Face-to-Face in Shakespearean Drama

Ethics, Performance, Philosophy

Edited by Matthew James Smith, Julia Reinhard Lupton

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Explores the drama of proximity and co-presence in Shakespeare’s plays
  • Brings together the rare pairing of philosophical ethics and performance studies in Shakespeare’s plays
  • Engages with the thought of philosophers including Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hannah Arendt, Paul Ricoeur, Stanley Cavell, and Emmanuel Levinas

This book celebrates the theatrical excitement and philosophical meanings of human interaction in Shakespeare. On stage and in life, the face is always window and mirror, representation and presence. It examines the emotional and ethical surplus that appears between faces in the activity and performance of human encounter on stage. By transitioning from face as noun to verb – to face, outface, interface, efface, deface, sur-face – chapters reveal how Shakespeare's plays discover conflict, betrayal and deception as well as love, trust and forgiveness between faces and the bodies that bear them.

AcknowledgmentsList of IllustrationsIntroduction: Matthew J. Smith and Julia Reinhard Lupton

I. Foundational Face Work

1. Outface and Interface, Bruce R. Smith

2. "Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool": Folie à Deux in Shakespeare’s Love Duets, Lawrence Manley

3. The Course of Recognition in Cymbeline, Matthew J. Smith

II. Composing Intimacy and Conflict

4. Face to Face, Hand to Hand: Relations of Exchange in Hamlet, Emily Shortslef

5. Bed Tricks and Fantasies of Facelessness, Devin Byker

III. Facing Judgment

6. The Face of Judgment in Measure for Measure, Kevin Curran

7. Then Face to Face: Timing Trust in Macbeth, Jennifer Waldron

IV. Moving Pictures

8. The Man of Sorrows: Edgar's Disguise and Dürer's self-portraits, Hanna Scolnicov

9. The Face as Rhetorical Self in Ben Jonson’s literature, Akihiko Shimizu

10. Hamlet’s Face, W. B. Worthen

Afterword: "Theater and Speculation" William N. West

Face to face encounters are the essence of dramatic art. This collection shows us that close reading - knowing the score - is the condition of possibility for theatrical performance. The essays here feature some of the freshest and most original writing on Shakespeare I have seen in a long time.
Michael D. Bristol, McGill University
Matthew J. Smith is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Azusa Pacific University.

Julia Reinhard Lupton is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author or co-author of five books, including Shakespeare Dwelling: Designs for the Theater of Life (2018), Thinking with Shakespeare (2015), and Citizen-Saints (2012). She has edited or co-edited many volumes and special issues, including Shakespeare and Virtue: A Handbook (with Donovan Sherman), and Shakespeare’s Virtuous Theatre: Power, Capacity, and the Good (with Kent Lehnhof and Carolyn Sale), Shakespeare and Hospitality (with David Goldstein), and Face to Face with Shakespeare (with Matthew Smith). She is a former Guggenheim Fellow and a former Trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America.

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