Shakespeare's dialogic stage: towards a poetics of performance

Jones, Winifred Maria (1999). Shakespeare's dialogic stage: towards a poetics of performance. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Shakespearian performance scholarship is arguably looking for a methodology that can integrate the study of performative work with critical analysis and theory. As an intervention in this discussion, I propose a poetics of performance, a term intended as a playful appropriation of Stephen Greenblatt's poetics of culture but one that restores the central omission of actual performance to his study of Renaissance subjectivity in dramatic texts. This is a systematic study of four plays, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet and Richard II in productions on stage and screen between 1927-1995, arranged diachronically and in dialogic pairings (drawing on 'Bakhtinian thought'). Utilising Greenblatt's discussion of cultural exchange and symbolic acquisition, and restoring Greenblatt's omission of diachronic 'appropriation', I consider the reception of the performative work, drawing attention to interpretative patterns, and enquire into the structuring historical contingency of the Renaissance locus. In considering the 'iteration' of a Shakespearian text (ie: that which enables it to activate transpositions beyond its originating history) I suggest that materialist critics are responding to a valued "art' work and that it is Shakespearian performance scholarship itself that has created the anomalous page/stage debate which it presently seeks to circumvent.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Humanities
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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