Shakespeare in Parts by Simon Palfrey
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Shakespeare in Parts
By Simon Palfrey

Shakespeare in Parts

By (author) See other recent books by Simon Palfrey See other recent books by Tiffany Stern
Format: Hardback

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Shakespeare in Parts by Simon Palfrey

Book Awards

  • Winner of David Bevington Award for Best New Book in Early Drama Studies 2009.

Book Description

A truly groundbreaking collaboration of original theatre history with exciting literary criticism, Shakespeare in Parts is the first book fully to explore the original form in which Shakespeare's drama overwhelmingly circulated. This was not the full play-text; it was not the public performance. It was the actor's part, consisting of the bare cues and speeches of each individual role. With group rehearsals rare or non-existent, the cued part alone had to furnish the actor with his character. But each such part-text was riddled with gaps and uncertainties. The actor knew what he was going to say, but not necessarily when, or why, or to whom; he may have known next to nothing of any other part. It demanded the most sensitive attention to the opportunities inscribed in the script, and to the ongoing dramatic moment. Here is where the young actor Shakespeare learnt his trade; here is where his imagination, verbal and technical, learnt to roam. This is the story of Shakespeare in Parts. As Shakespeare developed his playwriting, the apparent limitations of the medium get transformed into expressive opportunities. Both cue and speech become promise-crammed repositories of meaning and movement, and of individually discoverable space and time. Writing always for the same core group of players, Shakespeare could take - and insist upon - unprecedented risks. The result is onstage drama of astonishing immediacy. Starting with a comprehensive history of the part in early modern theatre, Simon Palfrey and Tiffany Stern's mould-altering work of historical and imaginative recovery provides a unique keyhole onto hitherto forgotten practices and techniques. It not only discovers a newly active, choice-ridden actor, but a new Shakespeare.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780199272051
ISBN-10: 0199272050
Format: Hardback
(240mm x 160mm x 32mm)
Pages: 560
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 27-Sep-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...


Books By Author Simon Palfrey

Macbeth by Simon Palfrey Macbeth, Paperback (May 2016)

With commentary throughout on the narrative's sources and the process of adaptation, this critical reimagining of Shakespeare's Macbeth opens up vivid new insights into one of the most familiar plays in the literary canon.

Shakespeare's Dead by Simon Palfrey Shakespeare's Dead, Paperback (April 2016)

This books chronicles the ingenious ways of dying in Shakespeare, from suicide to murder, and from workaday dagger to baroque pie recipe. Illustrated with contemporary images, it establishes the cultural, religious and social contexts for thinking about early modern death.

Poor Tom by Simon Palfrey Poor Tom, Hardback (September 2014)

One of the most memorable Shakespearean characters is Edgar in King Lear. The author asks us to rethink all those received ideas - and thus to experience King Lear as never before. He argues that Edgar is Shakespeare's most radical experiment in characterization - and also his most exhaustive model of both human and theatrical possibility.

Shakespeare's Possible Worlds by Simon Palfrey Shakespeare's Possible Worlds, Hardback (May 2014)

Simon Palfrey offers a new way of understanding Shakespeare's playworlds, with piercingly original readings of language, scenes, and characters.

» View all books by Simon Palfrey

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Author Biography - Simon Palfrey

Tiffany Stern is a Lecturer in English Literature at Oxford University, and the Beaverbrook and Bouverie Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at University College, Oxford. She specialises in Shakespeare, theatre history from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, book history, and editing. Her publications include Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan (OUP, 2000), Making Shakespeare (Routledge, 2004), and numerous articles and chapters exploring theatrical and editorial concerns of the early modern period. She has also edited the anonymous King Leir and Sheridan's The Rivals and is currently editing George Farquhar's Recruiting Officer, Brome's Jovial Crew, and Shakespeare's Merry Wives. Simon Palfrey is Lecturer in English at Oxford University and a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. He is the author of Late Shakespeare: a New World of Words(OUP, 1997; paperback, 2000), Doing Shakespeare (Arden, 2004), and articles on Kierkegaard and the ethics and phenomenology of drama.

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