Product Description The most familiar assertion of Shakespeare scholarship is that he is our contemporary. Shakespeare After Theory provocatively argues that he is not, but what value he has for us must at least begin with a recognition of his distance from us. Only then can we be sure that what we hear are his concerns, rather than the projections of our own. Shakespeare After Theory sees Shakespeare's artistry as it is realized in the earliest conditions of its materialization and intelligibility: in the collaborations of the theatre in which the plays were acted, in the practices of the book trade in which they were published, in the unstable political world of late Tudor and Stuart England in which the plays were engaged by various publics. Responding to the theoretical initiatives of the last twenty years that have insisted that literary meaning and value are always contingent and contestable, but arguing that the necessary rejoinder to theory's provocation is to recognize the radical historicity of literature itself, this book compellingly restores Shakespeare's plays to the rich densities of the world in which and to which they were created.