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Marjorie Garber

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242047

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242047.001.0001

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Shakespeare in Slow Motion

Shakespeare in Slow Motion

(p.60) CHAPTER FOUR Shakespeare in Slow Motion
Loaded Words

Marjorie Garber

Fordham University Press

The last several decades have seen a sustained interest on the part of literary scholars in the contexts of William Shakespeare's plays, from political, social, religious, and cultural history to biography. Studies of the court, of the “middling sort,” of women in early modern England, of witchcraft, of race and exoticism, of travel, of economics, of philosophy and theories of personhood and power, of affect and emotion in the period—all these have come increasingly to occupy the attention of scholars. Slow motion, “the technique of filming a scene at a faster speed than normal so that when it is projected the action will appear to be slowed down,” was invented in 1904 by August Musger, an Austrian physicist and priest. To the avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren, it offered a similar confluence of the visual and the affective. The logic of slow-motion photography and film, like the logic of the dream, can sometimes seem alogical, or counterintuitive. For Shakespeare, such incertitude was not merely an occasional effect but also a fundamental technique.

Keywords:   William Shakespeare, slow motion, plays, Maya Deren, visual, affective, film, photography

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