Emma Whipday and Oliver Morgan have jointly won this year's £3,000 Shakespeare's Globe Book Award.
The prize is awarded every two years for a first book "that has made a significant contribution to our understanding and appreciation of the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries".
Whipday's Shakespeare’s Domestic Tragedies (Cambridge University Press) was described as "an impressive project of reclamation, in that she is seeking to bring to attention the overlooked genre of domestic tragedy, and expansion, in that she wants already established canonical texts to be brought into that classification". The judges said: "In her readings, 'Hamlet', 'Othello', ''Macbeth' and 'King Lear' reappear as domestic tragedies, and she gives them new potency and charge by her exposure of these plays’ deep engagement with the shibboleths and secrets of early modern domesticity."
Morgan's Turn-Taking in Shakespeare (Oxford University Press) provides a "galvanising" new way of interpreting Renaissance plays. The judges' synopsis states: "The mechanisms of dialogue – the sequencing of speakers, their interruptions, pauses, and failures to respond – open out new insights into character, dramaturgy, social relationships, and ideological structures. While the focus is on Shakespeare, and what Morgan stylishly argues is his brilliance in dialogue, the implications stretch to Renaissance drama more broadly."
The panel for the 2020 award was chaired by Patrick Spottiswoode, director of Globe education, as well as research fellow and lecturer Dr Will Tosh and four previous award-winners, Abigail Rokison-Woodall, Gwilym Jones, Gillian Woods and Simon Smith.
Commenting on the entries, Spottiswoode said: “Such was the calibre of all the submissions that we chose to shortlist four books, rather than three, this year. Such was the quality of the shortlist that the panel felt the prize of £3,000 should be split between Emma and Oliver.”
The winners will appear in an online ceremony and talk on 18th September.