Shakespeare and The Renaissance Stage

Edel Lamb

in The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780748635238
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652297 | DOI:
Shakespeare and The Renaissance Stage

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This chapter reviews the multiple institutional influences on the original productions of Shakespeare's plays by the company for which he wrote throughout most of his career, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later the King's Men. It then uses The Tempest as a case study. All of Shakespeare's plays were written primarily for performance in the professional playhouses of Renaissance London, and those commissioned for court entertainment would have come from the company's existing repertory. The spaces of the Renaissance theatres were integral to the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Shakespeare's plays draw attention to their status as part of a wide range of games and pastimes in Renaissance culture. Locating The Tempest within the institution in which it was produced, therefore, illuminates the multiple factors influencing dramatic production in the Renaissance theatre.

Keywords: Shakespeare; Renaissance theatre; The Tempest; Lord Chamberlain's Men; King's Men; Renaissance London; court entertainment; Renaissance culture

Chapter.  9697 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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