• Natália PIKLI Eötvös Loránd University, School of English and American Studies, Department of English Studies, Budapest, Hungary
Keywords: popular culture, early modern England, Shakespeare, public theatre, book publishing


The article attempts to outline in brief the results of the complex interaction between elite and popular cultures in Shakespeare’s age, illuminating the main tendencies with examples taken from William Shakespeare’s, Ben Jonson’s and other lesser known contemporary authors’ (Philip Stubbes, Nicholas Breton) works, focusing on how public theatre and popular book publishing used and transformed originally oral and ritual non-profit productions, turning them into commercial and sometimes political or critical forms. The research is based mostly on a wider range of written records of different status, genre and origin, thus hoping to clarify general tendencies. Critical distincion is also applied with regard to not only the consequences of transforming ritual-oral phenomena into printed text, as explained in Jan Assmann’s theory of cultural memory, but also to different authors’ varying methods of alluding to phenomena of contemporary popular culture.


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