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Palgrave Studies in Comedy

Shakespeare and Sexuality in the Comedy of Morecambe & Wise

Authors: Hamrick, Stephen

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  • Employs comic theory, rhetorical analysis, cognitive psychology and historical contextualization to recover the ways that Morecambe & Wise’s humor communicated with its original audiences
  • Situates Morecambe & Wise fully within their historical moments, demonstrating that their comedy engages the world in far more than a frivolous manner
  • Provides a review of Shakespop criticism, outlining the ways scholars continue to evolve their analysis of the many and growing appropriations of Shakespeare
  • Analyses Morecambe & Wise’s career-long and widespread use of queer humor, situating their famed, but challenging, comic bed sketches within the larger body of their work
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eBook $64.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-33958-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-33957-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Contextualizing the duo’s work within British comedy, Shakespeare criticism, the history of sexuality, and their own historical moment, this book offers the first sustained analysis of the 20th Century’s most successful double-act.  Over the course of a forty-four-year career (1940-1984), Eric Morecambe & Ernie Wise appropriated snippets of verse, scenes, and other elements from seventeen of Shakespeare’s plays more than one-hundred-and-fifty times.  Fashioning a kinder, more inclusive world, they deployed a vast array of elements connected to Shakespeare, his life, and institutions. Rejecting claims that they offer only nostalgic escapism, Hamrick analyses their work within contemporary contexts, including their engagement with many forms and genres, including Variety, the heritage industry, journalism, and more.  ‘The Boys’ deploy Shakespeare to work through issues of class, sexuality, and violence.  Lesbianism, drag, gay marriage, and a queer aesthetics emerge, helping to normalize homosexuality and complicate masculinity in the ‘permissive’ 1960s. 

About the authors

Professor Stephen Hamrick, Minnesota State University Moorhead, USA, teaches British literature, religion and literature, speculative literatures, history, and writing. In addition to work on the English Reformations and Tottel’s Miscellany, Hamrick has published on George Gascoigne and Queen Elizabeth, Mary Tudor, and Lodowick Lloyd.  He has edited two collections, George Gascoigne (2008) and Tottel’s Songes and Sonettes in Context (2013). He is the author of The Catholic Imaginary and the Cults of Elizabeth, 1558-1582 (2009).


Reviews

“For fans of the much loved British comedians and scholars of comedy alike, Stephen Hamrick has pulled together a rich study that traces Morecambe and Wise's unique takes on the comic potential raised by the (other) double act of sex and Shakespeare. A fun and informative look at bawd and the Bard as Eric and Ern's comic inspirations.” (Dr Ian Wilkie, Editor of Comedy Studies)

“This book is extremely well-researched and represents a welcome addition to the generally under-represented field of Variety and so called ‘low comedy’ within comedy writing generally. The book presents a novel and entertaining point of view that certainly deserves a wider audience.” (Dr David James, Senior Lecturer of Film & Media Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-33958-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-33957-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Shakespeare and Sexuality in the Comedy of Morecambe & Wise
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Comedy
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-33958-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-33958-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-33957-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 346
Number of Illustrations
6 b/w illustrations
Topics