Shakespeare and Secular Performance
DOI link for Shakespeare and Secular Performance
Shakespeare and Secular Performance book
Secular consecration is at the core of what is probably William Shakespeare's most complex venture into the territory, Hamlet. Various social languages are typically, in Shakespeare and his fellows, embedded in character, in personhood. And character tends to be elusive, partly because of Shakespeare's persistent doubleness, partly because it is always performed and performative. That Measure for Measure is open to deeply skeptical performance, as, in the Complicite production at London's National Theatre in 2004, suggests something about its slipperiness and that of its characters, their essentially theatrical refusal to be pinned down. That the theatre appropriates and redeploys the language of religion, as it does a host of other languages and practices, allows it to tap into the social capital that languages give access to. Shakespeare makes the religious serve the profane in order to further his aesthetic intentions.