Publisher description for Shakespeare and the American nation / Kim C. Sturgess.

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Counter Why do so many Americans celebrate Shakespeare, a long-dead English poet and playwright? By the nineteenth century newly-independent America had chosen to reject the British monarchy and Parliament, class structure and traditions, yet their citizens still made William Shakespeare a naturalized American hero. Today the largest group of overseas visitors to Stratford-upon-Avon, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bankside's Shakespeare's Globe Theatre come from America. Why? Is there more to Shakespeare's American popularity than just a love of men in doublet and hose speaking soliloquies? This book tells the story of America's relationship with Shakespeare. The story of how and why Shakespeare became a hero within American popular culture. Sturgess provides evidence of a comprehensive nineteenth-century appropriation of Shakespeare to the cause of the American Nation and shows that, as America entered the twentieth century a new world power, for many Americans Shakespeare had become as American as George Washington.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 Appreciation United States, Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 Stage history United States, United States Civilization English influences, Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 Influence, American literature English influences