Burlesque has been a powerful and enduring weapon in the critique of 'legitimate' Shakespearean culture by a seemingly 'illegitimate' popular culture. This was true most of all in the nineteenth century. From Hamlet Travestie (1810) to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (1891), Shakespeare burlesques were a vibrant, yet controversial form of popular performance: vibrant because of their exuberant humour; controversial because they imperilled Shakespeare's iconic status. Richard Schoch, in this study of nineteenth-century Shakespeare burlesques, explores the paradox that plays which are manifestly 'not Shakespeare' purport to be the most genuinely Shakespearean of all. Bringing together archival research, rare photographs and illustrations, close readings of burlesque scripts, and an awareness of theatrical, literary and cultural contexts, Schoch changes the way we think about Shakespeare's theatrical legacy and nineteenth-century popular culture. His lively and wide-ranging book will appeal to scholars and students of Shakespeare in performance, theatre history and Victorian studies.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 490 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 14 mm
'... this book clearly establishes its author in the foremost rank of scholars of the Victorian stage ... Schoch's edition is a tremendously useful supplement to current awareness of the variety of Victorian theatrical forms ...' Theatre Notebook
"That the author succeeds so well in engaging the reader throughout this well-researched and highly readable study is a hallmark of its success. [T]his is a very personal book, which, in communicating the author's passion for his material, incites in the reader a desire to read the burlesques with a respect for their wit and power, and-by reflection-to examine carefully his or her stance toward any sacred masterwork of dramatic literature." Christopher J. Markle, Northern Illinois University, Theatre Journal