Shakespeare and The Modern Stage

Christie Carson

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 Modern Stage

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This chapter suggests that several associated tendencies can be detected — a cultivation of theatrical ‘authenticity’, the overtaking of the local by the global, and the application of Shakespeare in projects of local self-definition. It concentrates on Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). A pragmatic reading of the RSC's ‘ambassadorial role’ can attribute as much of its success to financial and political imperatives as it can to cultural influence. International adaptations of Shakespeare are now as often viewed as acts of self-definition, instigating local cultural debates and British responses. Shakespeare's influence may be thinly spread, and the text may be subject to radical reinterpretation, but the influence of Shakespeare's work in the twenty-first century will likely more fully encircle the global community, engaging with a wider range of world views and representational possibilities.

Keywords: Shakespeare; Globe Theatre; National Theatre; Royal Shakespeare Company; theatrical authenticity; self-definition; global community

Chapter.  10979 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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