Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © 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: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the institutional, professional, economic, and social contexts that shaped the original production of Shakespeare’s comedies. It focuses on how these plays were first staged in a hybrid theatrical marketplace that consisted of both ‘public’ and ‘private’ venues. It describes how the business model of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men combined common and aristocratic patronage and how its repertoire merged popular and courtly cultures. Staged in amphitheatres, town halls, the great halls of royal palaces, the private residences of aristocrats, and at the Inns of Court, Shakespeare’s comedies addressed heterogeneous audiences in complex ways. Indeed, one of the foundations of Shakespeare’s achievement was his ability to draw on elements of both traditions in comedies that are relentlessly adaptive and globally engaging.

Keywords: commercial theatre, patronage, Elizabethan playhouses, playgoing, acting companies, comic playwrights, public and private theatres, early modern theatrical cultures, Shakespeare’s clowns

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.