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Shakespeare. By the twentieth century, however, there was more to Shakespeare than psychology and more to drama than character. The play’s philosophical seriousness (as opposed to its truth to life) is a product of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, of the assumption that Hamlet’s meditations and the revelations of the ghost imply a whole metaphysical system

in Spectacular Performances

urges him to cast his nighted color off, as if that would restore him to sociability. Culturally, the change, in fact, tends to work in the opposite direction: the transformations of fashion quickly cease to be shocking and become simply stylish – since the late twentieth century, when black has been fashionable, most of the court in productions of Hamlet has been costumed

in Spectacular Performances

was for many years considered a copy of an original ascribed to Gerard Honthorst, until the middle of the twentieth century when someone noticed a painting of Jonson by Abraham Blyenberch listed in a 1635 inventory of the Duke of Buckingham’s pictures at York House, upon which this, or perhaps a copy of it, became the Blyenberch portrait instead: the identity of artists is no

in Spectacular Performances

: My suggestion was that audiences weren’t used to seeing gay behavior depicted onstage before 1968 except in a comic context, and thus actors didn’t have a shorthand by which to communicate it. 10 By the end of the twentieth century, we have had an openly gay Mercutio who goes partying in drag in Baz Luhrman

in Spectacular Performances