Publication details

(Not) Beyond the Shoe : Shakespeare and Theatre Rivalries in the Augustan Period

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Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Ostrava Journal of English Philology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web Plný text článku.
Keywords 18th-century British theatre; Restoration theatre; Elizabethan theatre; The Taming of the Shrew; Shakespeare adaptations; farce; afterpiece; Cobler of Preston; Charles Johnson; Christopher Bullock
Description Although the high cultural status of Shakespeare was well established in England by the 1760s, the preceding stage history of his plays and the related adaptations are culturally much more ambiguous. This paper focuses on two adaptations of The Taming of the Shrew that were produced in 1716 in London as two short farces, both entitled The Cobler of Preston and written by Charles Johnson and Christopher Bullock respectively. By taking into account the cultural and political circumstances of the period, the analysis of the two farces demonstrates that the establishment of farcical afterpieces, as one of the most popular and productive genres of early-18th-century English theatre, was greatly accelerated by the staging of the two Shakespearean adaptations. This further demonstrates that, at the same time as Shakespeare’s authority was gradually rising, adaptations of his plays actually contributed to the development of London commercial theatre culture, which was often presented as Shakespeare’s cultural opposite.
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