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“Lear”'s shadows: Authority and multiplicity in print, performance and hypertext

, University of Alberta , Canada

University of Alberta . Awarded


This dissertation compares traditional notions of authority as applied to the dramatic works of William Shakespeare to other modes of discourse which acknowledge and embrace the inherent multiplicity of the works. Recognizing the plays' textual instability and the complex historical relationship between print and performance, this paper reframes Shakespeare's plays as "polytextual" entities with continually fluctuating sites of authority and competing spheres of influence.

Using King Lear as its primary focus, the paper examines the play's relationship to scholarly and theatrical conceptions of authority in the past and present. It also considers how the rise of electronic scholarship will further transform ideas of authority and multiplicity. It will conclude by suggesting applications with which the electronic study of Shakespeare's plays may facilitate a collaboration between scholarly and theatrical disciplines, thereby expanding the "polytextual" potentialities for future readers, spectators, and practitioners of Shakespeare's dramatic works.


Sharplin, S.M. “Lear”'s shadows: Authority and multiplicity in print, performance and hypertext. Master's thesis, University of Alberta. Retrieved July 28, 2021 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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