The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2314  Wednesday, 12 December 2000

From:           Paul E. Doniger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday 11 Dec 2000 17:57:11 -0800
Subject:        Re: Literary vs. Theatrical Shakespeare

Thanks, Tim Perfect, for bringing up a topic that might do well with a
good airing. Here's a question we all could ponder: How far should the
dramatic works of Shakespeare be considered from their theatrical


Is Shakespeare more literature than theatre, more theatre than
literature, or some undetermined mixture of the two?

Can literary and dramatic criticism find any common ground with
performance theory?

I recently completed my master's thesis, supporting much of what I wrote
from my experience as a Shakespearean actor and audience member. I find
it much more meaningful to engage in this mix of the theoretical with
the practical than to dwell in realms of "lit-crit" that don't consider
the elements of performance that are essential to works written for the
stage.  It's akin, I think, to examining an opera without considering
the music!

Any takers?

Paul E. Doniger

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