The essay focuses on the spreading of Shakespeare both as a cultural icon and as a tourist brand in nowadays’ world. It takes into account the new narratives of cultural value as well as the new meaning-making practices that have been more and more gaining ground in the last years. As it wishes to demonstrate, these new narratives feature a relevant shift from the intrinsic value of the author to the value that resides in the audience response, affect and experience, as well as in the visitors’ interactivity, especially when Shakespeare websites visitors are warmly exhorted to keep in touch through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Pinterest. As the chapter shows, a crucial shift of values is clearly visible in such institutions as Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Thanks to both its location and its fully-fledged website, the Globe is a perfect combination of cultural heritage, commercial entertainment and experiential tourism. Another evidence that the chapter brings to the fore is the ‘Globe to Globe Hamlet’ project, a global tour which started in 2014 and concluded in 2016 and which was meant to disseminate Shakespeare’s meanings all over the world. A distinctive emotional flair permeated the tourist account that was made during the journey on the project’s website and social media, where visitors could make an affective experience of armchair travel thanks to a number of emotionally charged messages, photographs and postcards posted home by the company to inform about both the performances and the places they visited. Also the account that was made after the journey by the artistic director Dominic Dromgoole in his 2017 publication was particularly focused on the tour as an ‘affective experience’ and on the project originators’ need to exchange and share Shakespeare’s human values above all. However, as the chapter argues, the tour’s narrative also reiterated, consciously or not, a more ideologically inflected vision of the Bard’s authority as a means to perpetuate culturally imperialist meanings. The controversial coalescence of these two different kinds of narratives is also under scrutiny.
Esposito, L. (2019). "The Emotional Geography of Shakespeare Tourist (Web)Sites: from the Globe Theatre to the ‘Globe to Globe Hamlet’ Tour". In Maria Maddalena Pennacchia e Marta Minier (a cura di), Shakespeare and Tourism: Place, Memory, Participation. (pp. 59-88). ITA : Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane.