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Staging Shakespeare's Late Plays$
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Roger Warren

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198128779

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198128779.001.0001

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Contexts and Beginnings

Contexts and Beginnings

Chapter:
(p.5) 1 Contexts and Beginnings
Source:
Staging Shakespeare's Late Plays
Author(s):

Roger Warren

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198128779.003.0002

Because the last three plays that Shakespeare wrote – Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest – seem to have a stronger closeness than other groups of Shakespeare's plays (with the exception of the English histories), and because the most informative interpretations of Shakespeare could be attributed to groups of related plays, much interest arose about staging these plays as a group or during the same season. Although these late plays do not possess the same narrative links that can be observed in Shakespeare's histories, they are set apart from Shakespeare's earlier plays as they are linked by the same theatrical style that involves a certain theatrical virtuosity. This type of explicit theatricality allows others to perceive a play as part of a theatrical artifice that prevents emotional involvement with the characters.

Keywords:   Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, The Tempest, groups, related plays, theatrical style, theatrical virtuosity, theatrical artifice, emotional involvement

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