Shakespeare on the German Stage: Volume 1, 1586-1914, Volume 1

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 11, 2004 - Drama - 260 pages
This is an illustrated history of the performance and reception of Shakespeare's plays on the German stage from the English Comedians in the late sixteenth century to the First World War. Simon Williams argues that the vision of Shakespeare first articulated by critics of Sturm und Drang and romanticism was only realised in practice with the productions of Max Reinhardt in the early twentieth century. The book focuses on the classical period of German literature and theatre, when Shakespeare's plays were first staged in Germany in a relatively complete form, and when they had a potent influence on the writings of German drama and dramatic criticism. Important contributions to the critical reception of Shakespeare in the late eighteenth century are discussed. Professor Williams describes the steady increase in productions of Shakespeare's plays during the nineteenth century, paying attention to textual adaptation, actors' interpretations of leading roles and, in the latter part of the book, to the influence of the rise of the director on Shakespearean performance. A subsequent volume by Wilhelm Hortmann discusses Shakespeare production in Germany from the early twentieth century to the present day.

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