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Shakespeare and the popular voice / Annabel Patterson.

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    0631168729, 0631168737 (pbk.)

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    vii,195 p. ; 23 cm.

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Annabel Patterson challenges the common opinion that Shakespeare was anti-democratic, contemptuous of the crowd and an unfailing supporter of the Elizabethan social hierarchy. She argues that this view originated in the 19thcentury and was rendered influential, especially by Coleridge, as a part of anti-Jacobin propaganda; and that in reality, Shakespeare engaged in a rigorous critique of his society, which is given fullest expression in "Coriolanus". Using unread or under-interpreted contemporary documents and situating her analysis in relation to the most recent theories of popular culture and popular protest, Annabel Patterson offers an account of seven plays, from "Henry VI, part 2" to "The Tempest"., Acknowledgements ; Foreword ; 1. Caviar or the General: Hamlet and the Popular Theater 2. the Peasant's Toe: Popular Culture and Popular Pressure 3. Bottom's Up: Festive Theory 4. Back by popular demand: the two versions of Henry V 5. `What Matter who's speaking?' Hamlet and King Lear 6. `Speak, speak!' the popular voice and the Jacobean state 7. `Thought is Free': The Tempest ; Notes Index.