The linguistic energy of London at the start of the seventeenth century was Shakespeare’s medium. The clash and mix of forms and sounds within it was vitalising. The centrality of the theatre for Shakespeare’s work gave focus to that energy, partly because of the dynamics of the city and the political transition in that city from the medieval to the early modern world — that is, on the death of Elizabeth I and the accession of James VI. The energies that quicken in Shakespeare’s life do so at the moment when they lapse in the courtly tradition of Scottish literature, when James rides south.


Political Transition British History Late Play Roman Domination Courtly Tradition 
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© Alan Riach 2005

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  • Alan Riach

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