Shakespeare has made the big time. No less than Liberace or Elvis Presley, Shakespeare is big-time in the idiomatic sense of cultural success. Big Time Shakespeare discusses the supply side of this cultural production, arguing that Shakepeare retains his authority, at least in part, because suppliers of cultural goods have been skillful at generating demand for products that bear his trademark.
Big-Time Shakespeare suggests that his plays represent the pathos of our civilization. His characters remain interesting because we recognize what they are going through. Examining Shakespeare's cultural authority and clarifying the semantics of his name in our culture, Bristol attempts to bridge the gap between conservative affirmations of the ideals and achievements of Western civilization, and the equally disconcerting programs of compulsive resistance and critique.