I have argued that readers should become like actors and study how Shakespeare’s words come alive in the act of performance. I have written at length about text because everything derives from that source, and I have considered the response of individual actors because that is where all the action starts. But now I want to establish an opposite and complementary point of view. Plays are written to be enjoyed by audiences, and this means that more than an actor’s knowledge is required to understand them: a reader must also respond like an audience.
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