Brawl Ridiculous: Swordfighting in Shakespeare's Plays

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Manchester University Press, 1992 - Literary Criticism - 218 pages
Brawl ridiculous offers a new and fascinating perspective on the swordfighting sequences in Shakespeare's plays. Writing with careful attention to Elizabethan performance conditions, Charles Edelman provides a fresh understanding of how Shakespeare's many and diversified battle scenes, duels and single combats would have been presented by his own company. Far from being a bit of violent action added merely to please the 'groundlings', Shakespeare's innovative use of stage combat is shown to be an important means of reinforcing the poetic and dramatic significance of his plays, from the early Histories, to the Romances and the great Tragedies. Written with clarity and a generous measure of humour, Brawl ridiculous combines comprehensive research into English history with an uncommon awareness of the practicalities of stage production, in both Elizabethan times and our own.

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About the author (1992)

Charles Edelman was awarded the Sohmer-Hall prize by the Globe Theatre for his book, Shakespeare's Military Language: A Dictionary.

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