Shakespeare, Sculpture and The Material Arts

Balz Engler

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, Sculpture and The Material Arts

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This chapter reviews the numerous statues of Shakespeare, so as to argue that the Bard is both a figure of prestige and a conduit for the cultures of memory. It is suggested that in the positions and peregrinations traced by particular sculptures of Shakespeare, there are revealing signs of an international rapprochement and reciprocity. It concentrates on public monuments. The statue presents Shakespeare not in a heroic pose, but as somebody very human turning towards the onlookers and drawing their attention to the words on the scroll. The most splendid monument to Shakespeare outside England is certainly the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. The Folger may not be a sculpture in the narrow sense defined at the beginning. But its sculpted exterior, its location, its association with a culture of memory and the role make it a perfect monument.

Keywords: Shakespeare; public monuments; sculptures; material arts; Folger Shakespeare Library; Bard

Chapter.  5395 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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