Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 13, 2003 - Drama - 287 pages
In this groundbreaking study, Lukas Erne argues that Shakespeare, apart from being a playwright who wrote theatrical texts for the stage, was also a literary dramatist who produced reading texts for the page. The usual distinction that has been set up between Ben Jonson on the one hand, carefully preparing his manuscripts for publication, and Shakespeare the man of the theatre, writing for his actors and audience, indifferent to his plays as literature, is questioned in this book. Examining the evidence from early published playbooks, Erne argues that Shakespeare wrote many of his plays with a readership in mind and that these 'literary' texts would have been abridged for the stage because they were too long for performance. The variant early texts of Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, and Hamlet are shown to reveal important insights into the different media for which Shakespeare designed his plays.

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User Review  - antao - LibraryThing

The World is a Page: "Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist" by Lukas Erne Published 2013 (2nd Edition). Table of Contents: Preface to the second edition Introduction Part I. Publication: The legitimation ... Read full review

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User Review  - Michael - Goodreads

Really good for folks who want to study (or teach) lots of Shakespeare. Erne demonstrates that many of Shakespeare's plays, particularly from the late 1590s on, were written for readers rather than ... Read full review


The legitimation of printed playbooks in Shakespeares time
The making of Shakespeare
Shakespeare and the publication of his plays I the late sixteenth century
Shakespeare and the publication of his plays II the early seventeenth century
The players alleged opposition to print
Why size matters the two hours traffic of our stage and the length of Shakespeares plays
Editorial policy and the length of Shakespeares plays
Bad quartos and their origins Romeo and Juliet Henry V and Hamlet
Theatricality literariness and the texts of Romeo and Juliet Henry V and Hamlet
The plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in print 15841623
Heminge and Condells Stolne and surreptitious copies and the Pavier quartos
Shakespeare and the circulation of dramatic manuscripts
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Page 5 - But be contented : when that fell arrest Without all bail shall carry me away, My life hath in this line some interest, Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.

About the author (2003)

Lukas Erne teaches English literature at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He is the author of Beyond The Spanish Tragedy: A Study of the Works of Thomas Kyd (2001), and of a number of articles published in Shakespeare Quarterly, English Literary Renaissance, Essays in Criticism, Theatre Research International, and elsewhere.

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