From Jubilee to Gala

Remembrance and Ritual Commemoration

in Critical Survey
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  • 1 East Tennessee State University sawyerr@etsu.edu
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This essay focuses on David Garrick's Shakespeare Jubilee held in 1769 and the Royal Gala of 1830, comparing the two Stratford-based events in function, festivity, and form. Both occasions furthered Shakespeare's status as the national Bard and both included processions and grand balls. But there were striking differences in format. Some of the divergences include issues of class, while others echoed Shakespearean debates, such as the tension between page and stage Shakespeare. By looking at the commemorations side-by-side, we will be able to use the two gatherings as a microcosm to help us chart the various changes in the cultural and theatrical climate in London and Stratford vis-à-vis Shakespeare during the half-century that separated the festivities.

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