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- DescriptionCopyright is by means the only device for asserting ownership of a work. Some writers, including playwrights in the early modern period, did t even view print copyright as the most important of their authorial rights. A rich vein of recent scholarship has examined the interaction between royal mopolies, which have been identified with later tions of intrinsic authorial ownership, and the internal copy registration practices of the English book trades. Yet this dialogue was but one part of a still more complicated conversation in early modern England, James J. Mari argues; other customs and other sets of professional demands were at least as important, most strikingly in the exercise of the performance rights of plays. In Owning William Shakespeare James Mari explores the actors' system of intellectual property as something fundamentally different from the property regimes exercised by the London printers or the royal mopolists. Focusing on Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, and other works, he demonstrates how Shakespeare's acting company asserted ownership of its plays through intense rewriting combined with progressively insistent attribution to Shakespeare. The familiar versions of these plays were created through ongoing revision in the theater, a process that did t necessarily begin with Shakespeare's original manuscript or end when he died. An ascription by the company of any play to Shakespeare did t imply that it was following a fixed, authorial text; rather, Mari writes, it indicates an attempt to maintain exclusive control over a set of open-ended, theatrically revised scripts. Combining theater history, textual studies, and literary theory, Owning William Shakespeare rethinks both the way Shakespeare's plays were created and the way they came to be kwn as his. It overturns a century of scholarship aimed at re-creating the playwright's lost manuscripts, focusing instead on the way the plays continued to live and grow onstage.
- Author BiographyJames J. Marino is Associate Professor of English at Cleveland State University.
- Author(s)James J. Marino
- PublisherUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
- Date of Publication06/02/2013
- SubjectLiterary Studies: Textbooks & Study Guides
- Series TitleMaterial Texts
- Place of PublicationPennsylvania
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
- Content Note10 illus.
- Weight635 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine28 mm
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