Shakespeare’s works and Shakespeare as a cultural figure have been closely associated with world cultures. The history of global performance dates back to the late sixteenth century when Shakespeare’s plays began to be performed in continental Europe during his lifetime. The word “global” in global Shakespeare does double duty: it is an attributive genitive naming the stakeholder and playwright of the Globe Theatre, and it is a descriptive adjective signaling the influence and significance of that theater and of Shakespeare. Shakespeare has become both an author of the Globe and a playwright of global stature. One reason for Shakespeare’s global reach is the oeuvre’s ability to allow audiences to project various values onto the open narrative structure. The illusion that Shakespeare seems to be universal lies in the fact that Shakespeare’s narratives are flexible and can blend into other cultures.
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