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The Quest for CardenioShakespeare, Fletcher, Cervantes, and the Lost Play$
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David Carnegie and Gary Taylor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641819

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641819.001.0001

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In This Good Time: Cardenio and the Temporal Character of Shakespearean Drama

In This Good Time: Cardenio and the Temporal Character of Shakespearean Drama

(p.267) 14 In This Good Time: Cardenio and the Temporal Character of Shakespearean Drama
The Quest for Cardenio

Matthew Wagner

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers Cardenio from a time-centred perspective; it examines the 2009 performance script of The History of Cardenio, Gary Taylor’s ‘creative reconstruction’ of the lost Shakespeare/Fletcher collaboration, to compare that script’s treatment of time with prominent temporal characteristics of Shakespearean drama. Of a wide variety of such characteristics, two emerge as most germane to Cardenio: the play’s prevalent thematic interest in time, and the era’s emblematic and iconographic traditions associated with time. In particular, the chapter analyses the relationship between time and death, especially as figured in varying mementi mori, most notably the coffin in Cardenio. From these explorations, the chapter strives to illuminate some key aspects of the play itself (while acknowledging that the ‘play itself’ is yet evolving), and to aid in positioning the play within the broader framework of the Shakespearean canon.

Keywords:   time, iconography, dramaturgy, emblems, memento mori, coffin, death, Shakespeare, History of Cardenio, Gary Taylor

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