Shakespearean revisions : Measure for Measure, King Lear and Pericles, from source to adaptation.

Massai, Sonia.
(1996) Shakespearean revisions : Measure for Measure, King Lear and Pericles, from source to adaptation. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Theories of revision have been advanced ever since Shakespearean Studies became a specific area of learning within the Humanities. It is however only recently that editors have started to appreciate the consequences these theories have on the actual editing of Shakespeare's plays. The critical implications of regarding Shakespeare as a reviser of his sources and of his own works, and as source of inspiration for later playwrights, on the other hand, have not been fully assessed yet. In this thesis, I explore the impact the unprecedented popularity enjoyed by revision theories since the early 1980s has on the current notion of source, text and adaptation. According to a romantic, essentialist concept of creativity, a source provides the raw material the author moulds into a new, original work of art; according to the revisionists' view of the writing process, a source instead provides a pattern of meaning which is appropriated and revised by the author. By the same token, I suggest that Restoration and early Augustan adaptations should also be regarded as later stages in the rewriting of far-travelled stories, against which. Shakespeare's own contribution stands out more clearly. In my introduction, I briefly review recent theories which, along with the hypothesis of Shakespearean revisions, call for a redefinition of the concept of source. The three main chapters of my thesis. devoted respectively to Measure for Measure, King Lear and Pericles, show the advantages of studying a play in relation to interrelated texts. which share common motifs and conventions. Whereas conventional source studies aim at identifying direct sources. probable sources and analogues, my approach allows us to establish the specific perspective each text adopts in relation to a shared motif, and, consequently, provides fresh evidence to disentangle both critical and textual cruxes, such as the characterisation of the Duke in Measure for Measure, or the relationship between Quarto and Folio King Lear and between Pericles and Wilkins' homonymous novel. This new method of analysis also offers new insight into Davenant, Gildon, Tate and Lillo's role as both "revisers" and "editors" of Shakespeare. The Appendix investigates Tate's critical "editing" of his source text(s) for The History of King Lear in detail, and questions the traditional distinction between "editor" and "adaptor" .

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2023 19:44
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2023 19:51
DOI: 10.17638/03175694
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