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The uses of pageantry: pageantry as production style in revivals of Shakespeare's second tetralogy on the English stage in the twentieth century

Green, Lawrence C. (1999)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

An Introductory chapter justifies the study of staged pageantry in terms of related research and acknowledges the aptness of the pageantic mode for the second tetralogy before glancing at pageantry within the contemporary social context.
A brief survey of pageantry in Shakespearean productions from the Restoration to 1900 provides an historical context for the thesis which shows that 'pictorial' pageantry, though vilified and much reduced in scale compared with Victorian literalism, proved resilient even in the face of the New Stagecraft and cinematic realism.
From the 1950s the intellectualisation of Shakespeare production which accompanied the emergence of the university-educated 'director', however, harnessed spectacle in the service of an interpretative vision that
demanded of audiences a capacity for analogical thinking akin to the 'cognitive eye' of Shakespeare's own audiences.
In an era of social flux and intellectual anxiety pageantry has provided a stable vocabulary for interrogating monarchal and political ideologies together with the vocabulary for the examination of the ritual basis of the human condition. Subsequently practitioners have utilised the meta-theatrical concept of pageantry and in a society increasingly defined through the visual emblem have sought to reach beyond 'image' towards understanding, thereby reaffirming the need to take theatrical pageantry seriously.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Jackson, Russell (1949-)
School/Faculty:Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
Department:School of English, Shakespeare Institute
Keywords:Shakespeare; Pageantry; Staging; Production Style; Richard II; Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2; Henry V
Subjects:PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
PR English literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:3122
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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