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Title: Shakespeare and the development of verse drama, 1660-2017
Author: O'Brien, Richard Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 8511
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis offers an account of how verse drama, despite the entrenched cultural significance of Shakespeare, came over time to occupy a marginal, often maligned position within English theatre. The introduction establishes its critical-creative methodology: I approach the question not only as a critic, but as a practitioner exploring what T. S. Eliot called ‘the possibility of a poetic drama’ in the modern world. The first chapter demonstrates how verse dramatists over the last thirty years have been inhibited by continuous comparison to Shakespeare. The remainder of the thesis argues more broadly that verse drama between the Restoration and the present day has articulated itself directly in response to an evolving understanding of Shakespearean drama. Chapter Two examines Shakespeare’s own dramatic verse as a model which skilfully exploits the dialectic between norm and variation made possible by a shared metrical framework to stage conflicts between individuals and communities. Chapters Three to Five explore in turn how verse dramatists between 1660 and 1956 engaged with the same dialectic, both politically and prosodically. The thesis closes with an extended reflection on my own practice as a contemporary poet-playwright, discussing three scripts where I experimented with counterpointing individuals and communities through dramatic verse.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) ; University of Birmingham
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater ; PR English literature