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The Actor As Playwright In Early Modern Drama


Nora Johnson's study of actors who wrote plays in early modern England uncovers important links between performance and authorship. The book traces the careers of Robert Armin, Nathan Field, Anthony Munday, and Thomas Heywood, actors who were powerfully interested in marketing themselves as authors and celebrities but Johnson contends that authorship as they constructed it had little to do with modern ideas of control and ownership. Finally, the book repositions Shakespeare in relation to actors, considering Shakespeare's famous silence about his own work as one strategy among many available to writers for the stage. The Actor as Playwright provides an alternative to the debate between traditional and materialist readers of early modern dramatic authorship, arguing that both approaches are weakened by a reluctance to look outside the Shakespearean canon for evidence.

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Cambridge University Press


The introduction of this workhas been made freely available courtesy of Cambridge University Press. This material has been published in The Actor As Playwright In Early Modern Drama by Nora Johnson. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © Cambridge University Press 2003.

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