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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Drawing on the work of Marvin Carlson and Susan Bennett, this chapter interrogates the role of the broader canon of early modern drama, usually Jacobean, in shaping contemporary Shakespearean performance. Shakespeare and ‘not-Shakespeare’ are part of a binary that treats not-Shakespeare as both a supplement to the Shakespeare canon and a perversion or antithesis of it. This chapter analyses criticism of recent productions of Cardenio and ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore to show how a dominant interpretative paradigm based on Shakespeare skews readings of both Shakespeare and not-Shakespeare, yoking them to a limited selection of values and aesthetic priorities. Yet while not-Shakespeare remains defined by a negative, this chapter argues that a current shift in theatrical cultures is blurring previously established boundaries to productive effect.

Keywords: Key terms, Susan Bennett, Marvin Carlson, Shakespeare, not-Shakespeare, Jacobean, ’Tis Pity, Cardenio, theatrical cultures

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