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Shakespearean Rhetoric

A Practical Guide for Actors, Directors, Students and Teachers

Benet Brandreth



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17 June 2021
Classical Rhetoric, the art of persuasion, formed the sum and substance of Shakespeare's education and was the basis of his understanding of the power of language and how it worked to move, delight and teach. Rhetoric, which seeks to explain the way that language works to influence others, provides a powerful, transformative tool for approaching text in performance. This book helps you understand the key concepts of rhetoric. It gives clear explanations, stripped of jargon, and examples of rhetorical technique in the plays. It also provides engaging, practical exercises to unlock character and to identify themes in the plays through the lens of rhetoric. Academically rigorous, based on more than a decade of practical experience in the use of rhetoric in drama at the highest level, it is an ideal companion for anyone engaging with Shakespeare in performance.
By:   Benet Brandreth
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 138mm, 
ISBN:   9781350087965
ISBN 10:   1350087963
Series:   Arden Performance Companions
Pages:   264
Publication Date:   17 June 2021
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Benet Brandreth Q.C. is a barrister and an award-winning performer and expert on rhetoric and Shakespeare's use of language. For over twelve years he has taught the principles and practical application of rhetoric to actors, directors and students at the RSC, the Donmar Warehouse and RADA.

Reviews for Shakespearean Rhetoric: A Practical Guide for Actors, Directors, Students and Teachers

Shakespearean Rhetoric will greatly aid anybody who needs a text illuminating in order to decipher character - not only in Shakespeare's works, but in most classic, European texts that students will be asked to study or perform. Acting Shakespeare is made easier with the guidelines of rhetorical techniques discussed and concisely demonstrated in Benet Brandreth's book. Unlocking a character through their chosen rhetorical techniques is explained in simple terms and shown to work in practice. A vital aid for all modern students of Shakespeare - with a concise grounding in English grammar thrown in for good measure. * Paterson Joseph * Benet's passion, knowledge and curiosity is contagious, and his ability to clearly transmit the origins and influences of Shakespeare's imagination to performance and artistic process could have a profound impact on both the individual actor and classical technique as a whole. * Edward Bennett *

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