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Title: Altering Shakespeare in the eighteenth century : David Garrick among the editors
Author: Cunningham, Vanessa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 1241
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis proposes that Garrick's alterations of Shakespeare mark a watershed in eighteenth-century attitudes to the Bard's works. The most famous actor of the century, Garrick was publicly regarded as Shakespeare's greatest interpreter and high priest. During his career as actor and manager (1741-1776), he was also to a greater or lesser extent involved professionally and personally with the main Shakespearean editors of the period: Johnson, Warburton, Capell and Steevens. As the first chapter suggests, the roles of editor and alterer of the plays at this time, though different, overlapped, 'stage' and 'page' not yet having become divorced. Chapter Two contextualises Garrick's alterations of Shakespeare by describing, first, London's literary clubs and, in particular, The Club (founded by Johnson and Reynolds) of which Garrick was a member. Following a brief account of the theatrical conditions and cultural constraints that influenced the altering of old plays, Garrick's alterations of Jonson's Every Man in His Humour is analysed in order to draw out the principles of underlying alteration in practice. The three main chapters look closely in detail at a number of key instances of Garrick's alterations of Shakespeare's plays, concentrating on six taken from near the beginning, middle and end of his career, in which Garrick himself played the leading role: Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Winter's Tale, Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear and Hamlet. In each of these chapters, Garrick's involvement with one or more editor is discussed. The main emphasis, however, falls upon the changes, additions, omissions and 'improvements' Garrick made to the plays over a lifetime devoted to Shakespeare. Recognition of that devotion is found in Garrick's 'Ode', discussed in Chapter Five, which forms an entr'acte following the chapter on The Winter's Tale and Antony and Cleopatra. The Stratford-on-Avon Jubilee in 1769, at which his 'Ode' was performed, gave rise to a host of theatrical and literary offerings that sought to exploit that event, not least Garrick's own entertainment, The Jubilee.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available