Cover: Action Is Eloquence: Shakespeare’s Language of Gesture, from Harvard University PressCover: Action Is Eloquence in E-DITION

Action Is Eloquence

Shakespeare’s Language of Gesture

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$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674734326

Publication Date: 01/01/1984

227 pages


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Visual imagery in the theater has a remarkable power too often overlooked by readers of dramatic texts. David Bevington gives us here a new understanding of the rich symbolic potential in the staging of Shakespeare.

Action Is Eloquence gathers a wealth of examples of the ways Shakespeare uses costuming and hand props to indicate his characters’ social status, nature and personality, change of fortune or change of heart. Bevington demonstrates how posturing and movement are used to convey inward states and emotions; how space in the playhouse is utilized to imply symbolic positions and locations; how ceremony serves to clarify roles and suggest conflicts. In Shakespeare’s plays, Bevington shows us, gesture becomes a language in itself, with its own vocabulary of signs. His elucidation will benefit all students of Shakespeare and theater artistry.

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