Shakespeare's Visual Theatre: Staging the Personified Characters

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 25, 2003 - Literary Collections - 358 pages
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In this study of Shakespeare's visual culture Frederick Kiefer looks at the personified characters created by Shakespeare in his plays, his walking, talking abstractions. These include Rumour in 2 Henry IV, Time in The Winter's Tale, Spring and Winter in Love's Labour's Lost, Revenge in Titus Andronicus, and the deities in the late plays. All these personae take physical form on the stage: the actors performing the roles wear distinctive attire and carry appropriate props. The book seeks to reconstruct the appearance of Shakespeare's personified characters; to explain the symbolism of their costumes and props; and to assess the significance of these symbolic characters for the plays in which they appear. To accomplish this reconstruction, Kiefer brings together a wealth of visual and literary evidence including engravings, woodcuts, paintings, drawings, tapestries, emblems, civic pageants, masques, poetry and plays. The book contains over forty illustrations of personified characters in Shakespeare's time.

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Contents

Introduction
3
Spring and Winter in Loves Labours Lost
27
Revenge Murder and Rape in Titus Andronicus
43
Rumour in 2 Henry IV
65
Hecate and the witches in Macbeth
103
The Five Senses in Timon of Athens
130
Time and the deities in the late plays
148
Conclusion
217
Notes
223
Select bibliography
307
Index
342
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Frederick Kiefer is Professor of English at the University of Arizona, Tucson. He is the author of Fortune and Elizabethan Tragedy (1983) and Writing on the Renaissance Stage: Written Words, Printed Pages, Metaphoric Books (1996).

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