Copyright is by no means the only device for asserting ownership of a work. Some writers, including playwrights in the early modern period, did not even view print copyright as the most important of their authorial rights. A rich vein of recent scholarship has examined the interaction between royal monopolies, which have been identified with later notions of intrinsic authorial ownership, and the internal copy registration practices of the English book trades. Yet this dialogue was but one part of a still more complicated conversation in early modern England, James J. Marino argues; other customs and other sets of professional demands were at least as important, most strikingly in the exercise of the performance rights of plays.
How did Shakespeare's plays sound when they were originally performed? How can we know, and could the original pronunciation ever be recreated? For three days in June 2004 Shakespeare's Globe presented their production of Romeo and Juliet in original, Shakespearian pronunciation. In an unusual blend of autobiography, narrative, and academic content, reflecting the unique nature of the experience, this 2005 book by David Crystal recounts the first attempt in over 50 years to mount a full-length Shakespeare play in original pronunciation. Crystal begins by discussing the Globe theatre's approach to 'original practices', which has dealt with all aspects of Elizabethan stagecraft - except pronunciation. A large section is devoted to the nature of the Early Modern English sound system. There are reports of how the actors coped with the task of learning the pronunciation, how it affected their performances and how the audiences reacted.
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