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by Stephen Orgel

Free eBook Imagining Shakespeare: A History of Texts and Visions download ISBN: 1403911770
Author: Stephen Orgel
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2003 edition (June 12, 2003)
Language: English
Pages: 172
Category: Imaginative Literature
Subcategory: History and Criticism
Size MP3: 1908 mb
Size FLAC: 1552 mb
Rating: 4.3
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Imagining Shakespeare. A History of Texts and Visions.

Imagining Shakespeare shows Orgel at his best - lucid, incisive, lively, learned, and always surprising as he teases out the implications of 'what we mean by Shakespeare', as well as how and what Shakespeare can mean. The essays are each subtle, supple, and always wonderfully alert. They are dense and complex but beautifully clear. Orgel is indeed master of all he surveys here, moving almost effortlessly through fields of textual scholarship, performance study, social history, history of art, and impressive local readings of the plays. Imagining Shakespeare.

Imagining Shakespeare shows Orgel at his best - lucid, incisive, lively, learned . Orgel provides a history of attempts by 18th and 19th-century artists to produce a likeness more worthy of Shakespeare. Orgel is celebrated for his work on the masques of the Stuart court and other visual aspects of Renaissance staging.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 164-167) and index. In this illustrated book, one of the foremost Shakespeareans of our time explores the ways in which Shakespeare has been imagined from his time to ours. In wide-ranging discussions of plays as disparate as Henry V, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, and The Winter's Tale, six richly detailed chapters anatomize the changing nature of dramatic representation over the centuries.

Imagining Shakespeare book. Start by marking Imagining Shakespeare: A History of Texts and Visions as Want to Read

Imagining Shakespeare book. Start by marking Imagining Shakespeare: A History of Texts and Visions as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

Orgel's essays in this sumptuously illustrated book (there are 16 plates and 101 figures by my count) extend our knowledge of how Shakespeare has been imagined over time. In doing so, they confirm his well-known appreciation of and eye for visual detail. What is less widely known is that Orgel has led a long, productive life as a close reader. Why this has been such a secret is perhaps a mystery in itself. It was there for anyone to see, for instance, who picked up that landmark critical anthology, In Defense of Reading (1962).

In this beautifully illustrated book, one of the foremost Shakespeareans of our time explores the ways in which Shakespeare has been imagined from his time to ours. Drawing on performance history, textual history and the visual arts (including a fascinating chapter on portraiture), Imagining Shakespeare displays throughout the cultural versatility, elegance, lucidity and wit which have become the hallmarks of Stephen Orgel's style.

Imagining Shakespeare: A History of Texts and Visions draws on lectures Orgel has given over more than twenty years to discuss the various "texts" of Shakespeare's plays and the numerous interpretations and dramatic renderings of them. The author includes numerous ing illustrations of theatres during the time of Shakespeare-and an in-depth discussion of various performances of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream staged during different historical eras.

Sort field for winners: Imagining shakespeare: a history of texts and visions. Winner Description: Orgel, Stephen; Palgrave, 2003. Title of a book, article or other published item (this will display to the public)

Sort field for winners: Imagining shakespeare: a history of texts and visions. Title of a book, article or other published item (this will display to the public): Imagining Shakespeare: a history of texts and visions. ISBN of the winning item: 1-4039-1177-0. What type of media is this winner?: Book. Winner Detail Create Date: Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 07:29.

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A History of Texts and Visions. IT is hard to imagine that even the most groveling of idolaters feels a need for more books on Shakespeare than are already on offer

A History of Texts and Visions. IT is hard to imagine that even the most groveling of idolaters feels a need for more books on Shakespeare than are already on offer. And accepting, as we apparently must, that there is little prospect of a publishing moratorium, all, even the idolaters, must always be hoping to encounter something new or at least mildly surprising, something off the beaten track - especially when they are expected yet once more to read the story of the poet's life.

