Focusing on a close reading of Elizabeth Inchbald’s Remarks to Shakespeare’s plays (included in The British Theatre: or, a Collection of Plays, which are acted at the Theatres Royal, Drury Lane, Covent Garden, and Haymarket, 1806-1809) this study argues that in a transitional aesthetic system between XVIII and XIX century these prefaces mark the transition from the Neoclassical norms to the new horizons of the critical act. Two aspects of the Remarks have been examined: firstly, adopting a comparative perspective, i.e. both historical and literary, recurring themes have been selected and combined into single sections; secondly, through a detailed textual examination, it has been evaluated the extent to which the critical terms exhibited by Inchbald in the Remarks faithfully adhere to the tradition of Neoclassical tenets, or, instead, in many cases they prove to be consonant to those, and at the same time, revolutionary contributions to the rising Romantic aesthetics. It has been necessary to reconstruct Inchbald’s prolific literary and theatrical production which led her to become one of the most successful playwrights of the time, and accounts for her profound understanding of the thespian event. Moreover, it has been underlined how Inchbald’s concern for the body of the actors is strictly connected with the evolution of the acting theories during the XVIII century. It has also been stressed the role of the audience, more aware and demanding, in Inchbald’s innovative perception of the reception process. While Inchbald’s critical discourse had to be compared with those of the most authoritative predecessor, Dr. Samuel Johnson, on the fundamental categories of the Neoclassical aesthetics, original elements are also highlighted in an emancipation process from the XVIII century established criticism. Overall, the analysis of the prefaces proves Inchbald’s awareness of the character and the inner life of Shakespearean dramatis personae, through which she constantly celebrates the invention and the independence of the genius of the Bard.

The Value of a Poet: i plays di Shakespeare nei Remarks for The British Theatre di Elizabeth Inchbald / Alaia, Nicoletta. - (2021 Sep 16).

The Value of a Poet: i plays di Shakespeare nei Remarks for The British Theatre di Elizabeth Inchbald

ALAIA, Nicoletta
2021-09-16

Abstract

Focusing on a close reading of Elizabeth Inchbald’s Remarks to Shakespeare’s plays (included in The British Theatre: or, a Collection of Plays, which are acted at the Theatres Royal, Drury Lane, Covent Garden, and Haymarket, 1806-1809) this study argues that in a transitional aesthetic system between XVIII and XIX century these prefaces mark the transition from the Neoclassical norms to the new horizons of the critical act. Two aspects of the Remarks have been examined: firstly, adopting a comparative perspective, i.e. both historical and literary, recurring themes have been selected and combined into single sections; secondly, through a detailed textual examination, it has been evaluated the extent to which the critical terms exhibited by Inchbald in the Remarks faithfully adhere to the tradition of Neoclassical tenets, or, instead, in many cases they prove to be consonant to those, and at the same time, revolutionary contributions to the rising Romantic aesthetics. It has been necessary to reconstruct Inchbald’s prolific literary and theatrical production which led her to become one of the most successful playwrights of the time, and accounts for her profound understanding of the thespian event. Moreover, it has been underlined how Inchbald’s concern for the body of the actors is strictly connected with the evolution of the acting theories during the XVIII century. It has also been stressed the role of the audience, more aware and demanding, in Inchbald’s innovative perception of the reception process. While Inchbald’s critical discourse had to be compared with those of the most authoritative predecessor, Dr. Samuel Johnson, on the fundamental categories of the Neoclassical aesthetics, original elements are also highlighted in an emancipation process from the XVIII century established criticism. Overall, the analysis of the prefaces proves Inchbald’s awareness of the character and the inner life of Shakespearean dramatis personae, through which she constantly celebrates the invention and the independence of the genius of the Bard.
Shakespearean criticism; Elizabeth Inchbald's Remarks; British Theatre, dramatic criticism
The Value of a Poet: i plays di Shakespeare nei Remarks for The British Theatre di Elizabeth Inchbald / Alaia, Nicoletta. - (2021 Sep 16).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/84727
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