Shakespeare and the Eighteenth Century

Front Cover
Peter Sabor, Paul Edward Yachnin
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008 - Literary Criticism - 189 pages
In 1700, Shakespeare was viewed as one of the leading Renaissance playwrights, but not as supreme. By 1800, he was not only widely performed and read but celebrated as a universal genius and a national literary hero. What happened during the intervening years is the subject of this fascinating volume, which brings together Renaissance and eighteenth-century scholars who examine how Shakespeare gradually penetrated, and came to dominate, the culture and intellectual life of people in the English-speaking world.The contributors approach Shakespeare from a wide range of perspectives, to illuminate the way contemporary philosophy, science and medicine, textual practice, theatre studies, and literature both informed and were influenced by eighteenth-century interpretations of his works. Among the topics are Falstaff and eighteenth-century ideas of the sublime, David Garrick's 1756 adaptation of The Winter's Tale and its relationship to medical theories of femininity, the textual practices of George Steevens, Shakespeare's importance in furthering the careers of actors on the eighteenth-century stage, and the influence of Shakespeare on writers as diverse as Edmund Burke, Horace Walpole, and Ann Radcliff. Together, the essays paint a vivid picture of the relationship between eighteenth-century Shakespeare and ideas about shared nationhood, knowledge, morality, history, and the self.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Shakespearean Character
Shakespeare and Sympathy
Shakespeare and the Nature of Middle
The Influence of the Female Audience on the Shakespeare Revival
A Hermeneutics and
Literary Allusion
Fairy Time from Shakespeare to Scott
Looking for Richard II
The Sublime Sir John Falstaff
The Mystifying Case
David Garrick Rewrites

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Peter Sabor is Canada Research Chair in Eighteenth Century Studies and Professor of English, and Paul Yachnin is Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies in the Department of English, McGill University, Canada.

Bibliographic information