WILL SHAKESPEARE AND HIS AMERICA by Nancy & Jean Francis Webb

WILL SHAKESPEARE AND HIS AMERICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This recital of Shakespearean influences and productions in the New World, from 1609 to Telestar and of the New World's influence on Shakespeare, is geared to teenagers interested in the theater. Shakespeare had watched colonists depart for the New World and was as excited by unknown geographies as any man of his day. When the Sea Venture sank in Bermuda and news returned of that island's forlorn and magical qualities, Shakespeare composed The Tempest which, as Ariel says, takes place in ""the storm-vexed Bermoothes."" Caliban (a play on the word cannibal), was Shakespeare's single American character. ""Master Will's"" first American production was in Charleston in 1737, the blood and thunder Richard III. English actors were legally banned from the New World as non grata, but in 1752 a letter-perfect London troupe arrived and truly professional (and bowdlerized) Shakespeare was born in the States. The Gold Rush blew Shakespeare West and into his Golden Age in America. The survey continues through all our movie efforts, TV and Shakespeare in Central Park. It is a casually interesting account of the progressive place Shakespeare has held in American culture and our dramatic arts.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1964
Publisher: Viking