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Murder Most FoulHamlet Through the Ages$
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David Bevington

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599103

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599103.001.0001

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Reform It Altogether: Hamlet, 1900–1980

Reform It Altogether: Hamlet, 1900–1980

(p.141) 6 Reform It Altogether: Hamlet, 1900–1980
Murder Most Foul

David Bevington

Oxford University Press

The 20th century ushered in a reform of Shakespearean staging that emphasized minimal scenery, rapid movement, and everything that the 19th-century stage was not. William Poel was an early reformer, as was Harley Granville-Barker. The new Hamlets included Sarah Bernhard, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Robert Burton, Nicol Williamson, and many others. Interpretation, responding to cataclysmic events that included the Russian Revolution, two World Wars, feminism, and street protest, moved toward a revisionist of the play as disillusioned, bitter, fatalistic, and violent.

Keywords:   William Poel, Harley Granville-Barker, Sarah Bernhardt, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Nicol Wiliamson, World War I, World War II, feminism

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