Action: Anthropology in the Company of Shakespeare

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Museum Tusculanum Press, 2004 - Social Science - 351 pages
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This book is an anthropological study of play-acting. Acting on the stage is seen as an example of social action in general. The focus is on the playing of Shakespeare, and on the players' use of and reflections upon time, space, plot, and acting. In her new book, Kirsten Hastrup aims at a renewed understanding of action and motivation within any social setting. By listening to such experts of action as the players of Shakespeare, we achieve a comprehensive reappraisal of current notions of human agency. In the process, we are offered a set of methodological tools and analytical concepts that may enrich future anthropological analysis of individual actions in their social context. The work is an unprecedented approach to action and acting. For anthropologists and other social or cultural scientists, Hastrup offers a fresh perspective on performance, and on the construction of the analytical object. For theatre historians and dramatists, the combination of detailed (ethnographic) analys
 

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Contents

Preface and acknowledgements
7
Companion Shakespeare
13
The desire
43
The stage
79
The time
113
The plot
155
The director
197
The player
233
The ethos
275
The art of living
313
References
339
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About the author (2004)

Kirsten Hastrup is a professor of anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. She is the author of numerous books on anthropology, theatre and human rights.

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