Stage-Wrights: Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, and the Making of Theatrical Value
University of Pennsylvania Press, Incorporated, 29. 5. 1997 - Počet stran: 232
To many of their contemporaries, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Thomas Middleton were little more than artisanal craftsmen, "stage-wrights" who wrote plays for money, to be performed in common playhouses and in a manner often antithetical to what Jonson himself viewed as the higher calling of poetry. In response to the conflicting pressures of censorship and commercialism, Paul Yachnin contends, players and dramatists alike had promulgated the idea of drama's irrelevance, creating a recreational theater that failed to influence its audience in any purposeful way.
In Stage-Wrights Yachnin shows how Shakespeare, Jonson, and Middleton struggled to reclaim not only the importance of their art, but their own social legitimacy as well as through the reshaping of the commercial theater. His bold readings of their works unveil the strategies by which they sought power from their privileged but powerless position on the margins. Adopting a hermeneutical approach, he explores a wide range of historical evidence to describe how English Renaissance drama depicted the world in ways refracted by the interests of the playing companies; throughout, he challenges recent historicist models that have overrated the importance of dramatic productions to society and its institutions of authority.
Paul Yachnin offers a new way of understanding dramatic texts in relation to their social history. In showing how the efforts of three playwrights helped shape the area of discourse we now call "the literary," Stage-Wrights represents both a major rereading of the place of theater in Shakespeare's London and an important clarification of the social context of contemporary criticism.
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... could not live without a public audience ; and he certainly could not live without
money . ... was that a person who needed to earn a living and who wanted to
count for something in his society could not be a poet without also being a
... the planets of the ages wherein they live ... placed high on the top of all virtue ,
looked down on the stage of the world ... of real life and individual identity against
the commonplace metatheatrical argument that equates living with playing .
The theatricality of living means that one is always a woman's man ; like " the
earth's full breast , " such living yields " both milk and death " ( Quarles , 49 ) .
Jaques wishes to exempt himself from the " wide and universal theatre , ” casting
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