The Author Staged

Jeffrey Knapp

in Shakespeare Only

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226445717
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226445731 | DOI:
The Author Staged

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This chapter focuses on Shakespeare's dramatizations of his authorship in his plays. For recent theater historians, the appearance of authorial proxies in Renaissance drama was an ominous development: an “intrusion,” even a “colonization of the previously improvisatory and collaborative theater” by “an emerging figure … that would eventually eclipse the popular stage.” According to the polarizing logic of such accounts, theatrical celebrity was the exclusive property of actors, and consequently any author who achieved celebrity must have stolen it from actors. The chapter not only acknowledges the inescapable potentiality for tension between actors and authors, but also shows how Renaissance drama treated this tension innovatively, by attempting to theatricalize the author.

Keywords: dramatization; authorship; plays; Renaissance drama; celebrity; script; Renaissance drama

Chapter.  13464 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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