Analyzing Shakespeare's Action: Scene Versus Sequence

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Cambridge University Press, 1991 M04 4 - 230 pages
In this book, Charles and Elaine Hallett invite the reader to follow the actions of Shakespeare's plays. They show that the conventional division of the plays into scenes does not help the reader or play goer to discover how the narrative works. They offer instead a division into smaller units which they define as beats, sequences and frames. Detailed analysis of the unfolding action reveals that Shakespeare's scenes frequently consist of a series of sequences, each with its own individual climax, and these sequences are regularly built up of a succession of smaller units, or beats. Several sequences usually work together to create a still larger action, or frame. Study of these components yields valuable information about Shakespeare's playwriting techniques. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of Shakespeare and theatre studies as well as to actors and directors.

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Contents

Scene versus sequence in Shakespeares plays
1
The beat defined
11
Ancillary beats the interval beat the interpolated beat the linking beat
32
Sequential beats the introductory beat
49
Sequential beats the concluding beat
68
Sequential beats the intensifying beat
80
The dramatic question
109
Observing and meditating sequences
123
Persuading sequences
152
Disputing sequences
167
Commanding sequences
183
Sequences combined the frame
187
Notes
209
Glossary
220
Index of sequences analyzed
225
General index
227

Reporting and interrogating sequences
135

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