العنوان باللغة الأجنبية:
Looking at Shakespeare Theatrically with Reference to the Development of the Role of the Clown Character
لمحة عن المقال باللغة الأجنبية:
This article examines the development of the role of the clown character in Shakespearean drama with reference to the following four plays: The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Twelfth Night and King Lear. The article explores the historical, dramatic, material and cultural context in which the plays were written, and illustrates how it influenced Shakespeare's work and motivated him to develop the nature and dramatic function of the clown character in his plays.
The article starts with a brief survey of the origins and the early function of the clown character on the English stage, in general, and in a number of early plays by Shakespeare. In this context, the article provides an analysis of the clown character in The Merchant of Venice, and examines how Shakespeare presented it in its traditional form which was already familiar to the Elizabethan audience. Moving on to As You Like It, which marks the beginning of the radical development of the character. The article discusses the new clown character which Shakespeare developed around the year 1600 when the actor Robert Armin joined Shakespeare's company, and claims that Shakespeare designed the whole part of Touchstone to suit the style and acting abilities of the new actor. The article analyses the dramatic nature and function of the new clown character, and underlines the different factors which influenced Shakespeare's development of the role. It moves on to investigate the clown character in Shakespeare's later plays trying to illustrate other developments of this character in Twelfth Night. It also brings into discussion the clown character in King Lear, a tragedy, to serve the purpose of comparison.
The article shows, indirectly, the discrepancies of its different readings when we limit its analysis to the application of traditional literary methods which are usually applied to fiction neglecting the fact that they were written to be performed in front of a specific audience in a specific historical and cultural context.