Elisabeth Bronfen
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Wearing the crown
The Wire
in Serial Shakespeare
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This chapter reads The Wire with Shakespeare’s first tetralogy, proposing an analogy between the war on drugs in Baltimore at the beginning of the 21st century and his historical reenactment of the War of the Roses. At issue in both is the deployment of systemic cycles of violence predicated on a struggle between political legitimacy and legitimation. At stake also is the theatrical display of power that connects Shakespeare’s world to that of The Wire, even while both tap into a rhetoric of surveillance. The theatre audience, like the audience of the TV drama, is shown to be made complicit in the violent traffic performed on stage, page and screen.

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Serial Shakespeare

An infinite variety of appropriations in American TV drama


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