Performances at Court in Shakespeare’s Era
Deadline for submitting chapter proposals (400 words) : 28 February 2017
Notification of acceptance : 15 March 2017
Deadline for final submissions (6000-8000 words) : 31 August 2017
Editors : John Mucciolo and Sophie Chiari
The editors invite 400-word abstracts for this collection under contract with Rowman & Littlefield that examines performances at court in Shakespeare’s era. Among the authors contributing a chapter are Leeds Barroll, Richard Dutton and William B. Long.
Studies of the conditions of the early modern Globe and Blackfriars theatres have enriched our understanding of the production and meanings of dramatic scripts and improvisations performed there. Curiously, except for the masque, the circumstances of performance at the Elizabethan and early Stuart courts have received little critical attention. This, however, has slowly started to change. Richard Dutton has recently demonstrated in Shakespeare, Court Dramatist (OUP, 2016) that a number of particularly long play scripts, like Q2 Hamlet for instance, may in fact have been written with a court performance in mind. Taking Dutton’s seminal analysis into account, critics may now increasingly see the need of reassessing Shakespeare’s multiple texts.
Despite the fact that Shakespeare openly dramatizes courtly performances in his own plays, and because we have taken for granted that he primarily wrote for wide, multi-layered audiences, the entertainment of the court has too long been dismissed as a secondary issue in Shakespeare studies. As a result, we lack information about the practices of playing companies at court and about what may have been fruitful exchanges between court entertainments and popular performances. To close this gap, this volume aims to shed fresh light on multiple aspects of Elizabethan and early Stuart court performances related to Shakespeare, considering all forms of drama, music, dance, and other entertainment. The chapters of this volume will deal with either real or dramatized court performances in order to bring new perspectives on the topic and to break ground for new avenues of thought.