Shakespeare through Letters
David M. Bergeron
In Shakespeare through Letters, David M. Bergeron analyzes the letters found within Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, and tragedies, arguing that the letters offer the principal intertextual element in the plays as text in their own right. Bergeron posits that Shakespeare’s theater itself exists at the intersection of oral and textual culture, which the letters also exhibit as they represent writing, reading, and interpretation in a way that audiences would be familiar with, in contrast with the illustrious culture of kings, queens, and warriors. This book demonstrates that the letters, profound or perfunctory, constitute texts that warrant interpretation even as they remain material stage props, impacting narrative development, revealing character, and enhancing the play’s tone. Scholars of literature, theater, and history will find this book particularly useful.