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: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates how Shakespeare exploits the possibilities of popular song to foreground lyric’s capacity to condense affect, to model the absorption of his audiences, and to engage with conflicts over ‘the common’—the push of the common-as-vulgar and the pull of the common-as-universal. At the same moment that song collections are attempting to sort out elite lyric from low broadside, Shakespeare repeatedly draws on these lesser lyrics to ask his audiences what they share and what they do not with these singers and songs, and the warrants, real and fantastical, for those identifications and distinctions. These lyric dynamics are most apparent in the comedies (A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night) but also play a key role in history (2 Henry IV), tragedy (Hamlet), and romance (The Winter’s Tale).

Keywords: song, lyric, ballad, popular culture, identification, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, 2 Henry IV, Hamlet, The Winter’s Tale

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.