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Shakespeare's Serial History Plays

Details

  • 15 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 300 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.44 kg

Paperback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521045636)

Shakespeare's Serial History Plays provides a re-reading of the two sequences of English history plays, Henry VI-Richard III and Richard II-Henry V. Reconsidering the chronicle sources and the staging practices of Shakespeare's time, Grene argues that the history plays were originally designed for serial performance. He charts the cultural and theatrical conditions that led to serial productions of the histories, in Europe as well as in the English-speaking world, and looks at their original creation in the 1590s and at modern productions or adaptations, from famous stagings such as the Royal Shakespeare Company's 1960s Wars of the Roses through to the present day. Grene focuses on the issues raised by the plays' seriality: the imagination of war, the emergence of character, and the uses of prophecies and curses through the first four; techniques of retrospection, hybrid dramatic forms, and questions of irony and agency in the second.

• Offers a fresh perspective on Shakespeare's two series of history plays • Looks at both the original creation of the plays and their modern theatrical productions • Written in a lively and accessible style, with theatrical illustrations throughout

Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Chronology of major serial productions/adaptations; Note on the texts; Introduction: Part I. The Story of the Histories: 1. Serialising the chronicles; 2. Staging the national epic; Part II. Henry VI-Richard III: 3. War imagined; 4. The emergence of character; 5. Curses and prophecies; Part III. Richard II-Henry V: 6. Looking back; 7. Hybrid histories; 8. Change and identity; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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