Shakespeare in Company (Hardback)
  • Shakespeare in Company (Hardback)

Shakespeare in Company (Hardback)

Hardback 372 Pages / Published: 14/02/2013
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This book is about two very different kinds of company. On the one hand it concerns Shakespeare's poet-playwright contemporaries, such as Marlowe, Jonson, and Fletcher. On the other, it examines the contribution of his fellow actors, including Burbage, Armin, and Kemp. Traditionally, criticism has treated these two influences in separation, so that Shakespeare is considered either in relation to educated Renaissance culture, or as a man of the theatre. Shakespeare in Company unites these perspectives. Bart van Es argues that Shakespeare's decision, in 1594, to become an investor (or 'sharer') in the newly formed Chamberlain's acting company had a transformative effect on his writing, moving him beyond the conventions of Renaissance dramaturgy. On the basis of the physical distinctiveness of his actors, Shakespeare developed 'relational drama', something no previous dramatist had explored. This book traces the evolution of that innovation, showing how Shakespeare responded to changes in the personnel of his acting fellowship and to competing drama, such as that produced for the children's companies after 1599. Covering over two decades of theatrical history, van Es explores the playwright's career through four distinct phases, ending on the conditions that shaped Shakespeare's late style. Paradoxically, Shakespeare emerges as a playwright unique 'in company'-special, in part, because of the unparalleled working conditions that he enjoyed.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199569311
Number of pages: 372
Weight: 718 g
Dimensions: 236 x 164 x 26 mm

van Es offers a consolidation of recent thinking about Shakespeares plays as products of the collaborative milieu from which they emerged, importantly making explicit the significance of this to an appreciation of his individual writing. * Peter Kirwan, Review of English Studies *
Bart Van Es's lucid and comprehensive book is in a more recent and surely more realistic counter-tradition which sees Shakespeare as pre-eminently involved: a poet at work in the daily professional context of a busy and successful theatre company. * Charles Nicholl, The Times Literary Supplement *
Shakespeare in Company is a meticulous account of the institutional and economic forces that shaped the plays themselves and an acute analysis of the ways in which this shaping occurred ... This is a sensitive, erudite and intriguing study that demonstrates the inseparability of the rarefied perfections of Shakespeare's art and the day-to-day business of the entertainment industry. * Peter J. Smith, Times Higher Education *
Highly recommended * F. L. Den, Choice *
[An] absorbing study * The New Criterion *
van Es shows that Hamlet's claim to an inner reality that lies beyond the reach of 'outward show' is made plausible to the audience through a mastery of linguistic register ... [this book offers] new and helpful ways of thinking about the most familiar works. * Michael Neill, London Review of Books *

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