogic communication, the volume emphasizes cultural relationships of exchange and reciprocity more than unilateral encounters of hegemony and domination.
Author: Robert Henke
Release Date: 2016-02-24
Genre: Performing Arts
The essays in this volume investigate English, Italian, Spanish, German, Czech, and Bengali early modern theater, placing Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the theatrical contexts of western and central Europe, as well as the Indian sub-continent. Contributors explore the mobility of theatrical units, genres, performance practices, visual images, and dramatic texts across geo-linguistic borders in early modern Europe. Combining 'distant' and 'close' reading, a systemic and structural approach identifies common theatrical units, or 'theatergrams' as departure points for specifying the particular translations of theatrical cultures across national boundaries. The essays engage both 'dramatic' approaches (e.g., genre, plot, action, and the dramatic text) and 'theatrical' perspectives (e.g., costume, the body and gender of the actor). Following recent work in 'mobility studies,' mobility is examined from both material and symbolic angles, revealing both ample transnational movement and periodic resistance to border-crossing. Four final essays attend to the practical and theoretical dimensions of theatrical translation and adaptation, and contribute to the book’s overall inquiry into the ways in which values, properties, and identities are lost, transformed, or gained in movement across geo-linguistic borders.
Author: Enza De Francisci
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 2017-05-12
Genre: Literary Criticism
This interdisciplinary, transhistorical collection brings together international scholars from English literature, Italian studies, performance history, and comparative literature to offer new perspectives on the vibrant engagements between Shakespeare and Italian theatre, literary culture, and politics, from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century. Chapters address the intricate, two-way exchange between Shakespeare and Italy: how the artistic and intellectual culture of Renaissance Italy shaped Shakespeare’s drama in his own time, and how the afterlife of Shakespeare’s work and reputation in Italy since the eighteenth century has permeated Italian drama, poetry, opera, novels, and film. Responding to exciting recent scholarship on Shakespeare and Italy, as well as transnational theatre, this volume moves beyond conventional source study and familiar questions about influence, location, and adaptation to propose instead a new, evolving paradigm of cultural interchange. Essays in this volume, ranging in methodology from archival research to repertory study, are unified by an interest in how Shakespeare’s works represent and enact exchanges across the linguistic, cultural, and political boundaries separating England and Italy. Arranged chronologically, chapters address historically-contingent cultural negotiations: from networks, intertextual dialogues, and exchanges of ideas and people in the early modern period to questions of authenticity and formations of Italian cultural and national identity in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. They also explore problems of originality and ownership in twentieth- and twenty-first-century translations of Shakespeare’s works, and new settings and new media in highly personalized revisions that often make a paradoxical return to earlier origins. This book captures, defines, and explains these lively, shifting currents of cultural interchange.
Author: Robert Henke
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Release Date: 2015-08
Genre: Performing Arts
Whereas previous studies of poverty and early modern theatre have concentrated on England and the criminal rogue, Poverty and Charity in Early Modern Theatre and Performance takes a transnational approach, which reveals a greater range of attitudes and charitable practices regarding the poor than state poor laws and rogue books suggest. Close study of German and Latin beggar catalogues, popular songs performed in Italian piazzas, the Paduan actor-playwright Ruzante, the commedia dell’arte in both Italy and France, and Shakespeare demonstrate how early modern theatre and performance could reveal the gap between official policy and actual practices regarding the poor. The actor-based theatre and performance traditions examined in this study, which persistently explore felt connections between the itinerant actor and the vagabond beggar, evoke the poor through complex and variegated forms of imagination, thought, and feeling. Early modern theatre does not simply reflect the social ills of hunger, poverty, and degradation, but works them through the forms of poverty, involving displacement, condensation, exaggeration, projection, fictionalization, and marginalization. As the critical mass of medieval charity was put into question, the beggar-almsgiver encounter became more like a performance. But it was not a performance whose script was prewritten as the inevitable exposure of the dissembling beggar. Just as people’s attitudes toward the poor could rapidly change from skepticism to sympathy during famines and times of acute need, fictions of performance such as Edgar’s dazzling impersonation of a mad beggar in Shakespeare’s King Lear could prompt responses of sympathy and even radical calls for economic redistribution.
