Shakespeare Exhibition and Festival Culture

Mark Thornton Burnett

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 Exhibition and Festival Culture

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This chapter addresses the question of the historical influence exercised by the Stratford-upon-Avon Jubilee of 1769. The tensions between pilgrimage and tourism in expressions of Shakespearean festive culture are summarized, arguing that both serve similar ends. The role of the text in the celebratory Shakespearean impulse is also covered. Moreover, the relationship between commerce and education are explained. It is not so much Shakespeare's dominating influence in the ‘world’ that is emphasized as the role he might play as one member of a ‘world’ community. Festive Shakespeares are erected on paradox, for they disseminate myths of a-historicity in the same moment as they disclose the specific histories to which they owe their existence. Celebrating Shakespeare offers an insight into the past at the same time as it invites to contemplate alternative bonds of association and as yet untested commemorative possibilities.

Keywords: Shakespearean festive culture; Shakespeare; Stratford-upon-Avon Jubilee; pilgrimage; tourism; commerce; education

Chapter.  9218 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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