Before the Bard : Shakespeare and Popular English Theatre Culture of the Early 18th Century



Year of publication 2022
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The lecture will address English theatres’ attempts to reconcile Renaissance dramaturgy and the early 18th-century popular theatrical forms, focusing on afterpieces and entertainments such as Susanna Centlivre’s A Bickerstaff’s Burying (1710), Christopher Bullock’s The Cobbler of Preston (1716) and James Worsdale’s A Cure for a Scold (1735) that took plays by Shakespeare as their source of inspiration. The chief aim of the presentation will be to show how Shakespeare’s legacy was treated roughly in the first three decades of the 18th century, just before David Garrick’s first efforts to establish Shakespeare as a national poet and himself as, in the words of Michael Dobson, “the true son of Shakespeare’s royal ghost”.
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