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The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts$
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Mark Thornton Burnett and Adrian Streete

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635238

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635238.001.0001

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Shakespeare, Sculpture and The Material Arts

Shakespeare, Sculpture and The Material Arts

(p.435) 23 Shakespeare, Sculpture and The Material Arts
The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts

Balz Engler

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter reviews the numerous statues of Shakespeare, so as to argue that the Bard is both a figure of prestige and a conduit for the cultures of memory. It is suggested that in the positions and peregrinations traced by particular sculptures of Shakespeare, there are revealing signs of an international rapprochement and reciprocity. It concentrates on public monuments. The statue presents Shakespeare not in a heroic pose, but as somebody very human turning towards the onlookers and drawing their attention to the words on the scroll. The most splendid monument to Shakespeare outside England is certainly the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. The Folger may not be a sculpture in the narrow sense defined at the beginning. But its sculpted exterior, its location, its association with a culture of memory and the role make it a perfect monument.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, public monuments, sculptures, material arts, Folger Shakespeare Library, Bard

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