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Kott’s deeply ironic view of the political process impressed filmmakers and theatre directors such as Sidebar: Viewing Shakespeare on Film; Sidebar: Shakespeare and Opera.) He also caught the imagination of many academic critics who were chafing at a modern political world increasingly caught up in image making and the various other manipulations of the powerful new media of television and electronic communication.
The English writer Francis Meres, in 1598, declared him to be England’s greatest writer in comedy and tragedy.
Shakespeare excelled in “fancy” or imagination, but he lagged behind in “judgment.” He was a native genius, untaught, whose plays needed to be extensively rewritten to clear them of the impurities of their frequently vulgar style.
And in fact most productions of Shakespeare on the London stage during the Restoration did just that: they rewrote Shakespeare to make him more refined.
Playacting depends on conventions, which must be understood in their historical context.
Costuming signals meaning to the audience; so does the theatre building, the props, the actors’ gestures.
Shakespeare criticism of the 20th and 21st centuries has seen an extraordinary flourishing of new schools of critical approach.