Squeaking Cleopatras? Shakespeare's boy players

Gibson, Joy Leslie (1994). Squeaking Cleopatras? Shakespeare's boy players. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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There are four major questions which are asked and answered in this thesis.
1) What were the experiences that the boys had in every day life?
A discussion on the conditions of life in Elizabethan England, together with suggestions of how the boys acquired the skills they needed. What ages were the boys? This leads to a comparison with boys in Cathedral choirs.
2) What technical help did the writers give to the boys?
An analysis of major speeches from Shakespeare showing the possible, practical breathing patterns.
3) Were the boys able to meet the emotional demands of the parts?
The Elizabethan ideas on femininity are demonstrated and it is shown that subjects specific to a woman's life are not written about. An analysis of speeches from Shakespeare and other dramatists shows that excessive emotional demands were not made on the boy players.
4) What did the Elizabethans actually see when they went to the theatre?
Acting is an illusion and collusion. The costumes of the day helped the boys, as did the smallness of the parts. Proof that the boys were sucessful.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, The Shakespeare Institute
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/3121


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