This agenda-setting volume on travel and drama in early modern England provides new insights into Renaissance stage practice, performance history, and theatre's transnational exchanges. It advances our understanding of theatre history, drama's generic conventions, and what constitutes plays about travel at a time when the professional theatre was rapidly developing and England was attempting to announce its presence within a global economy. Recent critical studies have shown that the reach of early modern travel was global in scope, and its cultural consequences more important than narratives that are dominated by the Atlantic world suggest. This collection of essays by world-leading scholars redefines the field by expanding the canon of recognized plays concerned with travel. Re-assessing the parameters of the genre, the chapters offer fresh perspectives on how these plays communicated with their audiences and readers.
Author: Natasha Korda
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Release Date: 2011-09-21
Genre: Business & Economics
Labors Lost offers a fascinating and wide-ranging account of working women's behind-the-scenes and hitherto unacknowledged contributions to theatrical production in Shakespeare's time. Natasha Korda reveals that the purportedly all-male professional stage relied on the labor, wares, ingenuity, and capital of women of all stripes, including ordinary crafts- and tradeswomen who supplied costumes, props, and comestibles; wealthy heiresses and widows who provided much-needed capital and credit; wives, daughters, and widows of theater people who worked actively alongside their male kin; and immigrant women who fueled the fashion-driven stage with a range of newfangled skills and commodities. Combining archival research on these and other women who worked in and around the playhouses with revisionist readings of canonical and lesser-known plays, Labors Lost retrieves this lost history by detailing the diverse ways women participated in the work of playing, and the ways male players and playwrights in turn helped to shape the cultural meanings of women's work. Far from a marginal phenomenon, the gendered division of theatrical labor was crucial to the rise of the commercial theaters in London and had an influence on the material culture of the stage and the dramatic works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Author: P. A. Skantze
Publisher: Psychology Press
Release Date: 2003
Stillness in Motion in the Seventeenth Century Theatre provides a comprehensive examination of this aesthetic theory. The author investigates this aesthetic history as a form of artistic creation, philosophical investigation, a way of representing and manipulating ideas about gender and a way of acknowledging, reinforcing and making a critique of social values for the still and moving, the permanent and elapsing. The book's analysis covers the entire seventeenth-century with chapters on the work of Ben Jonson, John Milton, the pamphletheatre, Aphra Behn, John Vanbrugh and Jeremy Collier and will be of interest to scholars in the areas of literary and performance studies.
Das England der Fruhen Neuzeit ist von einem Interesse an der Legitimation von Herrschaft ebenso gepragt wie von der Frage nach effizienter Herrschaftsausubung. Dieses Interesse schlagt sich auch in den Dramen Shakespeares nieder, der sich bei der Darstellung seiner Herrscherfiguren zeitgenossisch verfugbarer Herrschaftsdiskurse wie den Lehren Machiavellis, dem 'divine right of kings' oder der Vorstellung der zwei Korper des Konigs bedient. Diese Herrschaftsentwurfe werden in Shakespeares Dramen nicht nur gegeneinander abgewogen, sondern auch weiterentwickelt. Dabei entsteht ein Herrschaftstypus, dessen Erfolg in grossem Mass an die individuelle Herrscherpersonlichkeit gebunden ist. Dieser Typus wird in der vorliegenden Studie unter Anwendung des Charisma-Konzepts Max Webers in den Blick genommen. 'Shakespeares Charismatiker' eroffnet damit eine Perspektive auf die Historien und Romerdramen, die die Fortschrittlichkeit der Herrschaftsdarstellung Shakespeares in den Vordergrund ruckt.
Author: Michael Stolz
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Release Date: 2006-01-01
Genre: Literary Criticism
This anthology describes the European book culture of premodern times with regard to the material publication of handwriting and early print, their contents and forms of use, as well as the preconceptions associated with them. The relationship to and differentiation from neighboring cultures, such as the Islamic world, are also taken into consideration.