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Theatre and Relationships in Shakespeare’s Later Plays

Roger Grainger

Shakespeare’s plays present the dynamics of personal relationships in a way that is direct and unambiguous, and with unparalleled forcefulness. This book concentrates on three of Shakespeare’s last plays, King Lear, Pericles and The Tempest, allowing them to demonstrate the underlying dynamic of theatre as it is embodied within the work of a master craftsman. The three plays are widely dissimilar from one another at the surface level, yet they all concentrate on a particular relationship – that between fathers and daughters – working outwards from the centre of human experience and using the fundamental relational paradigm as it is enshrined in theatre, especially Shakespeare’s. As a professional actor as well as an academic, the author combines an actor’s understanding with psychodynamics and literary criticism.
Contents: Three Scenarios – Theatre and Relationship – Space for Meeting – Catharsis and Sharing – Dramatic Irony – The Perilous Journey – Fathers and Daughters – Theatre and Spirituality – Ghastly Mirth – Ritual and Existential Change.