The Best Actors in the World: Shakespeare and His Acting Company

The Best Actors in the World: Shakespeare and His Acting Company

The Best Actors in the World: Shakespeare and His Acting Company

The Best Actors in the World: Shakespeare and His Acting Company

Synopsis

Shakespeare knew actors because he was one. The first book-length study of its kind, this volume investigates Shakespeare as a member of his acting company, dating and casting all the plays they presented from 1594 to 1614, and exploring the effects of actors on his writing.

Excerpt

Spelling of Elizabethan names was wildly inconsistent. Shakespeare's variable signatures are of course well known, but the same kind of variation holds for all the other actors of the day. In general, I have used the form of the primary citation in E. K. Chambers, The Elizabethan Stage (Oxford: Clarendon, 1923), II, with the following exceptions: rather than Burbadge, I use Burbage, which in more recent years has become the more common usage; rather than Kempe, I use Kemp, which from his publications was apparently his own preference; and rather than Goughe, I use Gough simply because the final e looks more odd than in other instances where it is retained.

For Shakespeare's works, all citations to stage directions or to lines in original spelling are to The First Folio of Shakespeare, 1623, Ed. Doug Moston (New York: Applause, 1995), which uses the same through-line numbering as in the Hinman edition found in almost all libraries, and are designated as in (F1129). Citations in modern spelling are to the relevant New Arden edition as indicated in the bibliography and are designated in act, scene, and line as (I, i,1). Citations to the plays of Ben Jonson are to The Complete Plays of Ben Jonson, 4 vols., ed. G. A. Wilkes (Oxford: Clarendon, 1981), and plays of Middleton are to The Works of Thomas Middleton, 8 vols., ed. A. H. Bullen (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1886), both of which also use (I, i,1). Citations to Fletcher's plays, however, are to The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, 8 vols., ed. Arnold Glover and A. R. Waller (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1906-10. Repr. New York: Octagon, 1969), which has no line numbering, and thus are indicated only by volume and page, as (I, p27). Citations to all other plays are to (Act, scene, line) of the relevant critical edition in the bibliography; if this edition uses through-line numbering, then the citation is (1. 127).

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