• "Indigested in the Scenes: Hamlet's Dramatic Theory and Ours"

    Author(s):
    Daniel Keegan (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Subject(s):
    Dramatic theory, Early modern theatre, Performance studies, Renaissance theater, Shakespeare
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6SZ32
    Abstract:
    (Forthcoming in PMLA, January 2018) Discussions of the relationship between drama and performance have been dominated by two symmetrical, emancipatory impulses. Performance scholars have, for the past half-century, sought to liberate performance from the authority of the drama. Literary scholars have, for centuries if not millennia, sought to distinguish a “literary” dimension of the dramatic text free of the flux of performance. This essay diagnoses in Shakespeare’s Hamlet an alternative story about the relationship between drama and performance. Paying refreshed attention to the earlier and less famous of Hamlet’s statements of dramatic theory—his blurb for the “excellent play” featuring Aeneas’ speech to Dido—I find Hamlet bringing drama, especially in its “literary” dimension, crashing back into performance. This collision does not reinstitute the authority of the text; rather, it radically democratizes the scene of dramatic performance by “indigesting” the behaviors of the participants therein.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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