Chapter

Reform It Altogether: <i>Hamlet</i>, 1900–1980

David Bevington

in Murder Most Foul

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599103
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731501 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599103.003.0007
Reform It Altogether: Hamlet, 1900–1980

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The 20th century ushered in a reform of Shakespearean staging that emphasized minimal scenery, rapid movement, and everything that the 19th-century stage was not. William Poel was an early reformer, as was Harley Granville-Barker. The new Hamlets included Sarah Bernhard, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Robert Burton, Nicol Williamson, and many others. Interpretation, responding to cataclysmic events that included the Russian Revolution, two World Wars, feminism, and street protest, moved toward a revisionist of the play as disillusioned, bitter, fatalistic, and violent.

Keywords: William Poel; Harley Granville-Barker; Sarah Bernhardt; John Gielgud; Laurence Olivier; Richard Burton; Nicol Wiliamson; World War I; World War II; feminism

Chapter.  10466 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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