"All the world's a stage ---"

art and pageantry in the Renaissance and Baroque


"All the World's a Stage"

Dramatic Sensibility in Mary Shelley's Novels

This book examines the often tragic and nearly always disabling metaphor of thetheatrum mundi, world-as-stage, as it plays itself out in the characters of Mary Shelley's novels.

Shakespeare in London

Shakespeare in London

Shakespeare in London offers a lively and engaging new reading of some of Shakespeare's major work, informed by close attention to the language of his drama. The focus of the book is on Shakespeare's London, how it influenced his drama and how he represents it on stage. Taking readers on an imaginative journey through the city, the book moves both chronologically, from beginning to end of Shakespeare's dramatic career, and also geographically, traversing London from west to east. Each chapter focuses on one play and one key location, drawing out the thematic connections between that place and the drama it underwrites. Plays discussed in detail include Hamlet, Richard II, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, King Lear and Romeo and Juliet. Close textual readings accompany the wealth of contextual material, providing a fresh and exciting way into Shakespeare's work.

The Social Life of Avatars

Presence and Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments

The Social Life of Avatars

Virtual reality (VR) technology has been developed commercially since the early 1990s [1]. Yet it is only with the growth of the Internet and other high-bandwidth links that VR systems have increasingly become networked to allow users to share the same virtual environment (VE). Shared YEs raise a number of interesting questions: what is the difference between face-to-face interaction and interaction between persons inside YEs? How does the appearance of the "avatar" - as the graphical representation of the user has become known - change the nature of interaction? And what governs the formation of virtual communities? This volume brings together contributions from social scientists and computer scientists who have conducted research on social interaction in various types of YEs. Two previous volumes in this CSCW book series [2, 3] have examined related aspects of research on YEs - social navigation and collaboration - although they do not always deal with VRIVEs in the sense that it is used here (see the definition in Chapter 1). The aim of this volume is to explore how people interact with each other in computer-generated virtual worlds.

Symbolic Interaction and Ethnographic Research

Intersubjectivity and the Study of Human Lived Experience

Symbolic Interaction and Ethnographic Research

Examines a series of theoretical and methodological issues faced by social scientists in interpretive and ethnographic studies of human group life.

The Play's the Thing

A Story about William Shakespeare

The Play's the Thing

The year was 1569 And The place was Stratford-on-Avon. A little boy watched a company of traveling actors perform on a makeshift stage. No one could have known that the child, whose name was William Shakespeare, would one day become the most famous playwright in history. This is the story of the man who wrote Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and many other plays that have been performed and enjoyed again and again for more than four hundred years.

Synthetic Worlds

The Business and Culture of Online Games

Synthetic Worlds

From EverQuest to World of Warcraft, online games have evolved from the exclusive domain of computer geeks into an extraordinarily lucrative staple of the entertainment industry. People of all ages and from all walks of life now spend thousands of hours—and dollars—partaking in this popular new brand of escapism. But the line between fantasy and reality is starting to blur. Players have created virtual societies with governments and economies of their own whose currencies now trade against the dollar on eBay at rates higher than the yen. And the players who inhabit these synthetic worlds are starting to spend more time online than at their day jobs. In Synthetic Worlds, Edward Castronova offers the first comprehensive look at the online game industry, exploring its implications for business and culture alike. He starts with the players, giving us a revealing look into the everyday lives of the gamers—outlining what they do in their synthetic worlds and why. He then describes the economies inside these worlds to show how they might dramatically affect real world financial systems, from potential disruptions of markets to new business horizons. Ultimately, he explores the long-term social consequences of online games: If players can inhabit worlds that are more alluring and gratifying than reality, then how can the real world ever compete? Will a day ever come when we spend more time in these synthetic worlds than in our own? Or even more startling, will a day ever come when such questions no longer sound alarmist but instead seem obsolete? With more than ten million active players worldwide—and with Microsoft and Sony pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into video game development—online games have become too big to ignore. Synthetic Worlds spearheads our efforts to come to terms with this virtual reality and its concrete effects. “Illuminating. . . . Castronova’s analysis of the economics of fun is intriguing. Virtual-world economies are designed to make the resulting game interesting and enjoyable for their inhabitants. Many games follow a rags-to-riches storyline, for example. But how can all the players end up in the top 10%? Simple: the upwardly mobile human players need only be a subset of the world's population. An underclass of computer-controlled 'bot' citizens, meanwhile, stays poor forever. Mr. Castronova explains all this with clarity, wit, and a merciful lack of academic jargon.”—The Economist “Synthetic Worlds is a surprisingly profound book about the social, political, and economic issues arising from the emergence of vast multiplayer games on the Internet. What Castronova has realized is that these games, where players contribute considerable labor in exchange for things they value, are not merely like real economies, they are real economies, displaying inflation, fraud, Chinese sweatshops, and some surprising in-game innovations.”—Tim Harford, Chronicle of Higher Education

“If Then the World a Theatre Present...“

Revisions of the Theatrum Mundi Metaphor in Early Modern England

“If Then the World a Theatre Present...“

To metaphorize the world as a theatre has been a common procedure since antiquity, but the use of this trope became particularly prominent and pregnant in early modern times, especially in England. Old and new applications of the “theatrum mundi” topos pervaded discourses, often allegorizing the deceitfulness and impermanence of this world as well as the futility of earthly strife. It was frequently woven into arguments against worldly amusements such as the stage: Commercial theatre was declared an undesirable competitor of God’s well-ordered world drama. Early modern dramatists often reacted to this development by appropriating the metaphor, and in an ingenious twist, some playwrights even appropriated its anti-theatrical impetus: Early modern theatre seemed to discover a denial of its own theatricality at its very core. Drama was found to succeed best when it staged itself as a great unmasking. To investigate the reasons and effects of these developments, the anthology examines the metaphorical uses of theatre in plays, pamphlets, epics, treatises, legal proclamations and other sources.

Classroom Management

Creating a Positive Learning Environment

Classroom Management

Deals with management of student conduct in the classroom, which is the number one area of concern for many teachers. This book includes discussions and real-life cases with reference to the influence of Chinese culture on Hong Kong classrooms. It covers topics such as managing behaviour, establishing classroom rules, and conveying authority.