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Shakespeare in Company$
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Bart van Es

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199569311

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199569311.001.0001

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Prologue: Shakespeare’s early life and the origins of commercial theatre (1576–1592)

Prologue: Shakespeare’s early life and the origins of commercial theatre (1576–1592)

Chapter:
(p.1) Prologue: Shakespeare’s early life and the origins of commercial theatre (1576–1592)
Source:
Shakespeare in Company
Author(s):

Bart van Es

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199569311.003.0001

The prologue briefly describes Shakespeare’s early years and education, stressing how comparable the dramatist’s origins are to those of contemporary poet-playwrights like Marlowe, Kyd, and Greene. At the same time, the Prologue sketches the beginnings of commercial theatre in England and provides a brief history of the first building of playhouses in London. The social origins of playwrights and players are contrasted. The chapter argues that, whenever he first arrived in London, Shakespeare’s closest affiliations would have been with the first of these two groups.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, origins, playhouses, playwrights, players, actors, London

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