Shakespeare and the Middle Ages: essays on the performance and adaptation of the plays with Medieval sources or settings (review)

Elliott, Andrew (2010) Shakespeare and the Middle Ages: essays on the performance and adaptation of the plays with Medieval sources or settings (review). Arthuriana, 20 (4). pp. 103-104. ISSN 1078-6279

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Abstract

In a recent BBC documentary recounting the theft of Shakespeare’s First Folio, the art-thief, Raymond Scott, admits that when he first saw the book, he ‘wasn’t very impressed with it’; amid all of its fanfare and proclamations of uniqueness, it was ‘only a disbound copy of a book.’ For what is only a book, however, it is increasingly clear that Shakespeare’s legacy has ripples far beyond its immediate circles among Early Modernists, and Driver and Ray’s Shakespeare and the Middle Ages ably demonstrates that in time such ripples might quickly become waves. Documenting the importance of the Middle Ages to Shakespeare’s oeuvre, as well as the importance of Shakespeare’s plays to the modern reception of the medieval, the collection draws on a range of approaches from theology to musicology, from theater studies to gender studies, and invites insight from medievalists, Victorianists and Early Modernists alike. The resulting essays provide some fascinating suggestions and compelling arguments to support the central contention that ‘while Shakespeare is not history, he has shaped our reception of it’ (24).

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:In a recent BBC documentary recounting the theft of Shakespeare’s First Folio, the art-thief, Raymond Scott, admits that when he first saw the book, he ‘wasn’t very impressed with it’; amid all of its fanfare and proclamations of uniqueness, it was ‘only a disbound copy of a book.’ For what is only a book, however, it is increasingly clear that Shakespeare’s legacy has ripples far beyond its immediate circles among Early Modernists, and Driver and Ray’s Shakespeare and the Middle Ages ably demonstrates that in time such ripples might quickly become waves. Documenting the importance of the Middle Ages to Shakespeare’s oeuvre, as well as the importance of Shakespeare’s plays to the modern reception of the medieval, the collection draws on a range of approaches from theology to musicology, from theater studies to gender studies, and invites insight from medievalists, Victorianists and Early Modernists alike. The resulting essays provide some fascinating suggestions and compelling arguments to support the central contention that ‘while Shakespeare is not history, he has shaped our reception of it’ (24).
Keywords:Shakespeare, middle ages, film, book review
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Media
ID Code:4299
Deposited By: Andrew Elliott
Deposited On:24 Mar 2011 15:41
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:40

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