Shakespeare in Company by Bart Van Es

Shakespeare in Company

byBart Van Es

Paperback | April 1, 2015

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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, criticismhas 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 tocompeting 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 asa playwright unique "in company" - special, in part, because of the unparalleled working conditions that he enjoyed.

About The Author

Bart van Es is Lecturer in English at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Catherine's College. He has previously written books on Edmund Spenser and has a special interest in the writing of history in the Renaissance. Shakespeare in Company is his first work on drama and was supported by the award of an AHRC Fellowship.
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Details & Specs

Title:Shakespeare in CompanyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.03 inPublished:April 1, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198728085

ISBN - 13:9780198728085

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Shakespeare's Early Life and the Origins of Commercial Theatre (1576-1592)Phase I: Shakespeare as Conventional Poet-Playwright (1592-1594)1. Imitation and Identity2. The Working Conditions of the Playwright3. Shakespeare as Literary PlaywrightPhase II: Shakespeare as Company Man (1594-1599)4. Control over Casting5. The Events of 15946. Relational Drama7. Shakespeare's SingularityPhase III: Shakespeare as Playhouse Investor (1599-1608)8. The Globe Partnership9. Robert Armin10. The Children's Companies11. Richard BurbagePhase IV: Shakespeare in the Company of Playwrights Again (1608-1614)12. The Events of 160813. Shakespeare's Late Style14. Shakespeare and Co-AuthorshipConclusionAppendix

Editorial Reviews

"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 11/04/2014