Shakespeare and Material Culture by Catherine RichardsonShakespeare and Material Culture by Catherine Richardson

Shakespeare and Material Culture

byCatherine Richardson

Paperback | October 1, 2011

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OXFORD SHAKESPEARE TOPICS General Editors: Peter Holland and Stanley Wells Oxford Shakespeare Topics provide students and teachers with short books on important aspects of Shakespeare criticism and scholarship. Each book is written by an authority in its field, and combines accessible style with original discussion of its subject.What is the significance of Shylock's ring in The Merchant of Venice? How does Shakespeare create Gertrude's closet in Hamlet? How and why does Ariel prepare a banquet in The Tempest? In order to answer these and other questions, Shakespeare and Material Culture explores performance from theperspective of the material conditions of staging. In a period just starting to be touched by the allure of consumer culture, in which objects were central to the way gender and social status were experienced but also the subject of a palpable moral outrage, this book argues that material culturehas a particularly complex and resonant role to play in Shakespeare's employment of his audience's imagination.Chapters address how props and costumes work within the drama's dense webs of language - how objects are invested with importance and how their worth is constructed through the narratives which surround them. They analyse how Shakespeare constructs rooms on the stage from the interrelation of props,the description of interior spaces and the dynamics between characters, and investigate the different kinds of early modern practices which could be staged - how the materiality of celebration, for instance, brings into play notions of hospitality and reciprocity. Shakespeare and Material Cultureends with a discussion of the way characters create unique languages by talking about things - languages of faerie, of madness, or of comedy - bringing into play objects and spaces which cannot be staged. Exploring things both seen and unseen, this book shows how the sheer variety of materialcultures which Shakespeare brings onto the stage can shed fresh light on the relationship between the dynamics of drama and its reception and comprehension.
Catherine Richardson is Reader in Early Modern Studies at the University of Kent. Her research focuses on the material experience of daily life in early modern England, on and offstage: on narrative and storytelling, on houses and furniture, and on the social, moral and personal significance of clothing. She is the author of Domestic L...
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Title:Shakespeare and Material CultureFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 7.99 × 5.31 × 0.03 inPublished:October 1, 2011Publisher:OUPLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019956227X

ISBN - 13:9780199562275

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsNotes on Texts and AbbreviationsList of IllustrationsIntroduction: early modern material culture1. Personal Possessions2. Dressing and Cross-dressing3. Household, rooms and the spaces within4. Banquet and celebration5. Words and ThingsNotesFurther ReadingIndex