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This Wide and Universal Theater : Shakespeare in Performance, Then and Now (Hardcover)

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Product Overview

For generations, most readers have first encountered Shakespeare’ s plays in books, rather than onstage. In schools, his works are primarily taught by professors of English, many of whom know little about the theater. Yet Shakespeare was through and through a man of the stage. So what is lost when we leave Shakespeare the dramatist behind, and what can we learn by taking his plays seriously as dramas to be performed?
David Bevington answers these questions with "This Wide and Universal Theater," which explores productions of Shakespeare both in his own time and in the succeeding centuries. Making use of contemporary documents and the play scripts themselves, Bevington brings Shakespeare’ s original staging to life. He explains how the Elizabethan playhouse, lacking scenery, conveyed a sense of place, from the Forest of Arden in "As You Like It" to the tavern in "Henry IV, Part I," And through close attention to Shakespeare’ s texts, he reveals the surprising ways that early production decisions continue to affect our understanding of the plays: for example, the word “ balcony, ” despite its indelible association with "Romeo and Juliet," appears nowhere in the play itself. Moving beyond Shakespeare’ s lifetime, Bevington shows the prodigious lengths to which eighteenth- and nineteenth-century companies went to produce spectacular effects, from flying witches in "Macbeth" to terrifying storms punctuating "King Lear," Considerations of recent productions on both stage and screen bring the book into the present, when character and language have taken precedence over spectacle.
Bringing a lifetime of study to bear on a remarkablyunderappreciated aspect of Shakespeare’ s art, David Bevington has crafted a book that will entertain and illuminate anyone who has thrilled to the Bard on page or in performance.

Specifications

Publisher Univ of Chicago Pr
Mfg Part# 9780226044781
SKU 203354940
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0226044785
Release Date 4/15/2007
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0242
Publisher University of Chicago Press
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