Article

Introduction: Early Modern Theater History: Where We Are Now, How We Got Here, Where We Go Next

Richard Dutton

in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199697861
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199697861.013.0001

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Introduction: Early Modern Theater History: Where We Are Now, How We Got Here, Where We Go Next

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
  • Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Is theatre history a form of social or cultural history, and if so, do those disciplines have theoretical underpinnings (however contested) that should be of interest to theatre historians? Where is the boundary between theatre history and fiction? For most of its early practitioners, despite the new energising of historical studies at large, theatre history seemed inescapably a branch of literature, more about theatre than about history, fathered by a devotion to the plays of William Shakespeare, and centred upon — or at least sheltered within — an activity whose closest affinity was with poetry rather than with social or cultural or political affairs. For Ronald Vince, theatre is without question ‘a sociocultural phenomenon’, and its study ‘in some major aspects a branch of social history’. And social historians, in turn, are major players in the ongoing debate over the place of theory in historical writing, according to Gabrielle Spiegel, because ‘the deepest challenge posed by the ‘linguistic turn’ was to the practice of social history’.

Keywords: Ronald Vince; theatre; plays; William Shakespeare; theatre history; social history; cultural history; Gabrielle Spiegel; fiction

Article.  7561 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.