A. Gorbunov. Shakespeare and the Literary Styles of his Age
Mannerism was a manifestation of the crisis of the Renaissance. Marston paved the way for it in the English drama with his «Antonio's Revenge» and «The Malcontent». Turner, Webster and Middleton followed his lead, while Beaumont and Fletcher were the first exponents of the Baroque in English drama.
The early plays of Shakespeare are an expression of the Renaissance world view. Sonnet 66 marks a turning point. Shakespeare's connection with Mannerism is evident in his dark comedies, «All's Well that Ends Well» and «Measure for Measure». «Troilus and Cressida» also contains its features.
The crisis of great human values is also reflected in the great tragedies. The struggle between evil and good, bestiality in men, the fury in human souls are clear signs of mannerist instability of life. Yet in Shakespeare the contradictions find a positive resolution, moral values are restored. While in the plays of Turner, Webster and Middleton evil is self-destructive, in Shakespeare's tragedies the evildoers are punished and the moral order is finally restored.
Shakespeare's Romances were influenced by the Baroque style of Beaumont and Fletcher.
Shakespeare did not belong to any single literary movement of his time, his work, taken in its entirety, was a synthesis of the artistic trends of the age.
A. Anikst. Synthesis of Arts in the Theatre of Shakespeare
From a purely literary point of view the work of Shakespeare combines the basic elements of poetry, the epic, the lyric and the dramatic. Not only in the plot of his plays epically broad, sometimes the characters indulge in storytelling. Lyrycal pieces intersperse the plays, accompanying the action, which is very dynamic.
While decorative arts are practically absent, they are substituted on Shakespeare's stage by colorful dresses and processions. Music is an integral part of the performance, both vocal and instrumental. Dance and pantomime add their own attractions to the spectacle. Not only the poetry, but other elements of the spectacle are to be taken into account when we want to form the proper idea of what the performance of Shakespearean plays was on the stage of his theatre.
I. Taits. The Function of the Clowns in Shakespeare's Comedies of the 1590-ies
Shakespeare's comic persons belong to different types. Dull, Speed, Launce, Bottom are clowns, while Touchstone and Feste are wise fools. In the early comedies we meet the clowns. Wise fools belong mainly to the mature works. Both types represent the Voice of Nature. To make the distinction clear, the author points out that Dogberry and Verges as well as Sir Andrew Aguechekk are not clowns, they are natural fools.
The clown in the comedies is an onlooker, he expresses his comic view of what is going on in the main action of the play. They are goodnatured and posses a healthy view of life. They easily distinguish what is good and what is wrong.
What on first hearing sounds foolish quite often turns out to be rather clever. Their play of words, verbal «games» are at times witty comments of the main action.
Wise fools represent the development of a popular tradition, vastly improved during the Renaissance. One can scarcely add something to the words of Viola about Feste: «This fellow is wise enough to play the fool; / And to do that well craves a kind of wit,» etc. (III, 1, 57—58). Wise fool understands things better than romantically minded heroes and heroines. They seem to be older, more experienced than the young lovers. They build a bridge from the world of illusion to reality.
A. Gcniusas. Mythological Imagery in Shakespeare's Comedies
Shakespeare's comedies abound in references to classical mythology the most prominent among which are the references to Cupid and other images related to love; to Mars, Hercules, Samson and others embodying valour ana strength; to Jupiter and the Olympians representing world order and morals: all these being countered by numerous references to the underworld and the elements with a view to enhancing the inherent ambivalence of human experience and adding greater profundity to the crucial ordeals of the main characters.
N. Troitsky. «Troilus and Cressida» on the English Stage
Starting with the various definitions of the genre of the play, the author maintains that the solution of the problem is to be looked for in the modern stage practices and gives brief accounts of the modern interpretation of «Troilus and Cressida» starting with the famous W. Poel's productions. This is followed by the description of T. Guthrie's production in 1956, the stagings of 1948, 1954, 1980, 1968, 1976, 1981 at the Royal Shakespeare theatre. The production of Peter Hall and John Barton in 1960 is described in detail. While this was the beginning of a Shakespearean revolution, Barton's sole production in 1968 marked its ending.
M. Sokolyansky. Spatial-temporal Structure of «The Winter's Tale»
In comparison with other latest plays of Shakespeare the space and time in «The Winter's Tale» are more concrete. Not the geographical but the social dichotomy which is most important here. The dychotomic character of this tragicomedy is analysed in the paper in three different aspects: spatial, temporal and generic.
