Article

Early Modern Naturalistic Acting: The Role of the Globe in the Development of Personation

Jacalyn Royce

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/9780199697861.013.0029

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Early Modern Naturalistic Acting: The Role of the Globe in the Development of Personation

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

To envision the acting style called ‘personation’ by the Chamberlain's and King's Men requires both mining their scripts for clues and investigating the design of the Globe theatre for its contribution to the development of personation and of playwrighting for that acting technique. Providing the actor with a stage large enough to allow for freedom of movement, yet small enough and close enough to the audience to highlight discrete details of body language, the Globe enabled the actor to counterfeit naturalistic physical behaviour. Not only would the Globe's conditions encourage plausible body language and behaviour, but also, by visually emphasising gesture, they might demand it. ‘Counterfeiting’ also achieves the appearance of not ‘acting’, but with the added implication of forgery. The goals of personation and modern naturalistic acting are essentially the same: the illusion of ‘real’ people at ‘real’ moments in their lives. When used to discuss William Shakespeare's characters who adopt the methods of players, however, only ‘to counterfeit’ remains applicable. In these cases, the element of forgery becomes thematic.

Keywords: Globe theatre; personation; King's Men; naturalistic acting; counterfeiting; forgery; William Shakespeare; body language; movement; gesture

Article.  8832 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.