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Reviews287 presentational image clusters" (p. 10). For example, Teague points out that Shakespeare uses Yorick's skull in Hamlet to "mark place, illustrate a joke, and serve as both traditional emblem and ironic symbol" (p. 25). In Othello, Desdemona's handkerchief similarly multiplies meanings both symbolic and emblematic, becoming for Othello "a symbol of himself" (p. 25). Teague traces the use of the most obviously important properties in the plays, including those that might escape much notice—e.g., love charms in the comedies. There are seven chapters. The first, "Word, Action, Object," defines necessary terms and examines techniques involved in the use of properties. The next three chapters—"The Good Properties of Bad Quartos," "Objects Comic and Comedie," and "Spectacle, Character, Language"— focus on the text and insights that examination of the properties offers for a deeper comprehension of the plays. The final three chapters— "This Chapter About Spectacle Is Not About Spectacle," "Object as Actor: Caps, Crowns, and Characters," and "Actor as Object: The Petrified Woman"—examine how properties function in scenes of visual spectacle, in the multi-leveled creation of characters, and in presentational theatrical imagery. Teague's analysis concludes with the notion that "Shakespeare's plays can take a conventional metaphor and invert its meaning, stretch to include the audience, turn humans into objects and objects into humans; because performance, like Time, has the 'pow'r/ To o'erthrow law, and in one self-born hour/ To plant and o'erwhelm custom'" (p. 156). Illustrations of particular properties would certainly have been helpful , but unfortunately none are included. The handsomely bound book does, however, offer a substantial bibliography and copious notes as well as two detailed appendices with specific property lists for Shakespeare 's plays, property categories, and their frequency of appearance in the plays. Shakespeare's Speaking Properties, unlike many recent Shakespearean studies, will be of important use to both the scholar and the performing artist. On those grounds alone, Teague's book is a valuable contribution. JAMES FISHER Wabash College Daryl W. Palmer. Hospitable Performances: Dramatic Genre and Cultural Practices in Early Modern England. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 1992. Pp. xi + 220. $28.50. Daryl W. Palmer discusses both practices and representations of Renaissance English hospitality in this impressive study. The politics of such hospitality included both those who gave and those who took, the "natural" hierarchy involved in the giving and taking, and the chiefly masculine provenance of hosting. The wide range of primary material (diaries, pamphlets, canonical and non-canonical plays) and secondary sources (genre criticism, cultural materialism, cultural history, new historicism, feminist criticism) lends depth to the discussion. This focus on hospitality inspires some interesting observations. One such observation concerns Shakespeare's romantic comedies, 288Comparative Drama which Palmer finds less conservative than some other recent critics because he does not understand the aristocracy to be a monolithic class. Thus seen from the point of view of Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato, Much Ado about Nothing is not strictly hierarchical. Furthermore, gender and geographical differences also disrupt the imposition of a single perspective . The success of Dogberry and company in Much Ado, the power of the fairies in Dream—both complicate audience acceptance of duly constituted authority. After consideration of a number of comedies, the author finds that the "final possibilities for authoritative action ... are always less at the play's end" (p. 74). Chapter III treats hosting by the lower orders in such plays as A Shoemakers' Holiday and, especially, George a Greene, the Pinner of Wakefield, making the point that "the possibility of resistance and subversion depends ... on the relative hospitality of genres" (p. 89). Some plays seem to be excluded from critical discussion because they do not fit the established genres. This exclusion particularly applies to plays devoted to the lower orders, multiplicity, and open-endedness. Though such plays challenge customary generic categories, it must be noted that "George and Eyre need take nothing away from the existing hierarchy in order to unify and strengthen their communities" (p. 99); in other words, the plays are not revolutionary, but they do nonetheless grant real power to the lower orders. A chapter on pageantry focuses on Will Kemp's...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 287-289
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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