Shakespeare the Theatre-Poet

by Robert Hapgood

Oxford University Press | November 1, 1990 | Trade Paperback |

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How subject to interpretation is Shakespeare? The valid options his plays afford can seem infinite; yet in fact they are not. This book seeks to come fully to terms with Shakespeare''s openness to interpretation while respecting the primacy of his creative presence. It sees Shakespeare the theatre-poet as making theatre not only by outlining an imaginary world but by providing guidelines for its enactment and reception, implying in each of his plays a distinctive rapport between the playwright, the players, and the playgoers. These guidelines may be discerned through a study of the range and limits of the options that a given text affords. The book studies a variety of plays in this way, especially Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. By doing so it seeks to provide an aesthetic for Shakespeare''s theatre-poetry, one that includes the author along with the actors and the audience in the event that occurs when a play is performed.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 280 Pages, 5.12 × 8.27 × 0.39 in

Published: November 1, 1990

Publisher: Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 019811270X

ISBN - 13: 9780198112709

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– More About This Product –

Shakespeare the Theatre-Poet

by Robert Hapgood

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 280 Pages, 5.12 × 8.27 × 0.39 in

Published: November 1, 1990

Publisher: Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 019811270X

ISBN - 13: 9780198112709

About the Book

How subject to interpretation is Shakespeare? The valid options his plays afford can seem infinite, yet they are not. This book comes fully to terms with Shakespeare's openness to interpretation while respecting the primacy of his creative presence. Hapgood sees Shakespeare the theatre-poet as making theatre not only by outlining an imaginary world, but also by providing guidelines for its enactment and reception, implying in each of his plays a distinctive rapport between the playwright, the actors, and the audience. Hapgood demonstrates that these guidelines may be found through study of the range and limits of the options that each text affords, and through close reading of several plays--particularly Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth--he provides an aesthetic for Shakespeare's theatre poetry that includes the author along with the actors and audience in the event that occurs when a play is performed.

From the Publisher

How subject to interpretation is Shakespeare? The valid options his plays afford can seem infinite; yet in fact they are not. This book seeks to come fully to terms with Shakespeare''s openness to interpretation while respecting the primacy of his creative presence. It sees Shakespeare the theatre-poet as making theatre not only by outlining an imaginary world but by providing guidelines for its enactment and reception, implying in each of his plays a distinctive rapport between the playwright, the players, and the playgoers. These guidelines may be discerned through a study of the range and limits of the options that a given text affords. The book studies a variety of plays in this way, especially Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. By doing so it seeks to provide an aesthetic for Shakespeare''s theatre-poetry, one that includes the author along with the actors and the audience in the event that occurs when a play is performed.

About the Author

Robert Hapgood is at University of New Hampshire.

Editorial Reviews

`Hapgood writes a clear and unpretentious prose, showing a keen awareness of the clues that actors and directors hunt for in rehearsal.'' Notes and Queries
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