Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The recent performance history of Macbeth illustrates two tendencies discernible in contemporary Shakespeare performance more widely: the strong, empathic engagement characteristic of theatrical intimacy in the Aristotelian vein and the vast, distancing sweep of epic as theorized by Bertolt Brecht and, later, Walter Benjamin. By considering productions by Punchdrunk, Rift, John Tiffany and Andrew Goldberg, Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford, and Grzegorz Jarzyna, this chapter argues that epic theatre as proposed by Brecht and Benjamin is a marked feature of immersive productions, which combine the impression of intimacy with the distancing effect of the epic. Using Elinor Fuchs’s notion of landscape theatre, it concludes that in contemporary apolitical epic theatre, intimacy can be achieved outside Aristotelian catharsis or character and even beyond the notion of humanity.

Keywords: Key terms, Macbeth, Bertolt Brecht, Walter Benjamin, Elinor Fuchs, Rift, Punchdrunk, Grzegorz Jarzyna, Kenneth Branagh, Rob Ashford

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.