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Zombie Shakespeare

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JournalPalgrave Communications
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Aug 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 6 Sep 2016
Volume2
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)1-4
Early online date6/09/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The year 2016 has seen an unprecedented level of interest occasioned by the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This interest is in marked contrast to the surviving information concerning the event: the cause, place and even date of Shakespeare’s demise are all unknown. Moreover, attention to the mere fact of death adds nothing to knowledge of Shakespeare’s work; rather it distracts attention. This article surveys the anniversary celebrations in relation to the contrasting life records, arguing that the Anniversary has produced a “Zombie Shakespeare”, a twenty-first century biographical fantasy indicative of commodification rather than literary or creative imagination. This article is published as part of a collection on Shakespeare studies.

    Research areas

  • Literature, History, Shakespeare, anniversaries

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