One of the principal implications of the following entries, and the relevant illustrative material in the Performance Galleries, is that each age stages and perceives the character of Shakespeare’s plays as refracted through its own values and conventions, not just in terms of religious, political, social and aesthetic values, but even in terms of acceptable costumes and scenery. The effects of such refractions of the texts usually involve drastic cuts, emendations, and re-editing. This type of modification has long been identified in such periods as the Restoration, with its reinforcement of neoclassical norms, such as the unities of time, place and action, and the preference for purity of genres such as tragedy and comedy. However, it is now generally perceived that, while the nineteenth century restored much of the original scripts to the stage, these more authentic versions had still to be trimmed severely to accommodate handling of the complex, historically elaborate scenery then fashionable. Act V of Beerbohm Tree’s Henry VIII disappeared entirely
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