This book, which I co-edited with Julia Reinhard Lupton, celebrates the theatrical excitement and philosophical meanings of human interaction in Shakespeare. On stage and in life, the face is always window and mirror, representation and presence. It examines the emotional and ethical surplus that appears between faces in the activity and performance of human encounter on stage. By transitioning from face as noun to verb – to face, outface, interface, efface, deface, sur-face – chapters reveal how Shakespeare’s plays discover conflict, betrayal and deception as well as love, trust and forgiveness between faces and the bodies that bear them.
Performance studies and philosophy rarely appear together in studies of Renaissance drama. The essays in this book show how rich the combination can be. Its thought muses include Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hannah Arendt, Paul Ricoeur, Stanley Cavell, and Emmanuel Levinas.