Shakespeare & European Politics

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1st Edition

240 x 160 mm. 392pp 6 b&w illustrations.... [In stock in Australia, for immediate delivery]

Shakespeare and European Politics offers a selection of some of the finest lectures and seminar papers presented at the conference of the same name held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in December 2003. It is a vital contribution to what is beginning to look like a new tradition in Shakespeare studies: a tendency no longer to study Shakespeare only in his own historical or national contexts, but also as a cultural phenomenon with a European and international history and afterlife. As some contributors argue, Shakespeare was not merely indebted to European sources, but his plays also show an awareness of the contemporary political situation on the Continent.

However, the volume's main focus is on the ways in which, over the past 400 years, Shakespeare has played a role of significance within a European framework, particularly where a series of political events and ideologically based developments were concerned, such as the early modern wars of religion, the emergence of 'the nation' during the late-18th and 19th centuries, the First and Second World Wars, the process of European unification during the 1990s, the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, and Britain's participation in the war in Iraq.

The whole of the collection and particularly the opening section, introduced by John Drakakis, clearly invites a European and even a global perspective. Terence Hawkes's essay, which takes its starting point in England and Europe but also draws in the Middle East and the U.S., is programmatic in this respect. The three following sections deal with the reception of Shakespeare in the theatre, in criticism, and in translation. Dennis Kennedy introduces the section on 'politics and/on the stage', which discusses a number of significant performances across Europe that reveal Shakespeare's political relevance and the use of Shakespeare for ideological reasons.

The section devoted to criticism, introduced by Manfred Pfister, shows how ideological pressures are at work, even in historical research into the composition of Shakespeare's audience. The final section on translation, introduced by Rui Carvalho Homem, presents case studies, ranging from George Gascoigne's translation of Euripides' Jocasta and its possible influence on Shakespeare, over Spanish renderings of the famous Ducis adaptations, to Prokofiev's ballet version of Romeo and Juliet.

This book convincingly demonstrates that Shakespeare, both at the level of his meaning in his own time and at that of his reception in later ages, should no longer be studied only in relation to particular nations, but as Dirk Delabastita argues, also at various supranational levels.

Dirk Delabastita is Professor of English literature and literary theory at the University of Namur. Jozef De Vos teaches English literature and theatre history at Ghent University. Paul J. C. M. Franssen teaches British and South African literature at Utrecht University.
^ Drama ^ Shakespeare


SKU 9780874130041
Barcode # 9780874130041
Brand AUP
Artist / Author Dirk DELABASTITA, Jozef De VOS & Paul FRANSEN (editors)

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