Shakespeare and English Identity
carried out at the University of Leicester Department of English casts a new
look at the role Shakespeare has played in the establishment of an English
Richard Foulkes’ recent book, Performing Shakespeare in the Age of Empire,
sets out to explain why Shakespeare has become an English cultural icon through
global performances of his plays.
is generally agreed that Shakespeare is one of the most influential dramatists
plays have been revisited in every age and almost everywhere in the world.
not so well known is the amazing range of responses to his work. Different
cultures have interpreted his plays according to their own lights and own
Foulkes commented: “The fact that English has become the international
language may owe something to Shakespeare. He is not only popular where English
is spoken but has his place world-wide. At home, he has also been appropriated
by just about every lobby politically and socially.”
believes that the performance of Shakespeare’s plays overseas has helped
significantly to create a sense of British nationhood and to extend Britain’s
has perhaps now become over-identified with education. We need to remember that
he wrote to entertain (and earn his living!).”
performances of Shakespeare at the theatre are no less popular, even though they
have to compete with many other form of entertainment such as film, television
Foulkes’ interest in literary performances is not just limited to Shakespeare.
He is currently working on a book about Lewis Carroll and the Victorian
Shakespeare in the Age of Empire, by Dr Richard Foulkes is published by
Cambridge University Press, price £40.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Further information is available from Dr Richard Foulkes, University of Leicester Department of English, telephone 0116 252 2642, facsimile 0116 252 2065, email firstname.lastname@example.org
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.