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How did Shakespeare's working conditions affect his artistic development? Shakespeare in Company is the first book systematically to address that question, charting a series of changes in the theatrical marketplace from 1592 to 1614. Its central thesis is that the formation of the Chamberlain's Men had a transformative effect on Shakespeare's writing. Based on research into hundreds of manuscripts and plays by contemporaries, the book gives a powerfulaccount of the influence of actors such as Kemp, Armin, and Burbage, not simply on individual characters in Shakespeare's drama, but on the structure of his plays as a whole. It examines other writers, including Marlowe, Jonson, and Fletcher, and offers a new account of the place of co-authorship in theplaywright's career. An original picture thus emerges of Shakespeare as a theatrical collaborator, investor, poet, and performer on the English stage.
Bart van Es is Lecturer in English at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Catherine's College. He has previously written books on Edmund Spenser and has a special interest in the writing of history in the Renaissance. Shakespeare in Company is his first work on drama and was supported by the award of an AHRC Fellowship.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Shakespeare's Early Life and the Origins of Commercial Theatre (1576-1592)
Phase I: Shakespeare as Conventional Poet-Playwright (1592-1594)
1. Imitation and Identity
2. The Working Conditions of the Playwright
3. Shakespeare as Literary Playwright
Phase II: Shakespeare as Company Man (1594-1599)
4. Control over Casting
5. The Events of 1594
6. Relational Drama
7. Shakespeare's Singularity
Phase III: Shakespeare as Playhouse Investor (1599-1608)
8. The Globe Partnership
9. Robert Armin
10. The Children's Companies
11. Richard Burbage
Phase IV: Shakespeare in the Company of Playwrights Again (1608-1614)
12. The Events of 1608
13. Shakespeare's Late Style
14. Shakespeare and Co-Authorship