This wide-ranging study traces the forces that drove the production and interpretation of visual images of Shakespeare's plays. Covering a rich chronological terrain, from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the midpoint of the nineteenth, Stuart Sillars offers a multidisciplinary, nuanced approach to reading Shakespeare in relation to image, history, text, book history, print culture and performance. The volume begins by relating the production imagery of Shakespeare's plays to other visual forms and their social frames, before discussing the design and operation of illustrated editions and the 'performance readings' they offer, and analysing the practical and theoretical foundations of easel paintings. Close readings of The Comedy of Errors, King Lear, the Roman plays, The Merchant of Venice and Othello provide detailed insight into how the plays have been represented visually, and are accompanied by numerous illustrations and a beautiful colour plate section.
Table of Contents
1. Frames and circumstances; Part I. Structures and Concepts in Shakespeare Imaging: 2. Mechanism and meaning in illustrated editions; 3. Performance reading in practice; 4. Shakespeare painting and aesthetic identity; Part II. Image, Stage and Beyond: Instances and Movement: 5. The visual identities of The Comedy of Errors; 6. Text, image and temper in King Lear; 7. Rhythms of action and feeling: the Roman plays; 8. Rank and race in imaging Othello; 9. The Merchant of Venice and English visual culture; 10. Shakespeare painting 1800–1848; 11. Conclusions and departures.