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Shakespeare And His Company Notes

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Shakespeare & His Company

Shakespeare's company owned their own theatre; Burbage and himself were therefore dominant shareholders. This position changed the way he wrote; financial motives were as present as artistic ones. By having an equal, balanced company, with the same men, same location, Shakespeare's writing style was also dictated by his resourced.
Shakespeare created plays that are generically fitted to these 6 principal players - such as distribution of lines, the dominance of Burbage in dramatic / tragic roles, the role of Kemp etc (in the late 1590s)
The move to the Globe meant the loss of Will Kemp and the promotion of Armen then, to principal comic actor. The structure of the plays written at the Globe are different to those that preceded them. For example, his great tragedies in which Burbage showed his influence within the company are tailored for his needs.
Previously, Shakespeare didn't write great tragedies for the Curtain Theatre, except for Romeo and Juliet, but even that contains markedly more comic elements than those composed at the Globe.
The first plays at the Globe seem self-consciously aware of their status as something different - a departure from the previous mode.
The absence of Kemp, is possibly apostrophized in Henry V and Hamlet (see Fallstaff and Yorick)
Awareness of high rhetorical mode - Burbage as key actor alters the mood of the plays. Shakespeare is moving away from the Edward Alleyn / Tamburlaine register of before.
The Globe itself gets mentioned in some of the performances - self conscious expression of the art of speech making / of acting / playing "king"
In Hamlet and the speech of Pyhrrus we see a re-visiting of the traveling theatre in the company, drawing attention again to the change that the company had experienced. Hamlet as "looking on" the activity of acting in the Physuss' speech (Marlowe's Dido) the Alleyn / Kemp, pre-globe type of drama
It is during this period that we have the highest number of neologism in Shakespeare's writing - strange use of alienation theatre.
As in the rehearsal scenes in Hamlet, here there is a self-conscious acknowledgement of departure from an old style and a dramatization of it on stage.
Hamlet's response to Gertrude's "seeming grief" comment, Hamlet replies that his grief is not that like the "actions that a man might play...". His rebuke of her speaks out about how emotions are shown on stage. He rejects the typical vocabulary of outward shows of emotions, the costume of grief, typical gestures etc. Show's Burbage attempting to establish a new form of action.
Hamlet's instructions to the plays shows an explicit engagement in a rival form of drama
1599 onwards - Burbage is made an institutionally, economically and publicly more powerful and popular. Robert Admin is brought in to replace Kemp

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