There is a specific rhythm in the temporal development of the play. The symmetry of the spatial image combined with the rhythmical movement of the time of the action helps to integrate the inner world of «The Winter's Tale».
S. Makurenkova. Pastoralism in the Poetry of Marlowe, Raleigh, Shakespeare and Donne
Marlowe's «The Passionate Shepherd to his Love» provoked responses from the English poets of the late XVI and early XVII century. A close reading of the poems of Raleigh, Shakespeare and Donne which use the imagery of Marlowe's verses in different ways reveals the decline of the Renaissance pastoralism. There is a kind of sceptical and naturalistic treatment of the ideal motives of the Renaissance in the dark comedies of Shakespeare and in John Donne's poetry, which bring them close to the general trend of the Baroque.
I. Gililov. Thomas Coryate, an Amazing Writer and a Companion of Shakespeare
Thomas Coryate of Odcombe, a frequenter of the Mermaid, published in 1611 two books, «Coryate's Crudities» and «Coryate's Crambe», where he described his five months journey around Europe. More than fifty wits of the day, including Ben Jonson, Donne, Drayton, Campion, Holland and others, contributed to his books mock-panegyrics in several languages among which some are imaginary creations. These panegyrics were published as prefatory «commendations». Later the company was joined by John Taylor, who called himself a «Water Poet» and roughly mocked Coryate in his pamphlets. The author views all this as a tremendous literary hoax, a Rabelaisian farce where the role of a fool was played by Thomas Coryate. Fiction and truth, merry humor and hyperbole, erudition and foolery make these excentric books a unique phenomenon of the late Renaissance English literature.
A. Bartoshevitch. Charles Flower and the History of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre
The paper is devoted to the history of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, founded by Charles Flower, Stratford-on-Avon mayor for some time. As his idea did not receive public support, he donnated a significant part of his wealth to it. The 20-th century history of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre is a realization of Charles Flower's dream.
S. Melnikova. Theatrical Paradoxes in «Richard III»
The author analyses some nine different performances of Shakespeares chronicle «Richard III», done in 1980—1970 in Moscow, Leningrad, Esthonia, Latvia, Georgia, Armenia. An analysis of the artistic interpretations helps to outline some general tendencies. The beginning of the 80-ies is marked, according to the author's point of view, by the gradual exhaustion of the socalled «anti-romantic» interpretation of Shakespeare, which has dominated for about two previous decades.
Z. Gachechiladze. Georgian Stage Directors and British Reviewers
An analysis the the production of «Richard III» by the Georgian director Robert Sturua is accompanyed by excerpts from the reviews in the British press.
Y. Kagarlitsky. «Antony and Kleopatra» in Peter Brooke's interpretation
The author actually shares his impressions of Shakespeare's «Antony and Cleopatra» in 1978 directed by Peter Brooke.
Peter Brook's intention was to show the tragedy as «scenes from private life» with the background of great political events. Yet the actual performance failed to bring out the idea convincingly. There was too much of a politician in Glenda Jackson's Cleopatra, while in Alan Howard's Antony the private man dominated over the triumvir.
Vladislav Ivanov. Mikhail Chekhov as Hamlet
A pupil of Stanislavski, Mikhail Chekhov gained his first stage success in Strindberg's «Eric XIV» directed by Yevgeni Vakhtangov in 1921. The author traces the theatrical career of M. Chekhov from the part of the Swedish King to that of the Prince of Denmark. The production of «Hamlet» at the Second Moscow Art Theatre in 1924 is. analysed in detail. Its importance is revealed by the press records of this theatrical event. As seen by the contemporaries it was a significant moment in the intellectual life of the first post-revolutionary years in Russia.
V. Beriozkin. Stage Design in the Shakespearean Theatre
The stage design in the Shakespearean theatre followed the pattern of European theatrical tradition, and there were many common features in the theatres of England, Spain and Italy stemming from the Middle Ages. The author describes the stage costume, its changing forms from allegorical mask to normal habitual dress, types of disguise, etc. Particular attention is given to the use of stage properties, their symbolic meaning. The final section of the article is devoted to the different meanings of the stage itself, sometimes seen as a symbolic representation of the world picture, sometimes as a definite place of action, at times as a neutral point for the display of the acting person.
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