By Michael Dobson
The century among the recovery and David Garrick's Stratford Jubilee observed William Shakespeare's merchandising from the prestige of archaic, rustic playwright to that of England's undying Bard, and with it the full transformation of the ways that his performs have been staged, released, and browse. yet why Shakespeare? and what varied pursuits did this technique serve? The Making of the nationwide Poet is the 1st full-length learn because the Nineteen Twenties of the Restoration's and eighteenth century's revisions and revaluations of Shakespeare, and the 1st to think about the period's much-reviled level diversifications within the context of the profound cultural adjustments within which they take part. Drawing on a variety of evidence--including engravings, promptbooks, diaries, statuary, and formerly unpublished poems, it examines how and why Shakespeare used to be retrospectively claimed as either a good Enlightenment writer and a very important and contested image of British nationwide id. via attractive and informative research, Dobson's e-book presents the definitive account of the theater's function in setting up Shakespeare as Britain's nationwide Poet.
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Additional info for The Making of the National Poet: Shakespeare, Adaptation and Authorship, 1660-1769 (Clarendon Paperbacks)
5 Ideally, the theatres could be used not only to provide, as here, the temporary, escapist illusion that the Civil Wars had never happened, but to supply harmlessly replayed 4 [Sir William Davenant], The Prologue to His Majesty at the First Play Presented at the Cock-pit in Whitehall; Being Part of That Noble Entertainment Which Their Majesties Received Novemb. 19. from His Grace the Duke of Albermarle (London, 1660). 5 See John Downes, Roscius Anglicanus , ed. Judith Milhous and Robert Hume (London, 1987), 52; Emett L.
By THO. 44 To Davenant, Shakespeare's plays as they stand are not quite works, and Shakespeare is thus treated as not quite an author, his texts available for recycling much as the old Leir, The Famous Victories of Henry V, or the ur-Hamlet had been in Shakespeare's own time. The Law Against Lovers, in its willingness silently to appropriate two separate plays, is one of the most thoroughgoing of all the period's adaptations, and an inspection of Davenant's use of the materials he chooses suggests something of the tremendous pressure towards political orthodoxy under which the re-authoring of Shakespeare's plays in the early 1660s was carried out.
347 (18 Dec. 1662). 43 Cf. Dryden's preface to the Davenant-Dryden The Tempest; or the Enchanted Island, quoted below, according to which Davenant's additions to Shakespeare's play have completed what was a hitherto unfinished design by putting 'the last hand to it'. 44 Thomas Shadwell, The History of Timon of Athens, the Man-Hater (London, 1678). Cf. 'The Epistle Dedicatory': 'it has the inimitable hand of Shakespear in it, which never made more Masterly strokes than in this. 46 At the opening of Davenant's play, a legitimate prince (the Duke) prepares to leave his country not under compulsion as the result of defeat but voluntarily and as the result of victory: unlike his hasty and cryptic Shakespearean original, Davenant's Duke even uses Charles II's own famous euphemism for his exile, 'my travels', innocuously transformed into the result of a premeditated whim; 'Victory gives me now free leisure to | Pursue my old design of travelling' (Davenant, Works, 273).
The Making of the National Poet: Shakespeare, Adaptation and Authorship, 1660-1769 (Clarendon Paperbacks) by Michael Dobson