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The Culture of Playgoing in Shakespeare's England : A Collaborative Debate - Anthony B. Dawson

The Culture of Playgoing in Shakespeare's England

A Collaborative Debate

Hardcover

Published: 26th March 2001
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How was the experience of watching a play influenced by practices beyond the walls of the playhouse, and what were the broader social and historical implications of the culture of playgoing? The book sets out to answer such questions. Interested first in what happened within the playhouse itself, the authors focus on the person of the actor, on stage props, visual pleasure and audience behaviour. At the same time, their discussion moves outward to consider a range of cultural assumptions and practices - such as eucharistic controversy, prostitution, social mobility, iconoclasm, Renaissance optics, the formation of national memory, and the dissemination of news. Since the two authors have very different perspectives on these issues, they have chosen a unique format: rather than submerging their opposition, they have highlighted it. Their attacks and counter-attacks, as they contest each other's views in paired chapters, result in a lively and illuminating debate.

'This study of theatre and drama in relation to the culture of Shakespeare's time is intellectually sophisticated, historically informed and engagingly written. Thoroughly up to date in its scholarship and original in its critical approach, it has much to say to students of the period. Its interest lies both in the dialectic of the discrete theoretical approaches of the two authors, and in its practical criticism, sometimes from differing perspectives, of specific plays by both Shakespeare and contemporary dramatists. The most unusual feature of the book ... is the division of authorship from chapter to chapter. This frequently leads to stimulating debate, and especially to a valuable emphasis on the relativity of critical truth, the fact that history looks different when viewed from one perspective rather than another.' Stanley Wells

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Participation vs Populuxe: Two Theories of Early Modern Theatre
Performance and participation
The Populuxe theatre
Theatrical Pleasure and the Contest of Vision
Eye to eye opposed
The distracted Globe
Objects of Wonder and Desire
Magical properties
Props, pleasure and idolatry
National Pastimes
The arithmetic of memory
The house of fame
Afterword
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521800167
ISBN-10: 0521800161
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 225
Published: 26th March 2001
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.51