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

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674734326

Publication Date: 01/01/1984

227 pages


Available from De Gruyter »

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

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.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Composite photograph showing (top) entrance to the Prudential Center in Boston and (bottom) an internal construction partition/wall printed with the words 'Opening Day 2023' and other decorative text

A New Chapter for Harvard Book Store

Starting in the summer of 2023, for the first time in almost thirty years, Harvard Book Store will have two locations: the flagship store in Harvard Square, and a large new store in the Prudential Center in Boston. For University Press Week we wanted to show some bookseller love, so we reached out to Rachel Cass, General Manager of the Harvard Book Store, to see what’s planned for their exciting new location