The Purpose of Playing: Shakespeare and the Cultural Politics of the Elizabethan Theatre (Paperback)

The Purpose of Playing: Shakespeare and the Cultural Politics of the Elizabethan Theatre By Louis Montrose Cover Image

The Purpose of Playing: Shakespeare and the Cultural Politics of the Elizabethan Theatre (Paperback)

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Part of a larger project to examine the Elizabethan politics of representation, Louis Montrose's The Purpose of Playing refigures the social and cultural context within which Elizabethan drama was created.

Montrose first locates the public and professional theater within the ideological and material framework of Elizabethan culture. He considers the role of the professional theater and theatricality in the cultural transformation that was concurrent with religious and socio-political change, and then concentrates upon the formal means by which Shakespeare's Elizabethan plays called into question the absolutist assertions of the Elizabethan state. Drawing dramatic examples from the genres of tragedy and history, Montrose finally focuses his cultural-historical perspective on A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The Purpose of Playing elegantly demonstrates how language and literary imagination shape cultural value, belief, and understanding; social distinction and interaction; and political control and contestation.
Louis Montrose is professor of literature at the University of California, San Diego, and author of The Purpose of Playing: Shakespeare and the Cultural Politics of the Elizabethan Theatre, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

Product Details ISBN: 9780226534831
ISBN-10: 0226534839
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: June 1st, 1996
Pages: 242
Language: English