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norton intro nts pt 3.docx

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Majorie Rubright

Norton Introduction nts- pg. 51-75 The theatre of the Nation: - Period experienced a rapid growth in population - With it came expansions of markets - Familiar with liquidity of capital o Possible to conceive thatre not only as festive entertainment for special events but as a permanent year round business venture o Relied on ticket sales (innovation of this period to have money advanced in the expectation of pleasure)  Unlike slavery/ labour (do work then get paid) - Nation = Theatre state o Manifests its power and meaning in exemplary public performances o Shakespeare’s plays frequently performed before Queen Elizabeth, then King James & Queen Ann o Symbology of power depended on regal magnificence, reward, punishment, and pardon, all of which were heavily theatricalized  Something queen elizabeth would have been all too familiar with - Illicit exorcism points both to the theatricality of many religious rituals in the Renaissance and to the heightened possibility of secularization o Protestant authorities banned mystery plays o Official attacks on certain catholic practices made it more possible for the public theatre to appropriate and exploit their allure - Theatre in shakespeare’s time bound up with: Market society, theatre state, and church - Civic authorities regarded theatre as nuisance, temptation to ppl to neglect responsibilities and lapse into idleness and waste - Shakespeare made a handsome profit from the commodification of theatrical entertainment o But he never writes “city comedy” (plays set in London & concerned with market relations) - Inherent tension b/w kings and player kings o Monarch insists sacredness of authoryt resides in the body of the ruler, not in a costume o Kings are not representations of power  claim to be the thing itself Shakespeare comes to London: - Shakes had been a school teacher in the country - Was an unusal apprentice butcher  killed animals in high style and always made a speech 1 st - By 1592, shakes had already arrived on the highly competitive London theatrical scene - Shakespeare = established actor and accomplished writer o Aroused attention and approbation of many socially prominent people o Narrartive poems won him a good rep as a stylish and accomplished poet - Public playhouses had enemies  civic and religious authorities - Shakes came to London in the late 1580s o More than a dozen companies operating under the patronage of various aristocrats - By 1590’s number of playing companies in London had been considerably reduced through competition and through legislative restriction - By the early yrs of the 17 C, only 3 companies that usually competed against one another - For the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, he wrote 2 plays/ yr performed in The Theatre, playhouse built in 1576 o When lease on the playhouse expired, opened Globe 1599 (shakes being a principle investor) o Theatre= risky enterprise  Most who wrote plays made next to nothing (shakes= an exception) Shakespearean Trajectory: - Principle source for shakes works is the 1623 folio - Folio doesn’t print plays in chronological order, nor does it attempt to establish a chronologic order - Precise order of the plays still very much in dispute - Shakes began his career prob in early 1590s by writing histories and then comedies o Comedy of errors one of his earliest efforts in the genre o Mid- late 1590s reached the summit of his art in 2 major genres, aso manifested rd interest in a 3  1593 wrote the cruel target of titus Andronicus o Plays written from 1601-1607 major shift in sensibility  Perhaps from his father’s death in 1601  Comedies written in 1601-1604 very diff from earlier comedies th  20 c scholars called them problem plays or dark comedies o a/o group written b/w 1608-1611 k
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