First published in 1990, this title explores the nature of the interaction between Shakespeare and American culture. Shakespeare stands at the center of an elaborate institutional reality, closely tied to both cultural and ideological production. His plays, Michael Bristol asserts, help to constitute a primary affirmative theme of much American culture criticism, specifically the celebration of individuality and the values of expressive autonomy. This reissue will be of particular value to Literature students and researchers with an interest in Shakespeare, as well as those interested in American cultural history more generally.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I: Shakespearizing America: The Institutional Infrastructure 1. Doing Shakespeare: the Political 2. Tradition as a Social Agency 3. The Function of the Archive 4. Editing the Text: the Deuteronomic Reconstruction of Authority; Part II: Americanizing Shakespeare: Critical Discourse and Ideology 5. Shakespeare in the American Cultural Imagination 6. Old Historicism 7. From Politics to Sensibility 8. Subversion and its Containment; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index
"Michael Bristol presents a careful blend of literary criticism and social history. His examination of ‘plebian culture’ and the structure of authority in Renaissance England explores the important relationship between theatrical texts and social life, while providing new and useful ways of thinking about the history and culture of the Elizabethan period" – Journal of Social History