In this beautifully illustrated book, one of the foremost Shakespeareans of our time explores the ways in which Shakespeare has been imagined from his time to ours. Drawing on performance history, textual history and the visual arts (including a fascinating chapter on portraiture), Imagining Shakespeare displays throughout the cultural versatility, elegance, lucidity and wit which have become the hallmarks of Stephen Orgel's style.
User reviews
Dianaghma
I must say that this book does has a lot of pictures in it showing the aspects of Shakespear's world and plays. They are very good and intertaining but I must warn you that the book has a whole chapter with illustrations (in detail)of people having sex. The book is probably very good if you like reading text books, and don't mind these pictures, but I was just too grossed out. If you are teaching Lit in college and/or studying Shakespeare, this is probably the book that you should use, but you should flip through the book first (i.e: library, book store) to see if that is what you want on your book shelves.
Flamehammer
John Singer Sargent's famous painting of Lady Macbeth is a good choice for the cover of "Imagining Shakespeare," even though it shows a scene that never occurs in the play's script. The portrait conveys an intensely sensual image of power. She stands alone, eyes fixed, hair flaming red, upraised hands poised to lower a bejeweled crown on her head. Belts of gold encircle a sinuous gown that sparkles with green and blue scales. The image evokes her words to Macbeth: "look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't."

Sir Henry Irving's praised 1888 production starring Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth inspired Sargent's painting. Critic Oscar Wilde, writing about the banquet scene where Macbeth sees the ghost of murdered Duncan, poked fun: "Judging from the banquet, Lady Macbeth seems an economical houskeeper ... but she takes care to do all her own shopping in Byzantium." Sargent's medieval queen does look more like Antony's Cleopatra - "serpent of old Nile" - than ancient Scottish royalty. Historical inconsistency, says Orgel, far from being a mistake, is essential to the play. It points out the characters' relationships to one another and to the audience. Wilde's satire is wonderful, but his comment ignores the costume's purpose in showing Lady Macbeth's nature.

The book's many illustrations make clear Orgel's view that since Shakespeare first sharpened a quill, the plays have been "imagined" in diverse ways. (Compare, for example Kenneth Branagh's lavishly detailed "Hamlet," with Richard Burton's stripped bare production. Both are excellent.) Orgel notes that Shakespeare wrote, rewrote and co-wrote for the stage, not for publication. Despite the strenuous efforts of a small army of scholars, the idea of a single, true Shakespeare script remains an illusion.

Drama, most flexible of the fine arts, depends on scenery, dialogue editing, delivery of lines, movement, costumes, props, and background sounds or music - all of which define a certain vision and can vary significantly from one time to the next. Directors, actors, critics, and the audience have always worked together to create each production. Successful playwrights have many helpers.

Orgel notes that Shakespeare shaped history as much, or more, than he drew from it. Take Macbeth, for example: In truth, Duncan was the usurper, Macbeth a popular hero, and Lady Macbeth the legitimate heir to the throne. Historical fact little hindered Shakespeare's creativity, as the sons and daughters of England's wars of the roses might well testify were they now alive.

The pleasures of love and dangers of jealousy permeate the three plays that Orgel analyzes in depth: "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "The Winter's Tale," and "The Merchant of Venice." Sexual language, imagery and situations abound in these plays, in most of Shakespeare's other plays, and were doubtless popular with Elizabethan audiences. Four hundred years have obscured Shakespeare's language enough that the plays now sit unmolested in most school and public libraries.

School productions of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," a play that obsesses on the idea of rampant lust, somehow shine with child-like innocence. Orgel's reviews of the stage-history of these plays show that similarly desexed versions of Shakespeare were common, depending on the tastes and values of the time.

Renewed awareness of sexual language in the plays arose with the 1947 publication of Partridge's, "Shakespeare's Bawdy." Orgel draws on a cryptic reference to the artist Giulio Romano in "The Winter's Tale," in order to provide a visual update to Partridge. Romano was a prominent Italian painter and architect who created a scandalous album of sexual poses known as "I Modi." The original erotic art was suppressed by Papal authority, but survives through copies made by others.

The "I Modi" engravings shown in this book buck the tradition of dry-as-dust studies of Shakespeare. The images are of Shakespeare's time and inspired his writing as much as did Holinshed's "Chronicles." They might now still be "banned in Boston," but are tame by today's standards. If Will Shakespeare was a masterful interpreter of the human heart, the images remind us that for him the human heart is deeply rooted in a human body.

Orgel's elegant book guides readers over well-trodden paths of Shakespeare studies and explores a few less well-traveled byways. More than most such books, it entertains and its illustrations concisely show the reader what many other books only describe in volumes of dusty words.
ME
Another reviewer complains about this book's exquisite illustrations. I'd like to note that including them is not a frivolous choice, but a decision made because our images of Shakespeare often stem from exactly that -- images. Orgel is one of the top Shakespearean scholars around, and he does an incredible job outlining the Shakespeare we think we know, and how this imagined Shakespeare came to be known. Unlike many works on Shakespeare, Orgel bases his scholarship on the historical record, including physical artifacts such as the actual folios, and sculptures, and paintings.