This book writes a performance history of Antony and Cleopatra from 1606 to 2018. After considering the particular challenges Shakespeare’s script offers any actors, directors or designers who stage it, the book looks in detail at Antony and Cleopatra on the Jacobean stage and then at Dryden’s All for Love (the play that replaced Shakespeare’s from the Restoration to 1849). Fast-forwarding across a number of Victorian adaptations and early twentieth century English productions, it arrives at 1953, when, directed by Glen Byam Shaw at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre with Peggy Ashcroft as Cleopatra and Michael Redgrave as Antony, the play’s modern performance history begins. Thereafter, chapters offer in-depth analyses of fifteen productions by (among others) the Royal Shakespeare Company, Citizens’ Theatre Glasgow, Northern Broadsides, Berliner Ensemble and Toneelgroep Amsterdam in five countries and three languages. Combining close readings of theatre records – promptbooks, stage managers’ reports, costume bibles, reviews – with deep historical contextualisation, it sees how, and what, this play has meant each time it has brought its thoughts on power, race, masculinity, regime change, exoticism, love, dotage and delinquency into alignment with a new present. It ends seeing Shakespeare’s black Cleopatra restored to the English stage. Tragedy, comedy, history, farce: this book demonstrates that in performance Antony and Cleopatra is all four.
Shylock Jewish?’, Shakespeare Quarterly , 64:2 (Summer 2013) ,
Kim Hall, ‘Guess who’s coming to
dinner? Colonization and miscegenation in The Merchant of Venice ’,
Renaissance Drama , 23 (1992) , pp. 90 and 95.
Ibid. , p. 101.
Kim Hall, Things of Darkness: Economies of Race
and Gender in Early Modern England . (Ithaca, 1995), pp. 175–6.
Robert Weimann, Author’s Pen and
arising or springing from: derivation, rise;
beginning of existence in reference to its source or cause’ (1a) and ‘the fact
of springing from some particular ancestor or race descent, extraction, ancestry or
parentage’ (1b). Origin was frequently attributed to a divine source from whose plan
and values humans deviated. In the case of Lucretius, Barclay and Wilson or Raleigh this
process is taken seriously, but for Erasmus it was an object of derision. Each selects
textual authorities to document and sustain their position
and our capacity for survival; about the way violence breeds violence; about the search for
justice in a brutal universe. It’s about a world I recognise around me, particularly
here in Africa’ (Sher and Doran, 25). The play’s exploration of ‘race
and bigotry’, as well as ‘its anatomy of the consequences of colonial
conquest’ (Gevisser, 83), made it particularly appropriate for a nation just emerging
from many years of subjugation of its indigenous people. Apartheid, an oppressive political
Josette Bushell-Mingo’s Cleopatra, Royal Exchange, Manchester, 2005; Tarell Alvin McCraney’s ‘radical edit’, Royal Shakespeare Company, The Public and GableStage, 2013
Carol Chillington Rutter
criticism focusing theorised, historicised attention on the racial politics of his plays and specifically on Cleopatra's blackness,
and even as black actors were more frequently crossing the ‘colour bar’ to play those English ‘Kings’ Croll referred to, daily headlines in the broadsheets and tabloids showed race politics firmly back on the UK's national agenda. 2005 marked the fortieth anniversary of the UK's first Race Relations Act. That legislation aimed to end the kind of discrimination regularly encountered in
Laetitia Sansonetti, Rémi Vuillemin, and Enrica Zanin
sexualities. 3 The
environment of courtly poetics has been reassessed, and identity has
been the subject of much criticism, in terms of gender, nationhood or
race. 4 The study
of the religious sonnet was expanded and strengthened by the
‘religious turn’ of the 1990s, and household names of
religious sonneteers such as John Donne and George Herbert have been
joined by those of
This book is the first ever concordance to the rhymes of Spenser’s epic. It gives the reader unparalleled access to the formal nuts and bolts of this massive poem: the rhymes which he used to structure its intricate stanzas. As well as the main concordance to the rhymes, the volume features a wealth of ancillary materials, which will be of value to both professional Spenserians and students, including distribution lists and an alphabetical listing of all the words in The Faerie Queene. The volume breaks new ground by including two studies by Richard Danson Brown and J. B. Lethbridge, so that the reader is given provocative analyses alongside the raw data about Spenser as a rhymer. Brown considers the reception of rhyme, theoretical models and how Spenser’s rhymes may be reading for meaning. Lethbridge in contrast discusses the formulaic and rhetorical character of the rhymes.
Ralph Knevet's Supplement of the Faery Queene (1635) is a narrative and allegorical work, which weaves together a complex collection of tales and episodes, featuring knights, ladies, sorcerers, monsters, vertiginous fortresses and deadly battles – a chivalric romp in Spenser's cod medieval style. The poem shadows recent English history, and the major military and political events of the Thirty Years War. But the Supplement is also an ambitiously intertextual poem, weaving together materials from mythic, literary, historical, scientific, theological, and many other kinds of written sources. Its encyclopaedic ambitions combine with Knevet's historical focus to produce an allegorical epic poem of considerable interest and power. This new edition of Knevet's Supplement, the first scholarly text of the poem ever published, situates it in its literary, historical, biographical, and intellectual contexts. An extensive introduction and copious critical commentary, positioned at the back of the book, will enable students and scholars alike to access Knevet's complicated and enigmatic meanings, structures, and allusions.
because of its absence of bawdy, and where it was traditionally taught
as a meditation on Roman history, on rhetoric and on nobility. Latterly
those qualities – coupled with the play’s minimal interest
in women and none in race – have left it increasingly displaced by
more obviously fashionable or topical plays (Othello, or Romeo
and Juliet), and the aura of dust clearly influences audiences