The Making of the National Poet : Shakespeare, Adaptation and Authorship, 1660-1769: Shakespeare, Adaptation and Authorship, 1660-1769

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Oxford University Press, Oct 22, 1992 - Literary Criticism - 276 pages
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The first full-length study since the 1920s of the Restoration and eighteenth-century's revisions and revaluations of Shakespeare, and the first to consider the period's much-reviled stage adaptions in the context of the profound cultural changes of their times. Drawing on a wide range of evidence, Dobson examines how and why Shakespeare was retrospectively claimed as both a respectable Enlightenment author and a crucial and contested symbol of British national identity. The book provides thorough analysis, both engaging and informative, the definitive account of the theatre's role in establishing Shakespeare as Britain's National Poet. - ;The century between the Restoration and David Garrick's Stratford Jubilee saw William Shakespeare's promotion from the status of archaic, rustic playwright to that of England's timeless Bard, and with it the complete transformation of the ways in which his plays were staged, published, and read. But why Shakespeare, and what different interests did this process serve? The Making of the National Poet is the first full-length study since the 1920s of the Restoration and eighteenth century's revisions and revaluations of Shakespeare, and the first to consider the period's much-reviled stage adaptations in the context of the profound cultural changes in which they participate. Drawing on a wide range of evidence - including engravings, prompt-books, diaries, statuary, and previously unpublished poems (among them traces of the hitherto mysterious Shakespeare Ladies' Club) - it examines how and why Shakespeare was retrospectively claimed as both a respectable Enlightenment author and a crucial and contested symbol of British national identity. It shows in particular how the deification of Shakespeare co-existed with, and even demanded, the drastic and sometimes bizarre rewriting of his plays for which the period is notorious. The book provides thorough analysis, both engaging and informative, the definitive account of the theatre's role in establishing Shakespeare as Britain's National Poet. -
  

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Contents

Romance and Revision
17
Politics and Pity
62
Property and Propriety
99
Embodying the Author
134
Nationalizing the Corpus
185
2 3
225
33
248
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Michael Dobson is an award-winning game designer and co-author of "Fox on the Rhine" and "Fox at the Front." He served as a member of the team that built the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

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