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Shakespeare and the Market in His Own Day

  • Siobhan Keenan

Abstract

Writing only shortly after Shakespeare’s death, Thomas Randolph (and/or his reviser F. J.) claim that the world’s most famous dramatist was motivated to write his plays by the ‘Great God of Money’. It is an assertion which would have troubled many early Shakespeare scholars, most of whom were reluctant to see Shakespeare as a commercially driven artist. Indeed, as Douglas Bruster notes, ‘for a long time, most commentators ignored the economic bases of Shakespeare’s theatre’ and when they did mention it ‘they typically portrayed it as regrettable’.2 However, as recent research on the early modern stage has made clear, the world of which Shakespeare was a part was a commercial — as well as a creative — industry; and Shakespeare’s success within it is evidence not just of his artistic talent, but of the commercial ‘nous’ of himself and his fellow players in the company with whom he worked for most of his career: the Lord Chamberlain’s (later the King’s) players.

Keywords

Globe Theatre City Wall Artistic Talent National Biography Fellow Player 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© The Editor(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siobhan Keenan

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