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Title: Illuminating Shakespeare through performance, 1997-2008
Author: Boxall, Jocelyn
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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The twenty-first century has seen a marked change in approaches to understanding Shakespeare's texts through literary and theatrical criticism and also performance. This thesis argues that performances of Shakespeare in Britain between 1997 and 2008 staged by Shakespeare's Globe, the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company enabled audiences to have increased physical and intellectual access to the plays and that as a result literary and theatrical critical readings of the texts became more productively complicated. It is argued that this increased access came as a response to political initiatives to democratise culture in Britain. It was also partly the result of transferring staging practices used in more intimate theatrical spaces to main house environments where they were developed further. By analysing particular scenes from Titus Andronicus, Love's Labour's Lost, King Henry V and King Lear in case studies of the plays observed in the theatrical spaces and conditions in which they were encountered in performance, it is possible to demonstrate that production practices during this time gave new dimensions to the plays and deepened our understanding of their processes and textual meanings. The identification of these processes and their uses extends our knowledge of Shakespeare's work as a dramatist. Discussion of the plays is enriched through a combined consideration of (a) the methods used to analyse the difficulties emerging from their staged performance, and (b) the problems identified by literary and theatrical accounts of the texts. These difficulties and problems include apparent structural inconsistencies in the texts, the purposes of character interaction and the diverse nature of audience reception in the particular spatial and temporal conditions~ in which the plays are encountered. It is argued that by conducting a multiperspectival analytical approach and recognising the subsequent beneficial complications more detail about Shakespeare's meaning-making processes can be revealed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Shakespeare ; Performance